Being upset sucks. It sucks even more when you’re traveling. And it sucks the most when you feel like you are wasting your vacation with these negative emotions. But before you get too depressed, understand that everyone eventually experiences a low point while traveling. It is unavoidable, and you should certainly not let it ruin the rest of your experience.
Although you may experience the lowest lows, you may also experience the highest highs. Traveling is like a roller coaster. Sure there are bumps on the way, with multiple low and high-points, but overall it is a thrilling and exciting ride. Without the journey downhill and the following rise back up, your travel experience would just be gentle and dull.
So rather than letting these negative emotions ruin your experience, look at them in a much more positive light:
1. Every Negative Situation Brings about a Positive One
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.”
– Helen Keller
All negativity and sorrow is accompanied by a positive counterpart. When faced with sadness, it is much easier to focus on this sorrow, which in turn distracts you from any positivity. But if you gather the courage to leave this closed door of sadness behind, and seek out the newly opened one, you may find that the path ahead is much more appealing as opposed to remaining where you currently are. And perhaps this new opportunity may lead you to a place far greater than the closed door ever could have. The only way to know for sure is by moving forward and discovering what lies ahead.
2. Enjoy the Rise Back Up
The more often we do something, the less of an impact it seems to have. Have you ever noticed that your tenth time on a roller coaster wasn’t nearly as exciting as your first or second? Or that if you eat a delicious pizza every day for a week, it doesn’t taste nearly as good as it did the first few times? This is because an experience loses power each time it is repeated, especially in short intervals. We can look at happiness the same way. The longer you experience a happy state of mind, the less blissful it will eventually feel.
But have you noticed that after some time off, the eleventh or twelfth time feels just as great as the second or third? When you go downhill with negative emotions, you not only take some time off from being at the top, but you also have the opportunity to climb back up. And once you reach that peak, it will feel just as amazing as it had the previous times. So rather than allowing this negativity to engulf you, appreciate the opportunity to once again enjoy the rise up to happiness.
3. No Regrets, Just Lessons Learned
You are a one-of-a-kind and special in so many ways. We all are. Every experience that you have had in your life, from your birth until this very moment has shaped who you are today, both the good and the bad. And while every negative experience is by no means fun, it also creates positive outcomes as well. Try not to have any regrets in your life, for if you were to change anything, you may end up changing some beneficial and positive aspects as well. So rather than having regrets, look at your negative experiences as lessons learned, nothing more.
4. Embrace and Harness this Negativity
Negativity doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. Rather than allowing this sorrow to overwhelm you, why not use it as fuel to better yourself? If you take the time to analyze the situation, you may learn a great deal about yourself. So ask yourself questions like, “What is the cause of my sorrow and negativity? Why is it bothering me? Is this negativity influencing me to act or react in ways that I normally would not? And how can I snap out of this state of mind?” If you question your thought process and reactions to these negative emotions, you give yourself the chance to understand the way you think and act.
You can embrace this negativity in a physical manner as well. Do you need motivation to work out? Well how about embracing this anger and using it as fuel to exercise? Or why not use these negative emotions to create something? Perhaps a painting, a drawing, a short film, a story, a poem, or any form of creativity. If you embrace these negative emotions and funnel them towards a greater good, you can accomplish and create wonderful things.
It is very easy to feel overwhelmed and sad while traveling. But this does not mean that it should ruin your traveling experience. Instead, embrace this negativity as a way to better yourself; appreciate this negativity as an opportunity to discover yourself; and find the courage to leave this negativity behind. While sorrow can bring you down, it can also lead you to far better places, both physically and emotionally.
This article was originally published on Art of Adventuring, then moved to WW in February 2017.