In all my travels, whether naturally or compulsively, I emerge as a different person. And that has made me realise that seeking is a continuous process, through all aspects of life.

But then there are those moments when I have felt that I could no longer go on. When answers come hard and even worse, truth is not beautiful.

No wonder, the mountains have become a steady solace and a necessary escape. When I feel I can no longer go on, I look outside.

Outdoors have therapeutic abilities. The shaded blues of the skies, the distracting whites of the snow-capped peaks, the rich green of the flora and the humbling brown of the earth—have all worked their magic on me time and again. My paradise constitutes of all these colours.

A pool with a view. Photo courtesy: ALTA-DENISE MACEDO ARQUITETOS ASSOCIADOS/homify
A pool with a view. Photo courtesy: DENISE MACEDO ARQUITETOS ASSOCIADOS/homify

And so while travelling, I try and pick my accommodation accordingly; one which enables me to re-energise and maintain an optimistic demeanour. As most of you know, outdoor swimming pools are one of my favourite features anywhere in the world.

While travelling in Singapore, I was amazed by the availability of public pools there. Every neighbourhood has a swimming complex which houses a variety of pools like the wading pool, teaching pool and the competition pool. These are well-equipped with changing rooms and lockers. Some complexes like Jurong West Swimming Complex even have slides! I was a regular visitor at the Delta Swimming Complex during my stay in the country. And all I paid was S$1 for a full day of swim on any of the weekdays!

Let me be honest—swimming isn’t soul-searching for me. But it does work like therapy after the strenuous laps I take around the pool.

The therapeutic green spaces. Photo courtesy: KIRCHNER GARTEN + TEICH GMBH/homify
The therapeutic green spaces. Photo courtesy: KIRCHNER GARTEN + TEICH GMBH/homify

However, looking out (from the window or from my convoluted ideologies) nourish my thought-process. On a dull morning in Coorg, I felt apprehensively about stepping out (yes, I have those moments in my solo sojourns) and wanted to waste an entire day indoors. I stared at the grey clouds over the lush green garden in front of me and thought to myself, ‘The weather always looks bad from the window.’ Dashing out in the next few minutes, I enjoyed a beautiful Monsoon walk to the hilltop. That is what a good outdoor garden can do.

As I once scribbled in my journal, ‘Open your arms and mind to nature, and you will find what you seek.’

How often do you look for therapy amidst nature?

Note: This post has been done in collaboration with Homify. 

Amrita Das

I have been a travel and culture independent journalist. My bylines have appeared in many publications worldwide including National Geographic Traveller India, Lonely Planet Magazine India, The Indian Express and World Travel Magazine. A fellow of Media Ambassadors India-Germany 2019 program by Robert Bosch Stiftung and Centre for Media Competence, University of Tübingen. Currently, I am the photo editor for RoundGlass Sustain, a wildlife and conservation e-publication. I live in India.

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17 thoughts on “The Outdoor Therapy”

  1. I admire the stillness of mind and peace with which you absorb the surroundings, and your knack of translating the same into words. An enchanting read.

  2. I look towards nature all the time. That’s why I prefer to spend most of the time outside Delhi. I am doing swimming these days. And definitely, it takes a lot of load off my mind and body.

  3. Very well written. Made me look out of the window almost immediately. I do relate to the Singapore part. :P

    1. I feel we all need our time to rediscover and reconnect. That’s when we’re most responsive, even to nature :)

  4. nothing can beat the fresh air of hill station or scenic views and long walk in woods. These are natural stress busters. Haven’t we heard that people would travel to scenic places or hill station to recharge themselves? some would choose to stay in such places for days and months! Many famous writers have chosen to write their books in such locations! Our own Ruskin Bond loves the landour part of Mussoorie, which is not so commercial and still has woods!
    I’m sure those who have discovered the magic of outdoor would love to go back…again & again!

    1. Oh, definitely! I do it every day. And loved the Ruskin Bond’s reference. We all love him, don’t we?

  5. What’s better than being outside… Outside we are finally listening, observing and opening ourselves to experience what life brings into our path. Everything is about serendipity. Once of the best travel related therapy ever to me !

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