The Medicine of Travel: Can a Week Away from Home Really Recharge Your Batteries After 60?


we do something creative, […] we draw on images from our inner well. If we
learn to restock our store of images, we will find ourselves able to work more

— Julia Cameron, It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again

people certainly need to refill those inner wells that Julia Cameron talks
about. But our wells run dry for other reasons, too. Loss, life transitions,
even day-to-day stress all drain us and leave us yearning to get away from it

love being home. I have days when I force myself into the car to run necessary
errands. But sometimes I just feel like changing channels and exploring the
world beyond my front yard.

our reasons for having an empty well, there’s no better way to recharge than by
spending some time away.

Everyone’s idea of a perfect getaway is unique. Maybe it’s
an overnight in a nearby town. Or maybe a long-planned trip around the world
fits the bill. I recently got confirmation that a week away is the sweet spot
between the two.

Why One Week?

A week is enough time to feel we’re truly away without getting homesick for
familiar surroundings.

It’s long enough to feel like we’re having
a distinctive experience but short enough to grant permission to leave our demands
behind, guilt free.

seven days is a magic number that allows for a few other shifts, too.

New Surroundings Give Us Perspective

When we’re in a new place, the people around us might speak
different languages or have different ways of life. Their forefathers (and
mothers) may have created singular cultures or civilizations.

A week of total immersion in a place and its people
shines light on history.

But we all live under one sky. A week spent somewhere
else can also illuminate how we’re all connected. We can discover how similar
the human experience really is despite the differences.

Our Senses Wake Up!

our week away, we notice unfamiliar sounds. The noises that greet us in the
morning or sing us to sleep aren’t the same we hear in our beds at home. Maybe
the silence that envelops us is a comfort we didn’t know we needed.

feel different textures as we browse a clothing store and run our hands across
exotic fabrics. Or when we touch stone walls while ascending the staircase of a
Renaissance church or grab a wooden railing on the bridge that crosses a creek.

flavors excite us as we sample (and savor!) local foods. We welcome exceptional
aromas from a marketplace or fragrances from surrounding meadows or forests.

sights abound. Colors can be more vibrant or subtler. Art, architecture,
natural beauty… the feast for our eyes is endless.

We Connect with Others

week away means fresh interactions, whether a casual chat with the gentleman at
a ticket counter or a long discussion with a fellow traveler. We have conversations
we’ve never had in an age when meaningful
conversation is too quickly becoming a lost art.

have chances to introduce ourselves, maybe for the first time in a while. In
doing so, we see ourselves through a stranger’s eyes; maybe meet ourselves

Self-Discovery Is Unavoidable

of the location we visit, there’s power in what we learn about ourselves during
those seven days. As we relish what’s happening around us, we notice how we’re

urge to try a regional recipe. The nudge to return to a long-forgotten
interest. As we embrace the magic of our week away, we envision bringing a
little of it into our daily lives, recapturing a bit of it at home.

if the locale is one we’ve been to before, ours is a dynamic world. Change
happens all the time.

we’re different than we were the last time we visited. We might be in a new
season of life or at a crossroads. At the very least, we’ve grown – reason
enough to see recognizable surroundings with new eyes.

no denying the medicine of a week away. Our energy’s renewed. And our hearts
and spirits are grateful for the healing it provides.

What do you think is the perfect
duration of a getaway? Have you recently spent a week away? How did it recharge
you? Join the conversation and share your thoughts with the community!

Let\’s Have a Conversation!


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