Do you think that travel is merely an indulgence?
If you think that taking a vacation is too expensive and that traveling is merely an indulgence, you may change your mind when you find out that traveling is actually good for your health! We experience physical, mental, and emotional benefits when we travel; so if you are feeling stressed out and fatigued, or just plain tired and depressed, go ahead and pack your bags to give yourself a new perspective.
Travel broadens our horizons and boosts our creativity!
How does vacationing increase our mental health? By challenging our minds, our brain, like any other muscle, needs to get a regular “work out.” Challenging our brain with exposure to new cultures broadens our horizons and boosts our creativity! Presenting ourselves with new experiences increases mental health and has positive effects on aging. We may visit a museum or historical site that challenges us to remember some interesting facts or dates. Putting ourselves in a different environment, eating an exotic dish, experiencing a foreign culture, or learning a new language boosts our brain power.
The emotional benefits of travel are long lasting!
Travel has lasting benefits to our emotional health that we experience before the trip itself even begins! Think about the joy you feel when you begin to dream about where you want to go and the growing anticipation as plans begin to fall into place. The experiences we have on holiday relax and rejuvenate us while we are having them, but also long after we return home. Some of my most cherished memories are from vacations. For example, my trip to Thailand was the realization of a lifelong dream that I will never forget. Some may fantasize of an African safari or scaling Mount Everest while others ponder trips like trekking to Mecca or attending Mass in St. Peter’s Square. Certain vacations may satisfy a more spiritual journey while others reap the emotional benefits of physical endurance.
There are physical benefits to travel!
The most obvious health benefit of traveling is physical. We break out of our daily routines to explore city streets or commune with Mother Nature on a hike through the woods. Adventure seekers may go kite surfing, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, or exploring ancient ruins. We simply move more. If you have ever had to sprint through an airport to catch a flight, you know this to be true!
Certain destinations are known for their natural wellness benefits. The mud baths in Hell’s Gate, New Zealand or the Chena Hot Springs in Alaska are sought out for their healing properties. Each person’s reason for traveling is unique whether it is a humanitarian venture to an impoverished area or the solitude and renewal provided on a yoga retreat.
As you can see, travel is much more than an indulgence, it is great for your mental, emotional, and physical health! Regardless of what type of trip you take, it will provide you with a myriad of benefits that begin with shaking up your day-to-day grind.
I hope this has inspired you to grab your suitcase and hit the road! I, for one, plan to do a little more traveling in 2018! Who knows? Maybe our paths will cross out there on our “healthful” journeys!