Well friends, if you’re anything like me, you spend a lot of time dreaming about your next vacation!
As we all know, since the start of 2020, both domestic and international travel has pretty much ground to a halt. As the situation hopefully begins to ease, and our thoughts turn to our next trip away, now feels like an ideal time for us to reflect on the benefits of traveling to gather some inspiration for our next trip.
Traveling Makes You Happier
Whether it’s a short break in a new city or a long-planned adventure in a new country or continent, a change to our daily routine is always good for the soul! The ongoing responsibilities of work and family are part of everyday life, but doing the same thing day in and day out feels uninspiring and makes life dull after a while. Numerous studies have shown that the monotony of everyday life can negatively impact our mental health and lead to burnout. This has been especially true during the last few years of the pandemic where everyone was stuck inside for months at a time.
Traveling transforms our routines and breaks us out of the monotony of life. It presents us with new experiences, opportunities, and destinations. Even the anticipation of future travel can put a smile on your face. Just think of that rush of excitement you get when you book a trip to a new destination!
Traveling Can Reduce Stress
Visiting a new country and meeting people for the first time gives us that much-needed break from work and our daily routine. It helps us recharge our batteries, which means that we return to our daily lives refreshed and happier. Research shows that taking a vacation, for even as little as four days, effectively reduces stress levels caused by work – and these benefits last long after our holiday ends. So travel is a great booster for our longer-term mental health.
Another way that traveling can reduce stress is by helping us appreciate the things we have at home. We usually take them for granted, so being forced to live without certain material items while on a trip can remind us just how good we have it when we return home. Gratitude is a vital ingredient to happiness, so anything that increases our gratitude will benefit our life.
Of course, every successful trip needs a degree of forward planning so if taking a road trip is on your to-do list, check out my road trip checklist for a well-planned vacation with maximum fun and minimum stress.
Traveling Gives Us New Experiences
Each time you jet off around the world, arrive in a new city or visit a foreign country for the first time, you step out of your comfort zone. And while that can be daunting, the rewards are immense! You meet new people, make new friends, and immerse yourself in different cultures. You get to learn about the destination, its history, food, and traditions. New experiences make life more interesting. And don’t forget, when you make that successful leap out of your comfort zone it does wonders for your self-confidence and helps you learn more about yourself and what you’re capable of.
Traveling is Good for your Physical and Mental Health
Much of our day-to-day lives are sedentary. For many of us, an average day at home entails hours in front of a TV screen or computer. Many of us also work in desk-bound roles that involve little to no physical movement.
We all know about the health benefits that come from exercise, right? Well, when you travel you are far more physically active than in your normal day-to-day life. You might be walking around an art gallery or exploring a historic sight, swimming in a pool, or hiking up a hill for an awesome view. Even wheeling your suitcase from one end of the airport to the other involves exertion. An increase in your regular activity can benefit your physical health in myriad positive ways! It can lead to better weight control, improved fitness and bone density, and lower your risk of medical conditions such as diabetes, stroke, and heart attacks.
When you travel around the world you encounter more antibodies, which in turn helps to strengthen your immune system. And if you’re vacationing in a sunny climate, that extra dose of vitamin D from the sun can aid weight loss and limit your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease and multiple sclerosis. It can also aid in weight loss and help fight depression. So the art of travel is great for both our physical and mental health!
Traveling Educates Us
When we travel, we learn. We learn about the world and its geography, about wildlife, about history, about different cultures. Whether it’s learning a new language for the first time, sharing travel tips and information with fellow travelers, or navigating our way around a new city, or a new country, our travel adventures teach us more about this beautiful world we live in.
We gain a close-up insight into fascinating new cultures. This different perspective on other people and their existence is so important, as it makes us more tolerant and gives us a better understanding of how people live.
Travel is Good for the Mind
Travel is beneficial to our mental well-being. Recent studies show an enjoyable, stimulating, unfamiliar environment actually encourages our brain cells to develop. So when you’re on vacation, don’t be afraid to embrace new experiences. That could be anything from tasting exotic food to trying an activity for the first time like a surfing lesson in Costa Rica or line dancing in Austin, Texas!
Traveling Makes Us More Interesting!
When we travel to new places and speak a new language or encounter people from different backgrounds, we accrue awesome experiences and even better stories. And it’s a two-way street – when we enter an unfamiliar community, we have the opportunity to bring and share our life stories, ideas, and culture. And of course, we can share our newfound adventures with loved ones on social media, and when we get back home! So our friends and family also benefit from our travel experiences.
Travel Enhances Creativity
One benefit to traveling that I think is often overlooked is how it can enhance creativity.
When you travel, your mind is more engaged and alert than normal. This allows new ideas to form in ways they normally would not have otherwise. Taking a vacation from the daily grind of life may be just what you need to stoke your creative fire.
Another way that traveling enhances creativity is by opening up your mind to possibilities.
When you travel, you often go into situations unprepared. This turns many of the problems you encounter into stimulating challenges that force you to think outside the box in order to solve them.
Travel Significantly Lowers Your Risk of Depression.
One study found that taking time off from work to travel lowered the risk of depression among workers and increased overall life satisfaction. In particular, men who took two weeks or more off were least likely to fall prey to depression. This may sound surprising at first, but there’s a good reason why it works this way. One reason that taking a vacation can decrease your chances of depression is that it gives you time to relax and recharge.
When you’re on vacation, your mind isn’t focused on the negative things in life that might be stressing you out; instead, your mind is free to wander and explore, which lets you see life from a refreshing new perspective. We often get so wrapped up in our negative thoughts that we don’t realize how much better life can be if we let go of the past, forgive ourselves for our mistakes, and look forward to whatever is waiting for us around the next bend.
People who never take time out of their busy lives for themselves might find it difficult to truly enjoy all that life has to offer.
Traveling is the Spice of Life
There are so many benefits to traveling, and many of them cannot be put into words. Their experiences have to be lived to truly understand their significance. If you want to grow as a person, experience more happiness, become more interesting, and feed your soul, start planning your trip today. Don’t know where to start? Check out my blog on the top 10 places to visit in the world for some inspo!