When was the last time you felt inspired? felt a sigh of wanderlust as you observed the world around you or had an awe-inspiring experience?
Traveling has always brought about this feeling for me, as I experience new things and places. I often find myself in awe of the world around me and find new reasons to dive deeper into what life has to offer.
In a previous post, “What does wellness mean to you?, I explain how overall life satisfaction is influenced by the evaluations of various aspects of your life, one of them being travel and leisure.
Travel doesn’t have to be narrowed or limited either, a simple and relaxing trip to somewhere new in your own state can be the perfect little getaway.
The concept of travel goes beyond the scope of luxury and expense. It is an important part of your wellness that fulfills an innate desire to experience and explore.
Travel is actually great for your wellness and research agrees.
How does traveling benefit you?
- Allows you to experience life more
- Helps you to get more active
- Deepens relationships
- Expands your mind & inspires you
- Helps you realize aspects of life that you take for granted
- Relieves stress and promotes happiness
- Allows you to be more present by giving you a break from your usual responsibilities
Travel allows you to experience life more
Traveling gives you the opportunity to see new places and experience new ways of life.
What you choose to take out of your experiences is up to you, but it’s always great to see what you can learn from them and how you apply those lessons to your own life.
Whether it’s trying new foods, trying out new things, learning a language, stepping out of your comfort zone, or developing new passions.
Your newfound skills will enhance the rest of your life!
Travel helps you get more active
When you travel to other places, excursions often get you more active than you realize. Whether it’s hiking, swimming, kayaking, or walking all day through the city.
It might surprise you how unknowingly active you are in the day-to-day of your trip. Getting active has great mental and physical health benefits. This is also a great way to add a little excitement to your trip.
Travel deepens relationships
Traveling is a great way to see new sights and even meet new people, but when you travel with friends or loved ones you’ll notice that traveling together can be a great way to deepen your relationship.
One of the most powerful ways to foster relationships is by sharing meaningful experiences with each other.
Travel expands world view & inspires you
Engaging in new experiences enables you to adapt and broaden your perception. Adaptation often causes your brain to create new neural pathways, essentially restructuring or rewiring itself. This ability is known as neuroplasticity, and enhances cognitive flexibility, enhances creativity, and opens your mind to being easily inspired.
Visiting new places helps to expand your worldview by giving you the opportunity to immerse yourself in new cultures, cuisine, nature, and ways of life.
Travel helps you realize aspects of life that you take for granted
As you experience other people in their daily lives, you’ll see how they learn, live, honor each other, and commune with friends, family, and others.
This may influence or question your beliefs and ideas, causing you to open yourself up to new perspectives. With new perspectives come new ideas on what you value and how you want to live life.
Travel relieves stress and promotes happiness
Research conducted by Cornell University found that happiness is greater when going on vacation and acquiring new experiences than acquiring material objects.
“We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them.” Says Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University, studying the question of money and happiness for over two decades. This study also found that people experienced an increase in happiness just from planning a trip.
While the satisfaction and desire for material objects fade, you’ll find that great memories and bonding experiences are forever.
Another study concluded that just four days of travel can improve stress and well-being for the next 45 days.
Travel allows you to be more present by giving you a break from your usual responsibilities
When we travel we are able to detach from our day-to-day responsibilities.
Suddenly deadlines and the idea of work or school can become lost in your new experience of enjoying your vacation.
This allows you to be more present by giving you the space to relax, breathe and enjoy the world around you in your present moment.
It’s not to say just because you travel you are not a responsible person, it’s just that this seems to be one of the few times we subconsciously put reservations, worries, and deadlines on the back burner.
Now you know why travel is good for you, but dare I say building life experiences is important to your wellness.
If you take a moment to think of some places you’d consider for a dream vacation, you probably want to go there because it looks beautiful and intriguing, seems like more fun than where you spend your day-to-day, and a chance to gain more experience. It will also be the much-desired break from work or your usual day-to-day life.
People who live in these places most likely have somewhere else in mind as their dream vacation, and for the same reason. Traveling is not so much about the destination itself but the experience it potentially could provide. Traveling allows us the space and freedom we need to take a true break from the demands of your day-to-day life and also gives you a chance to explore around you.
This doesn’t mean every trip you take has to be very far or even very expensive. Despite the connotations and Ideas placed on what “travel” is, traveling is an avenue with many benefits that leads to a more fulfilling life. It’s a way to build meaningful and diverse life experiences.
You might be surprised at all the hidden gems you can find In your own backyard ( so to speak).
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Blank, C., Gatterer, K., Leichtfried, V., Pollhammer, D., Mair-Raggautz, M., Duschek, S., Humpeler, E., & Schobersberger, W. (2018). Short Vacation Improves Stress-Level and Well-Being in German-Speaking Middle-Managers—A Randomized Controlled Trial. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health , 15 (1), 130. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15010130
Chen, C.-C., & Petrick, J. F. (2013). Health and Wellness Benefits of Travel Experiences: A Literature Review. Journal of Travel Research, 52(6), 709–719.
Etzion, D. (2003). Annual vacation: Duration of relief from job stressors and burnout. Anxiety, Stress, and Coping, 16(2), 213-226.DOI: 10.1080/10615806.2003.10382974
Kumar, A., Killingsworth, M. A., & Gilovich, T. (2014). Waiting for Merlot: Anticipatory Consumption of Experiential and Material Purchases. Psychological Science, 25(10), 1924–1931. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797614546556
Stone, M. J., & Petrick, J. F. (2013). The Educational Benefits of Travel Experiences: A Literature Review. Journal of Travel Research, 52(6), 731–744. https://doi.org/10.1177/0047287513500588
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