Cruise Therapy?

If you know me or if you’ve been following this page, then you know I love to travel.  Even if you don’t know me, but you take a look at this website, blog, My Cruising Family’s Facebook page, or My Cruising Family’s Instagram page, then you will see that I love to travel.  In a recent conversation, what I’d been feeling inside for a while and what I’d been examining was called out when the person I was speaking with said that travel is sometimes just a band-aid for something deeper.  Have I been using my travels and travel-planning as a band-aid or pain-reliever?  Well, honestly, YES, I have. 


This became even more evident as this week was the third anniversary of my dad’s passing, which had an extra layer of pain this year because my siblings and I usually send text messages or call each other to say we’re thinking of each other, and this year is the first time since my brother’s passing, so he wasn’t here for us to text or call.  I am grateful to have had both men in my life, and the hurt from both losses sometimes feels fresh.  In the regular day-to-day routine, there are reminders of them, from remembering them visiting my house, and talks we had in front of the house, to the fact that, during my usual commute to work, I can see the church my dad attended, which was also where his funeral was held.  Therefore, a vacation, getaway, or escape – call it what you will – can serve the obvious purpose of changing the daily scenery that can sometimes cause sadness.  That change of scenery brings a freshness and excitement that brightens my spirit and soul. 


Adding to the benefits that come along with the change of scenery, we usually choose sunny, beach destinations that promise doses of Vitamin D, salt water, and ocean breezes that all have proven health benefits.  Traveling had been a love of mine even before losing my dad and my brother.  So, a vacation, getaway, or escape would still be highly ranked on my list of things to do, at least annually, even without the heaviness of the significant losses mentioned above. 

Loved Ones On The Beach


The responsibilities of being a mom lead me to want a change in the routine sometimes.  While, for children, routines are important to building significant connections and security, for me, at this stage in my life, the routine can be exhausting and leaves me wanting more – more than just the wake up, get myself and the children ready, commute to school, drop them off, commute to work, work in the office, pick the children up from school, bathe the children for the evening, bathe myself for the evening, and somewhere in between it all, figure out what we will all eat and drink for the day, and, hopefully, also see my husband at some point depending on his work schedule which changes sometimes day to day… of course, more than seeing him, he and I want to cultivate our relationship which led to forming this family.  It can be difficult to feel rejuvenated and inspired when I am in the same daily setting – which, in my case, is the house that often looks like a tornado has gone through it.  So, one of the ways that I deal with that is to focus my attention on vacation-planning – getting away to a location at which I can relax.  Add to that, I tend to plan for the entire family, so that we can all benefit from the much needed change of scenery.  What I don’t get from that approach is reasonable time away from the children.  Although my mother usually vacations with us and the children usually share a room with her, we usually explore together, eat together, and spend a significant amount of time together, which is the point of a family vacation.  As I mentioned at the outset of writing this, I’d been examining myself and my desire for vacation-planning for some time now, which led to my planning multiple getaways this year in order to experience more balance through my travels.  We recently returned from a family cruise, and I am looking forward to an upcoming mommy trip for me, and a romantic getaway for my husband and me, so that, within this year, I will experience three types of trips: family vacation, a mommy escape, and a couple’s getaway. 


Will traveling, alone, address the underlying issues of grief, sadness, exhaustion, and mommy fatigue that I experience?  I don’t think so.  I am thankful for my faith, and I know that prayer and devotional time are important in getting through each day.  I also know that seeking qualified counseling and therapy where and when needed is important as well. 


Now, don’t get any of this twisted.  This realization has not discouraged me from traveling.  Travel has been a significant part of my life since my childhood, and I acknowledge my God-given desires and skills in the area of travel-planning.  That being said, this recent conversation and soul-searching has inspired me to seek out ways to bring together intentional healing and travel by creating a space for women – in particular, mothers – to express ourselves and to move through how we are feeling, to work through some of the day-to-day issues that lead us to that desire to “escape.”  I had already thought that My Cruising Family group cruises would include some programming and events to create more than just a cruise, but an amazing experience, and now, more ideas are flowing. 

I would love to hear/read your ideas!  Have you been seeking out opportunities to travel as a means of relieving something else in your life?  Have you been using travel as a band-aid or pain-reliever?  Would you like to combine your vacationing with a wellness experience?  What experience(s) do you think would make your vacation more meaningful and relaxing?