Travelling is a great way to learn about new cultures, foods and people. It might not magically cure you of the negative feelings in your life, but it is a great experience and can help you take a break and gain some perspective. As a sufferer of #Depression, I have a few tips that may help you look on the brighter side of travelling and that will also, hopefully, give you the encouragement to travel if you haven’t before!

Plan ahead

A drastic change – even a positive one – taking place without any planning can be extremely daunting, so do as much research as you can before you go. Check the FCO website for any travel updates, research where the nearest pharmacy or doctor is, locate the beaches, pack your EHIC card and buy some travel insurance.

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Having an FCO travellers’ checklist to hand is a great way to help you before you set off.

Take your closest friend or family member – or both!

Travelling solo can be an amazing venture; you can learn a lot about yourself and have a completely different experience. However, if that’s just too big at this stage in your life then it’s fine to save that trip for another time. Having a close friend with you when travelling means you have someone to support you, as well as sharing your excitement and experience. They’ll probably even make things more exciting for you!

Build confidence

Being away from home is a great time to try out new things and venture outside of your comfort zone. You never know, that confidence you build abroad might even stay once you return home. That’s not to say that you should aim to come back from a trip as a completely different person; learn to love yourself for who you are and take steps to build a better version of you.

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Don’t just go to the tourist parts

I have been to Turkey twice so far. The first time I went to Bodrum, which was a great holiday but obviously a tourist spot; restaurants served 'English Breakfasts' and all the music in the bazaars were American pop songs.

The second time I did a road trip around all of Turkey, which was amazing. However, one thing hit me hard: I saw two boys aged between 5-8 years old, begging for money on the metro. The younger boy had a bandage over his eye and looked so, so tired. His older brother was dragging him along the carriage, scared of losing him.

This broke my heart, but also it began to fix me. I realised that I may have some negatives in my life that #Stress me out, but I am not in the position of those children. These kids are struggling to stay alive.

Seeing tragedies sometimes hits your own reality hard, but gives your mental health a positive effect.

Take photos and videos: Be trigger happy on the camera!

Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a professional photographer or have a top end DSLR to do this.

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Whatever pictures and videos you take are just for you, to remember the amazing time you had, how you grew as a person and how that country was a part of it. Looking at your memories will pick you up on a bad day and will get you planning your next holiday. And you never know, one day you will be that solo traveller!

You can follow the FCO on Facebook and Twitter @FCOtravel and on Instagram under @ukforeignoffice for further information and travel safety advice. #FCOTravelAware