Travel after Grief, Loss & Languishing – Why Travel Restores


September 20, 2021

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i'm cassandra marcella

There’s a lot of talk in the travel industry about “revenge travel” – travel that is bucket-list, no-expense-spared, take-that-pandemic type of adventures. But there is another way to respond to what we’ve all been through, this surreal, collective trauma. That’s to tailor a profoundly personal and refreshing trip that will help you recover the bits of yourself that feel lost.  

That could be improved sleep, better lifestyle habits that have gone by the wayside, reconnecting with friends and family in a way, so you feel love and care.  

We’ve all lost a lot. And we all mourn in a particular way. 

Maybe you’ve lost a job. Or you’ve lost a loved one as I did. That caused me to lose a beloved home and the move during Covid has been challenging and exhausting. Maybe you’ve been juggling a job, remote learning for your kids (a job in itself!), and keeping up with laundry, meals, mail, and bills. Not sleep! Maybe you’re a journalist or a photographer covering people marching for justice. Or if you’re here in DC like I am, perhaps you work on the Hill and your workplace was attacked. I used to work on the Hill and simply witnessing January 6 and the invasion of a place I adore, well, I cried for days. I still get upset when I think about it!

Or maybe you’ve been working the front lines and feel deluged by death, horror, and suffering.  Bless you.

Here’s how travel can help ::

1 || Travel can be an escape

I sometimes call myself an escape artist extraordinaire. Because there’s nothing more, I love than to bring artistry to crafting a very tailored trip for my clients. Travel takes us out of our lives and places us in a new place. We can escape our responsibilities and routines, which gives us a chance to re-evaluate them both. Maybe we are inspired to introduce a new habit or new practice into our lives when we return home.

2 || Travel helps us mourn

C.S. Lewis said grief is like fear. I love much of his writing, but that observation especially resonates. It’s not uncommon to develop anxiety after experiencing a loss. And it can be the death of a loved one. But it can also be the loss of a job, a marriage, an identity, or one’s health. When we travel and take ourselves to a new place, everything is different. So the absence of what’s now gone doesn’t feel so acute. It’s why I hope to spend the holidays in Italy. If I’m not at home, I won’t be so aware of what’s not typical because everything is atypical.

3 || Travel shifts outlooks

Another benefit of stepping out of our lives for a bit is that our perspectives can shift. Over this past year, many of us have re-evaluated so much in our lives. The things that annoy us annoy us more, and the things we love, we love more. And we’ve been weighed down simply by the effort of it all. Travel is an opportunity to reset our mindset. To take time out to figure out what’s meaningful to us, what is essential to us, and what we want.

4 || Travel is play

When we were children and played, we were imaginative and creative and happy. Travel is time to stop thinking and worrying and to simply play. We can be spontaneous and sleep late. Or stay up late, delighting in a great conversation with new friends. We can relinquish our thoughts and just sit our butts on a beach all day and read an engaging, un-edifying, trashy novel! We love to travel because we all love to relax deeply, and to do so heals us.

5 || Travel makes us stronger

Travel is a great way to build resilience. I discovered meditation on a trip 19 years ago, and it’s a habit that is still a daily part of my life. I credit meditation with keeping me steady and strong through many upheavals, including this past year. A trip may introduce you to some other lifestyle skill that is life-changing, or you may discover a new passion (or rediscover an old one).

6 || Travel creates space for magic to happen

What is life about except wonderful experiences and treasured memories? Travel opens up the possibilities for the unexpected to happen – for life to surprise us and to enjoy serendipitous encounters. And adventures you would not usually enjoy. I don’t just offer travel; I craft stories. Stories you can enter and experience yourself. Memories you can treasure and share. And the best stories surprise you and delight you.

7 || Travel reconnects us

With all the strain and stress of the last year, many relationships have suffered. We’ve all been simply trying to keep our head above water. We have been deprived of hugs and human contact and been separated from our friends and extended family. Creating a safe travel pod and going on a trip together is a beautiful way to remind ourselves what we love about the people we love. Or maybe you don’t want to travel with your family because you’ve been with them 24/7 for more than a year, and you want to do something with friends that challenges your body or just drink, eat and play with anyone other than your family!

Here are some destinations specifically focus on improving health

In the United States ::

Canyon Ranch,
Prive Swiss, and
Aman Resorts (in Utah and Wyoming and soon New York City)

Abroad ::

Sha Wellness Clinic in Spain,
Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence in Switzerland,
Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa, Oetker Collection in Germany, and
Six Senses Douro Valley in Portugal offers a week-long sleep program.

Maybe your new thing will be aerial yoga and hanging out upside-down in a hammock-like swing at the Vila Vita Parc Resort & Spa.

I see myself as a translator between a traveler and their imagination and your dreams. I get to know you so I grasp the deeper purpose. When we work together to understand your needs and wants, then I can tailor a trip that will transform you and your life, your perspective, your wellbeing. 

Let’s start planning your wellness getaway! 

Additional Resources ::

A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis

The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton

There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing from the New York Times (April 19, 2021)

Looking to Travel for a Sense of Renewal from the New York Times (April 8, 2021)



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