The pace of life in North America can be very hectic compared to other regions. Being overworked and extended beyond our means can lead to intense stress, which can lead to nervous breakdowns, substance abuse or a generally negative outlook on life. A change of pace can do a stressed out individual a lot of good, and experiencing a different culture can be invigorating and refreshing, leading to a new outlook on life. Consider the pace and quality of life in France. Like many Europian countries, France celebrates and encourages time taken for relaxation, enjoying a quality meal and indulging sensory experiences. It is not uncommon in the cities outside of Paris to see people relaxing on a porch midday, enjoying cheese and bread. This culture knows the value of caring for one’s self by embracing the flavors of life and not simply overworking.
Travelling to France is therapeutic because it entertains all the senses. There is an incredible amount of history to be discovered, some of the best culinary experiences in the world, a mecca of culture and beautiful countryside. Whether you prefer the sites of Paris, including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and the Paris Opera House, or the wine country of Bordeaux and Burgundy, there is something in France to please everyone. The old architecture of France, such as Mont Saint Michel and the Arc de Triomphe, is an incredible sight for anyone to behold. And many of the art galleries and museums contain some of the most famous art pieces of all time; works by Michaelangelo, Rembrandt, DaVinci and more.
The reason that travel and vacation are so important for healing stress is that they are the ultimate means of breaking the cycle of stress. It is engrained in North American culture to stay at a task long after one has the energy to complete it because of the societal pressure to stay competitive. Taking a retreat to a place like France is like resetting an internal clock by breaking the pattern of stressful living in order to take in a new experience, refresh your perspective and heal your body and spirit through relaxation. This is an effective treatment for addiction, mental disorder or any other form of mental hardship.