Travelling for Therapy

By Danielle Pope

Uluru Kata Tjuta national park, Northern Territory, Australia (Intrepid)
Uluru Kata Tjuta national park, Northern Territory, Australia (Intrepid)
Getting away is not just about having a bit of R and R, it’s also about seeking places in the outer world that can push us towards where we need to go within.

Why do we travel? Outside of the immediate physical pleasure, there is often an emotional and psychological reason that fills us with wanderlust. We might be searching for how to be calmer or how to find a way to rethink our goals. We might long for a greater sense of confidence or an escape from debilitating feelings of envy. Ideally, where we travel should help us with our attempts at personal growth.

Speaking at The School of Life Australia, author and philosopher Alain de Botton says travel is a sort of therapy, “The point of travel is to go to places that can help us with our inner evolution; the outer journey should assist us with the inner one.” De Botton says that every physical location around the world contains qualities that can support some kind of beneficial change inside a person. Under this view, physical locations are more than just a place to enjoy externally, but are also a place where we can find internal locations of perspective, joy, calm and resilience.

De Botton says we should learn to become more “conscious travellers”, and relearn how to be ambitious about travel, seeing it as a way to help us be better versions of ourselves.

It is with this philosophy in mind that Intrepid Travel has partnered with The School of Life Australia to offer a new series of unique tours, named The Art of Travel. These tours will explore the notion of travelling for pleasure and how travel, when approached the right way, can play a critical role in helping us grow into better versions of ourselves.

The first tour: The Red Centre – On Humility and Perspective – takes travellers to Central Australia, to explore the value of humility and perspective by confronting the power of the Australian desert. This tour has been designed to help participants step back and think differently about the bigger picture, in conversation with other curious and open-minded people.

Participants will visit Alice Springs, the East MacDonnell Ranges, Kings Canyon and Uluru, and explore a variety of themes throughout the journey, including: sociability, relating to others, culture and beauty, career perspective, personal confidence, meaning and joy.

Christian Stenta, faculty member at The School of Life and tour leader for The Red Centre says, “The Art of Travel provides a unique opportunity to tune out from the day-today distractions we face at home and in the office, and creates a space for us to explore the essentials of life in nature’s classroom.”

The Red Centre – On Humility and Perspective will take place in Central Australia from 10-15 September, with tickets on sale now at


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