Traveling is no longer a luxury exclusive to the affluent. With the advent of accessible airlines and accommodations and even Michelin-starred restaurants, traveling has been made achievable for everybody.
So why going gaga over travel? Because travel not only satisfies the physical hunger for adventure, it also has scores of benefits on the emotional and mental well-being of a person.
If work bogs you down or family life is getting complicated, hopping on a plane to explore a new destination can offer a welcome respite.
Below is a list of proven benefits that travelling can do to one’s physical, emotional, and mental health.
- Traveling lowers your stress level.
We all agree that we travel to destress. Traveling can uproot you from your daily routine and into a new environment and experiences, and this can give your mind the much-needed recharge.
This boost to mental health already starts from the planning stage. There is an excitement in looking forward to the activities lined up and the new experiences that await.
Studies made by the Global Commission on Aging in cooperation with the US Travel Association shows that people who travel two or more times a year are less likely to suffer from a heart attack.
Not only does travel reduce the stress, but it relaxes the mind. Meeting new people and adapting to a new culture makes one more globally conscious.
- Traveling makes you more understanding of other cultures.
Traveling opens our eyes and mind to a whole different world. What you may have read on books and social media are so different as to when you experience it yourself. It is called emotional quotient.
Sampling a local cuisine makes you appreciate their flavors, learn about the ingredients, and the way it is cooked. Seeing amazing world monuments with your own eyes or just observing the way of life in a foreign country can be so enriching. These experiences will not only expand your mind, but they will also help you put your life into perspective. All these are snippets of knowledge that you absorb while travelling that no amount of books can teach.
- Traveling increases your physical activities.
Couch potatoes get opportunities to do more physical activities when traveling. Whether it is swimming in the sea or the pool, climbing up the stairs of an old temple or hiking up a mountain for a scenic view, these are all great occasions to escalate your heart rate.
Touring Europe requires a lot of walking. Visiting any Disneyland can increase your daily steps to at least 20,000 without you noticing it. Activities like swimming, paddleboarding, or kayaking use up calories to boost physical fitness.
Exercise releases your body’s endorphins, otherwise known as your “feel-good hormones.” It is another benefit to one’s mental health.
- Traveling prepares you to face challenges in life.
Ask anyone who has had encounters of cancelled flights, lost luggage, or money/passport stolen during travel, and they will tell you the experience left them all the wiser.
Treading on foreign land, having a language barrier, or facing difficulty in an unfamiliar environment can all bring anxiety into our lives. But it teaches resilience on how to adapt to situations outside your comfort zone.
Being able to navigate from Point A to B in a city that doesn’t speak your language gives you a sense of overwhelming achievement. So next time you have to make a big presentation in front of a group will no longer be as intimidating as it may seem.
- Traveling improves our quality of sleep.
When you experience work-related stress, this affects your quality of sleep. When you mix these two harmful elements, they lead to many health issues, including hypertension, heart disease, or depression.
Traveling can solve these problems. When traveling, there are no rules. You plan your schedule to include the afternoon nap. Adults who sleep for seven hours or more have better cognitive abilities and less irritability.
Aside from the benefits to mental health mentioned above, there is still so much more to gain from travelling. After coming back from vacation, you realize that your productivity increases, and you have better problem-solving skills. Plus, your social media accounts will be brimming with photos and videos from all your crazy adventures.
Taking care of your mental health should always be a top priority, and if work or relationship stress causes you to declare, ‘I need a holiday,” then start planning your next escapade!
Let me know in the comments section below where your next destination will be.
Willy Hobal / www.willyhobal.com