Travelling is always an amazing experience. Whether you’re embarking on a multi-country trip of a lifetime or you have planned a quick weekend away in your home state, every trip is memorable and special in it’s own way. We create wonderful memories with our loved ones, try new foods, experience new cultures, and often gain the courage to try extreme activities (most people save their skydiving or bungee jumping experiences for when they are on holidays). But did you know, that travelling can also have HUGE benefits for your health? I’m serious! Even a trip as short as three days can significantly benefit your health and wellbeing.
So find your frequent flyer points and get booking because travelling can…
… relieve stress
These days everyone’s life is so busy, there are a hundred things going on all the time and sometimes it can feel like everything gets a little bit repetitive and overwhelming. Travel is the perfect way to escape all the stresses and commitments of everyday life, offering you an abundance of new people, sights and experiences. Immersing yourself in new experiences, seeing new cities and taking part in new activities lets you forget the mundane issues of day to day life back home, giving your mind some time to reset and let go of some of the stress you have been holding. Also, sometimes just being away from the places and activities that cause your general stress can make a massive difference. Trips for as little as three days have proven to leave travellers feeling less anxious, more rested and in a better mood, which linger for a few weeks after the trip has ended.
… strengthen your relationships
Sharing travel experiences with others can make your relationships grow stronger, which has a continued effect on your own mental health, wellbeing and self-esteem. Sharing these memories and experiences with your significant other, family members or close friends has a long term effect on your relationships, resulting in increased closeness and the perception of shared interests and goals. The added experience of planning the trip and making compromises with one another, will ultimately bond you together and grow a greater respect and understanding for each other.
… enhance your creativity
Our brains are highly sensitive to change, and are influenced by new experiences, senses and environments. Recent studies suggest that the key to achieving a great creativity boost is to fully immerse yourself in your new location and engage with the local culture. This could include talking to locals, trying new dishes, experiencing new religious, partaking in cultural rituals or festivals or even just turning off your social media for a day, walking around and taking everything in. These experiences encourage you to open your mind and can help you embrace a new way of living, in turn influencing your outlook on life and the world.
… boost happiness and satisfaction
Although it seems obvious that most people tend to be happier when they are on holidays when they don’t have to worry about work for example, recent studies have also shown that people also experience a direct increase in happiness just from planning a trip. The benefits of travelling begin long before you depart for the trip, with just the anticipation of your upcoming trip boosting your mood. It’s been found that people are happiest when they have an upcoming holiday planned, also feeling more positive about their health, economic situation and general quality of life.
… give you a sense of achievement
No matter how great the health benefits are we can all agree on one thing – travel can be expensive. Whether you’re saving for a short getaway or your trip of a lifetime, sacrifices often need to be made to ensure that you can save enough money both for your trip, and also to take care of things while you are abroad (such as mortgage, recurring bills and loan payments). There’s no doubt about it, hitting your goals and reaching your savings target can give you a great sense of achievement and boost your self-esteem. It’s something to be proud of and getting on top of your savings before your trip will allow you to have a stress-free holiday and feel all of the health benefits travelling has to offer.
… get you moving
Travelling gets you moving. There’s no doubt about it. When you’re visiting a new country or city you are always doing something. No one goes on holidays to sit on the couch and watch TV (I think?!). When I’m visiting a new city I find myself walking around for hours on end, experiencing everything the city has to offer, and getting around on foot much more than I would during the day at my desk job at home. We often hit over 15k steps a day when we’re travelling, improving your physical fitness and benefiting from everything regular physical activity has to offer (you know, lower blood pressure, better heart health, improving mental health, all that stuff).
… keep your brain on it’s toes
Your brain goes into overdrive when you travel, with all the new experiences, environments and senses that it’s being exposed to. Travelling promotes brain health and keeps the mind sharp, as you are challenged and building understanding, resilience and problem solving skills each day. This increase in cognitive stimulation has also been shown to improve both memory and concentration and in tern can delay the onset of degenerative diseases.
… change your perspective
Travel has the amazing ability to change everything. It can broaden your perspective, both of the world and yourself. You will often find yourself in situations that you wouldn’t be in otherwise and faced with the reality of living outside your comfort zone, giving you the opportunity to transform how you see things. Psychologists have stated that people often have mini epiphanies while they are travelling, as they view their problems from a more detached view. Additionally, experiencing other cultures and watching first hand how other people live can also broaden your views and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of your own circumstances.
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