Every day many people travel. Let it be for business, for studies, for leisure… The list is endless. For them travel is their living (business), their future (studies) or their relaxation (leisure), but do you know any other reason people need to travel abroad? There are many answers, but what I am looking for is medical tourism. Now, some of you may wonder what is that and others may think how does medicine relate to tourism. So, let’s start from the beginning.
The literal part
The different types of tourism categorise the reasons/ways/places that people travel. For example, international tourism and domestic tourism. The first describes people that travel to another country and the second describes people that travel to another city/region of their country. In the same way, medical tourism characterises people that travel to another country for medical reasons. Medical Tourism Association gives a nice definition of what exactly is medical tourism.
“Medical Tourism is where people who live in one country travel to another country to receive medical, dental and surgical care while at the same time receiving equal to or greater care than they would have in their own country, and are travelling for medical care because of affordability, better access to care or a higher level of quality of care.”
So, if you have an illness or you need emergency health care that your country is unable to provide then travelling is the only choice and can even save your life. In this case, literary travel is the best (or more accurately the only) remedy.
The blending part
However, this kind of tourism doesn’t apply only for emergencies. Many countries advertise their medical expertise and invite people for cosmetic surgeries, physical treatments, and relaxing therapies. Thus, people experience both the medical benefits of their trip but also enjoy the beauty of the place they are. In my opinion, this is another aspect where travel can act literary and even metaphorically as a remedy.
The metaphoric part
But, let’s focus a bit on the metaphoric aspect of the term. Travelling is known to have a lot of benefits, and indeed these benefits are the driving force for many people to keep travelling. Below I name a few:
- Broaden your horizons
- Improve your communication skills in a foreign language
- Fight your fears, for example:
- Fear of heights by travelling by plane, going to admire the view of a city from a tall building, climbing a mountain, doing bungee jumping, etc.
- Xenophobia by visiting countries with a different culture than yours, getting a taste of their way of life, communicating with them, trying the local cuisine, etc.
- Relax or exercise your body (depending on the type of your trip)
- Learn to be more organised and manage your time, so you don’t miss any important events, such as flights
- Strengthen ties with the people you are travelling with (if any)
- Understand your self better (if travelling solo)
- Gain confidence by getting out of your comfort zone
- Meet new people by interacting with locals or with other members of your group if you are on an organised tour!
- Collect precious memories (and many photos ;))
So, keep travelling!
P.S. Feel free to complete the above list! Put your thoughts/suggestions/ideas in the comments section below.