Do you sometimes feel that you are stuck in your usual everyday routine as if you rotate around a hamster ball without end? Even if you’re delighted about your present career and home life, you might still feel imprisoned with the mundane chores and rituals. And then you start to ignore things, argue with your family and significant others about irrelevant issues, forget about the bigger picture, and not acknowledge the wonders of life.
Often, this causes us to feel worried and depressed. Going on a vacation, whether a road trip for just a few hours or a long 10-hour flight to a different country, can definitely help improve our mental health, our professional lives, and of course, our personal lives. Studies have found that traveling offers several mental health benefits. Right now, I am in Scotland having a break and trying to disconnect from my hectic life in America to be able to find a renewed purpose.
Some of the most important ways by which traveling positively impacts our mental health are listed below.
It Expands Our Perspective. Visiting a new city, local tourist spot, or another country, drives us to get out of our comfort zone. You might experience something new or get to taste a new kind of food for the first time. All that you see is fresh, which opens up a part of you that you haven’t explored yet. You will realize that you live your dream, witnessing structures, and destinations that you only imagined when you were young. You might encounter a not-so-popular spot that leads you to the most amazing sights. You discover new cultures, new customs, new languages, and then you embrace everything with open arms.
It Increases Our Knowledge Of The World. Going places pushes us to navigate, learn, and communicate with other people. Whether you need to ask someone for directions in a new country or try to learn how to use the trains and buses, you will definitely increase your knowledge of the world by traveling. You learn to converse with strangers and find the appropriate style to communicate with people from different cultures. For instance, if you’re in Japan and you can’t read Japanese signs and posters, you’ll be forced to ask a fellow passenger sitting next to you in a bus terminal on how to get to the downtown or your hotel. Education through travel is truly amazing.
It Builds Relationships. Talking to family and friends about your travel experiences can somehow strengthen your bonds with them. You may be at the beach having a romantic moment, or you might have missed your connecting flight and found an awesome little city, or you are wandering around somewhere entirely different from your hometown, making interesting conversations about your happy mishaps or bizarre encounters can certainly strengthen your connection with your travel buddy. Traveling does not only teach you about yourself, but it also enables you to learn more about your companion. Traveling creates wonderful relationships.
It Helps Relieve Stress. Traveling encourages us to change our mindsets and forget about our heavy workloads and responsibilities back home. Instead, we can enjoy the moment – and the opportunity to relax and be rejuvenated. When you try to fulfill your list of activities for the day, you tend to be more energized because you are doing something new and exciting. For one, I realized that when I am back from a short or long trip, I am less angry and more forgiving, a better friend and mother, and I feel whole again. After I came back from Paris, my boss once told me, “Wow, you look like you’ve stepped out from Happy Country!” Traveling just takes away the stress and anxiety that have been piling up for months and even years.
It Brings You Happiness. The impact of travel is not only felt during the trip or even after, but the eagerness of an upcoming journey can certainly lift your spirits. Besides, do we not always look forward to our next family or friends’ vacation? We are often at our happiest when we plan a trip. A study also found that most people feel more physically and mentally well, including how they feel and respond to life’s everyday challenges. It also revealed that we feel more inspired and ecstatic when we expect to travel compared to how we feel when we are buying a new house or car. My family and I save up a lot for travel because we benefit from it, mental and emotional wellness being among these benefits.
It Promotes Creativity. Being engrossed in a new place with new sounds and sights can also enhance one’s creativity, as creativity is directly linked to our brain’s capacity to restructure itself through its neural connections. This implies that our brains are vulnerable to change and are influenced by new surroundings and experiences. By altering our surroundings, we can actually create new neural connections that, in turn, improve our creativity. This is possibly why I sometimes find myself able to make creative things when traveling to a new country.