If I were to ask you to name heaven on Earth, where would you say? Tahiti? Hawaii? Bali?
Most of us associate paradise with tropical locations. Why? Because as humans, we’re wired to thrive off of sunshine and warm weather – things that are plentiful in tropical areas.
In the last 100 years or so, as global travel has become more and more popular, tropical paradises have become associated with the rich and powerful. Gorgeous private resorts on the beach would be photographed and featured in big magazines, but they were rarely accessible for your average Joe. That almost made the idea of them even more alluring: maybe one day, if I work hard enough and save up enough, I’ll be able to go to St. Bart’s.
As the middle class grew, it became more and more attainable to go to these far-off destinations, and treatment centers soon realized that there was a natural desire to come to these locations – so why not offer for these people to do something good for themselves while they’re visiting?
Beyond the beautiful climate, there are many reasons why traveling to the tropics for treatment is a good idea.
1. The benefits of tropical life
Yes, it’s beautiful; but why do we feel so much more relaxed in tropical areas?
Much of it comes down to the style of living that often accompanies tropical locales. Oftentimes, the locals are chill and the accommodations are designed to help you soak up every offer of relaxation.
When you surround yourself in a calming environment, your body starts to reflect those feelings, and you end up feeling much calmer yourself.
Another big selling point is the chance to be at one with nature. Beaches, rainforests, jungles – these are all common types of environments you’ll find yourself in on a tropical island. At all of these places, you’re given the opportunity to be around nature that you likely don’t get to see a lot of at home.
For example, in a rainforest, you can hike amongst giant trees with leaves as long as your arm. At the beach, you’re able to swim amongst some of the most majestic creatures in the world: sea turtles, dolphins, and whales. Even if you’re relaxing on the beach, watching these creatures peek in and out of the water provides a sense of connection to wildlife not often found in many places in the world.
In these many beautiful places, you can also find yourself getting more movement and exercise than you normally do. For example, maybe you go on one or two walks a week around your neighborhood. Oftentimes, walking on a sidewalk surrounded by homes isn’t the most interesting backdrop.
However, if you’re in a tropical paradise, you may be walking the same distance but through jungles or along a coastline. Now, every step brings new extraordinary sights, which compels you to want to keep going.
2. Traveling provides an escape from your daily environment
How great is that feeling when you’re boarding a plane – about to take off an adventure to the unknown? Your body gets a natural boost from this feeling of travel, and you find yourself in a better mood, more confident, and more willing to step outside your comfort zone.
All these aspects are what make traveling for treatment incredibly beneficial. You may be willing to throw yourself into your therapy, to open up to your therapists and those in treatment with you, to go through uncomfortable sessions to get to the deeper issue of what’s driving your mental health or substance abuse issues.
By traveling, you’re also removing yourself from your normal surroundings. This is essential for a couple reasons. First off, it gives you the opportunity to get away from any bad examples in your life. If you regularly hang out with people who drink heavily or do drugs, it’s best to get away from them completely while you’re going through treatment.
It also gives you a break from any other triggers in your life. For example, you may love your spouse very much, and maybe they’re working to help you through your addiction, but the two of you may argue a lot. These arguments may lead you to become anxious or feel guilty, leading you to drink or use. Until you know how to better navigate these disagreements (and possibly stop some from happening altogether in the future) it’s best to take a break away from them as you work through your own deeply-seated beliefs.
In addition to the relationships in your life, taking a step away allows you to take a break from your work, which is often one of the highest stressors for a lot of people. Depending on the program, you may be able to still use your cell phone and laptop, giving you access to your work needs should you choose to do that.
One program that allows this is The Exclusive Hawaii. However, instead of simply working from home from their facility, they integrate your work into your program, keeping the focus on helping you learn how to create a work/life balance that includes navigating any nerve-wracking or stressful situations that arise in your professional setting.
3. You’re offered unique opportunities
When you go to a tropical location for treatment, you often have the opportunity to do things you wouldn’t be able to if you went to your average run-of-the-mill treatment center.
For example, the center may incorporate outdoor or nature therapy into your treatment. They can also incorporate other activities into your treatment plan. For example, maybe you want to work on taking risks – you can go surfing with a guide. Or you could go ziplining.
Maybe you want to get back to a hobby you loved as a child. If your grandparents lived by a lake, you can go fishing, and connect back to those happy experiences in your life.
No matter what activities you do, you’ll still experience the salty smell of the ocean, the warm breeze on your cheeks, and the sun beating down on your skin. Combined with effective therapy and strong medical care, you’ll be amazed at the mental progress you can make in such a beautiful place.