Travelling and the art of letting go

Letting go may sound easy, but recognizing that you can let go of something is surprisingly hard.

Daily life and letting go

At home it’s “easy” when you catch yourself worrying about work. Easy because you, hopefully, recognize a little sooner that you can let go of work. As worrying doesn’t change reality. It only disturbs the peace and requires a surprising amount of energy.

It’s getting harder when you get stressed about things that aren’t your responsibility. Things that happen at work, home or in your social life. This can range from people being late, tasks that still have to be done or the struggles people face.

Letting go then feels like a delicate balancing act. You want to be supportive, but not at the expanse of yourself. You want things to be done quickly and right, but is that your task and what will it cost you? These are the kinds of letting go that I struggle with the most.


These days though, I’m traveling. I have no obligations. I only need to worry about where I’ll sleep and what I’ll eat. I can do whatever I want, so letting go should be even easier, right? I mean, what is there to let go of?

Well, this week I found the answers to these questions. Letting go is still hard and in this case it’s about the voice that tells you to do things.

The thing that I enjoy most of travelling, is that I can do so much more. Going out for dinner with a group of people, waking up early to go on a hike and getting through the day without having to sleep, for example. That’s why I feel a million times better now, compared to how I felt back home.

Travelling with a brain injury

However, I still have my brain injury. My battery is still broken. I still tire more quickly after which thinking, talking and decision making becomes more difficult. I still need at least eight hours of sleep and I’m still sensitive to sounds and lights.

With the adrenaline and excitement of doing and seeing new things, it’s easy to go too far. To ignore the signs of your body and to end up in the red.

Without a clear schedule or planning, it’s very easy to get distracted by all the fun things.

During a conversation I suddenly realized this. Sure I was enjoying myself immensely, but I also felt that I was in the red. I was feeling more tired, emotional and irritable.

Learning to let go

It was time to let go and to find some peace. This time I needed to let go of my own expectations. As soon as I start to think that I need to do, or see something, I start to ignore my body.

Rather than waiting for the next migraine or those consecutive bad days, I want to practice to let go.

I’ll still be doing new things, but only if I feel like it, not because I think I have to. If that means that I won’t see certain things then that’s okay.

I’d rather spend my energy feeling happy then having to criticize myself. So I’m done with the to-do lists, with the expectations and thinking that I need to do certain things.

Travel resolution

I want to be happy, grateful and proud of myself. So I’m going to try to be my own best friend (again yes, as I’m pretty sure I’ve said that before :)).

Living without obligations and a schedule (while on holiday) is great, but that doesn’t mean my disabilities disappear.

So I will try to have an hour each afternoon for myself. An hour to be by myself without having to do anything. To start feeling again instead of thinking.

Hopefully this’ll mean that I get to enjoy myself even more and also find some peace of mind. As I do realize how privileged I am for being able to do this.

What are the things that you find difficult to let go of? Have you gotten any better in realizing that you can let go of something?

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