Why is travelling good for your health?
Life is too short to stay in one place all your life.
Life is too short to not explore planet Earth.
Life is too short to not travel.
Life is too short to not live life to the fullest.
So what you are supposed to do is go out there and live.
Live. Explore. Travel.
Don’t give up.
Don’t give in.
Life is too short. Go out there.
Why is travelling so important for us humans?
That is because, we, the human race seek adventure. We are so tired of living in the cities- living amongst the cars, the factories, the crowd. Running the rat race not knowing where to go. We deserve a break from time to time to get back to our roots, to get back to nature and stars. That is why one must travel – fully, wholly and entirely.
But there is more to travelling then what is shown by travelling companies. Travelling is good for our mental health. It’s often said that a long stretch on road can teach you more about yourself than a hundred years in quiet. There is a significant amount of scientific research suggests that exploring a new place can do wonders for your mental and emotional health as well.
Following are 5 well-researched ways that explain to us how travelling is good for our mental health:
1. It's a great stress buster.
Well, you saw that coming right. Of course, why do we travel? Because we want a break from our stressful everyday routine. “The stress of work and daily demands can distract us from what we find to be actually meaningful and interesting,” says Dr. Tamara McClintock Greenberg, a San Francisco-based clinical psychologist and author of Psychodynamic Perspectives on Aging and Illness. Thus, taking a break from the daily hustle is essential for your mind to relax, recharge and rejuvenate.
Travelling makes a person happy and helps them take their mind of stress. It’s like a natural stress bursting mechanism because imagine it yourself “who would not be relaxed seeing beautiful natural skylines in fresh air?”
2. It helps you reinvent yourself.
Writer Patrick Rothfuss said, “A long stretch of road can teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet.” Experiential travelling, particularly to a foreign country, can help you re-evaluate and reinvent your life because when you are travelling you don’t know what difficulty you would face. Surpassing those difficulties enhance your experience about life.
Moreover, the valuable lessons that you learn along the way broaden your perspective, making you more aware and open to new things. “I love traveling to places with different cultures because it forces you to think about your own,” says Verdegaal.
3. It boosts happiness and satisfaction.
Apart from the obvious fact that you don’t have to go to work (and can legit eat pizza for breakfast), traveling gives you the opportunity to step away from the daily grind. The new events and experiences help rewire your brain, hence boosting your mood and self-confidence. “I think people, in general, are not meant to be tied down to just one place their entire lives. I especially feel “trapped” when I have to stay in the same place for too much time, without being able to really move about and explore,” says travel aficionado and co-founder of The Passport Memorandum, Marta Estevez. “My life feels most fulfilling when I’m outside, living through new experiences and learning,” adds the travel expert who has been to more than ten countries.
“Travel definitely makes me happy,” agrees Wilson. “Even the act of planning a trip gives me something to look forward to and brings me happiness,” says Wilson. Turns out, she’s not the only one who feels that way. According to a Cornell University study, the anticipation of a trip can increase your happiness substantially, even more than the anticipation of acquiring something tangible, like a new car.
We human beings often tend to cherish little moments and memories much more than our costly valuables and travelling is by far the best way to make memories.
4. It makes you mentally resilient.
Going and living somewhere where you feel excited and intimidated at the same time can help you toughen up mentally and emotionally. “When I was younger, I couldn’t see myself traveling the world on my own. But now, I travel by myself most of the time. And I love it! It’s never as scary or dangerous as you make it in your head,” says Verdegaal of Urban Pixxels.
Also, facing difficulties in an unfamiliar environment, among new people, forces you to learn and adapt to a life that’s out of your comfort zone. This makes you more flexible, patient and emotionally strong. It can also help you deal with larger issues in life with more grace and patience.
When travel blogger Marta Estevez injured her ankle during the famous Loi Krathong festival (Lantern festival) in Thailand, “the roads were partially closed off that night and the streets were filled with hundreds upon hundreds of people that made it incredibly difficult for us to move,” she explains. “I had to learn to accept the situation and adapt our travels accordingly, without breaking down. I’m not sure I would’ve had the same composure a few years ago in this situation.” Bottom line is, the more challenges you’re faced with, the better you’ll get at overcoming them, eventually becoming more resilient, mentally and emotionally.
5. It enhances creativity.
According to Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School, visiting a foreign place and immersing yourself in their local environment (for instance, attending a ‘snake boat’ race in southern India or feasting on crispy tarantulas in Cambodia), increases your cognitive flexibility. It also enhances “depth and integrativeness of thought,” consequently giving a boost to your creativity. Galinsky is the author of multiple studies that look into the connection between creativity and international travel. Although, it’s important to note that traveling stimulates creativity only when you engage with the local culture of that place. Merely visiting a new city or a country isn’t going to cut it.
Additionally, extended traveling also improves your productivity, problem-solving skills and can even increase your chances of getting promoted at work!
So this is why one must travel a lot.
So what are you waiting for?
Get set. Pack. Go.