Veteran Travel Therapy- Why You Need To Go

People think of travel as fun, it’s drinking pina coladas on a beach. When you’re in the military, you’re constantly on the move, told where to go and even for how long. They even give you a list of what to pack. If you’ve ever served, you know the military has the unique ability to remove the joy from everything.

You might be traveling, but you’re sleeping on uncomfortable cots, jammed into busses, planes, trucks, and even cattle cars. You’re hurrying up then waiting, you’re told to be somewhere at 0400 to wait around until 1600. Plus, someone is always yelling and your pilot never tells you to sit back and enjoy the flight because they know you’re not going to.

Even the simple act of planning a future trip reduces stress and makes you feel better. Traveling is one way for veterans to disconnect from our stress and reconnect with ourselves. We never feel fully settled in military life, that call to pick up and go can come at any time. Maybe you’re thinking you’ve had enough traveling during your military career, but veterans should be better at enjoying the freedom we’ve fought for. We fight for freedom but sometimes feel like the least free Americans.

Through travel, veterans can reflect on where we’ve been and most importantly, where we want to go. Because the military isn’t the end of our adventures, it was just the beginning and now the destination is up to you. You’ve got amazing stories from the military, you’ve gone places and done things the average person will never do. Traveling keeps your legend going.

Traveling is one of the most underrated stress relievers and veterans during vacations report diminished PTSD symptoms. They sleep better, struggle less with anxiety, and can relax. There’s no such thing as a permanent vacation, but travel therapy is real therapy. If you’re feeling burnt out, even the smallest of getaways can provide a much needed reset.

Veterans can reinvent themselves through travel. It can be hard to reflect on what really matters when you’re stuck in a constant grind and trapped in a routine. LiboRisk is the first travel community for members of the Armed Services, founded by Marine vet Jess Quezada who creates life changing travel experiences for the veteran community. Her organization has changed lives, brought veterans together, and is only getting started.

The VA only gives us one type of therapy, theirs. But when approached the right way, travel therapy can help veterans heal, find identity post-service, and reach their potential.

Nate, a LiboRisk- An avid traveler, photographer and veteran

The concept of traveling as therapy remains unexplored by most of the medical literature. But the research is clear, traveling increases your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. The travel industry fails to serve us, taking more than it gives, overcharging, and making what should be healthy, unhealthy. They want you sitting your ass in a swim up bar at the resort and pigging out at the buffet. You can forget about that with LiboRisk, you’ll be scaling canyons, white-water rafting, exploring cultures, and putting stamps in your passport alongside your fellow veterans.

Traveling allows us to do physical activities that don’t feel like exercise. The military can ruin working out for us because it’s so forced. We wake up before the sun comes up, do annoying stretches, and count everything out loud like kindergarteners. Traveling can release the years of stress the military built into you. The rest of the world seems a lot less tense than Americans are, travel to find out why.

It doesn’t matter how or where you travel, just go. I’m planning on going to Peru with Tiwaz Awakening, a veteran owned company that does Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Ayahuasca retreats. Check out their website here and an article by Luke Jensen the veteran founder on the psychological healing powers of Ayahuasca. More and more veterans are discovering that sometimes far-off destinations are better for the mind, body, and soul than your VA therapist. I got more out of my meditation classes in Thailand than I did from the VA therapy when it came to healing my PTSD.

Money Saving Resources For Vets

  • MWR Resorts – A lot of vets really have no clue about the Armed Forces Recreation Center Resorts. There are four in the world in Hawaii, Florida, Korea, and Germany.
  • American Forces Travel– Designed to be a one stop booking site for discounted veteran vacations.
  • Armed Forces Vacation Club- A free membership travel club that gets exclusive discounts for veterans and their families. Check out their Facebook Group.
  • : List of military travel discounts

Don’t think about how much travel is going to cost, think about what it’s worth to your soul.

Veterans value experiences more than things. If we were materialistic, we wouldn’t have joined the military to begin with. I first started solo traveling in Thailand, my hostel was nine bucks a night and most meals rang in under three dollars. It was scary as hell the first time going somewhere alone, I was trained to always have backup. But then I realized I could do whatever the hell I wanted, all the time, when I was by myself. You and I never got to control our destinations in the military, we went wherever Uncle Sam sent us. Traveling let’s veterans reclaim our freedom.

Meg: a soldier and LiboRisk exploring Mexico

It’s rejuvenating to go new places, learn things, and meet new people. One of the things that makes us happier is to always have something to look forward to, veterans should always have a trip planned. If you need motivation look up LiboRisk future trips and follow me on Instagram and TikTok.

A lot of people go right to the edge and almost join the military but veterans are far from almost people. We don’t belong on the couch, we belong where the action is. The adventures in your life aren’t over when you get out of the military. If you don’t have a passport, it’s time to apply.

If you have good veteran travel ideas, recommendations, or stories let me know. Veterans are all in need of a good vacation. If you want to go even further and move abroad check out my blog where I have living abroad articles and country guides and read the Free Vets Guide to Moving Abroad.

Go scope out my latest book on amazon: 365 Days of Veteran Affirmations. Where I wrote a specific veteran affirmation for every day of the year using our values, creeds, oaths and culture.

For military kids check out my free and printable Affirmations for Military Kids which includes colorable mental health affirmations, personal reflections, military mazes, and word searches I created for kids with deployed parents.

Thank you for your service. God bless.

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