Mental health can be a journey. Journeying while struggling with mental health challenges, however, can be almost impossible.
In 2015 I traveled to Puno, Peru, to work on a research project as a part of my graduate degree in international public health. Before enrolling in the degree program, I had spent the better part of the previous two years traveling and living abroad in some capacity and was excited to have the opportunity to travel as a part of my career.
As my departure date to Peru creeped closer, I started seeing a therapist at the university health center to talk about concerns I had about traveling. I had experienced acute depression that year for the first time and was nervous it would creep back in while I was in a low-resource setting abroad. My in-person therapist told me many students feel this way before completing fieldwork abroad and I would be fine to push through.
I didn’t want my fears around my mental health to stop me from traveling. I wanted to be “strong.” So off I flew to Puno. Continue reading Traveling with Depression: How I Should Have Prepared