There is an ongoing debate on whether the world became more accessible to everyone or, on the contrary, all these borders and passport checks made getting around way too complicated. Whatever the right answer is, some people prefer to stick with the familiar. They accumulate unused vacations and invest in their homes and families. While others see nothing but travel as their best investment, and no red tape can stand in their way. Turns out the latter have a good point there. Because vacationing is not only about having a good time and collecting memories, it’s about living a full life. Traveling nourishes our body and mind with its endless health benefits.
And, in my opinion, these are the most overriding reasons why it is important to treat yourself to a good vacation:
1. Travel shows you how to be mindful and present
Sometimes we are so dissatisfied with the reality of the present that we can’t help but long for that perfect tomorrow. Which probably doesn’t exist. The new and fresh emotional experience helps you realize that it’s in your hands to turn today into your hopeful future. Travel almost forces you to live in the present moment. After all, you can’t plan for everything that happens to you on the road.
For most of us, fun trips don’t happen every day and we cherish every bit of it diving into foreign experience, talking to locals, discovering new cultures, trying to speak in unfamiliar tongues, meeting new friends… This helps give up on the idea to plan ahead, let go of the minor things and start living in the ‘now’.
2. It deepens your connection with others
One of the most positive effects of traveling is lots and lots of chance encounters. If it weren’t for a change of scenery we wouldn't meet so many different, interesting or wonderfully weird people. When we are far away we have more motivation to take it all in and truly seize each day. No wonder tourists are called the vitamins of any city in any country. Because more often than not they are curious and eager to interact with others, to share their own and collect someone else’s stories.
When we find ourselves in a foreign land nothing is more powerful than human connection. It ultimately teaches us to be more open and genuine in our day-to-day lives.
3. You become a more creative person
Going away can help overcome writer’s block and give much-needed inspiration. Admiring the never-before-seen landscapes, big cities or small countrysides as well as having fresh experiences spark creativity like nothing else. This way we refresh our brain inviting it to make new pathways and get a new angle on the familiar. As a matter of a fact, such great minds and titans of art like Paul Gaugin, Ernest Hemingway, Mary Shelley, Vladimir Nabokov, Van Gogh, Frederick Chopin, and many-many others created their most renowned masterpieces away from home.
4. It replaces anti-stress therapy
Why they say that traveling is so good for your health, you might wonder. If anything, it seems to add more stress to our life: the fear of the unknown, the fear of flying, the inability to control everything.
In truth, travel teaches us to leave all those stressors behind and let go of fears. Often—especially if you are a solo traveler—it’s only you and your journey. Each failure teaches a valuable lesson, shows that instead of controlling everything we should learn to control only the ways we react to things. We start to comprehend that even when something doesn’t at all go as planned it’s only a small detour, not a disaster.
5. It makes you a better version of yourself
With the help of foreign experiences, we rediscover ourselves, recall our hidden dreams and desires and hopefully manage to release our inhibitions. The unexpected situations – when we have to act ‘here and now’ – effectively enhance our problem-solving skills, make us more confident and, hey, more alive. Once you step out of your comfort zone you’d be more than happy to get reacquainted with yourself.
6. It prolongs life expectancy
Travel helps us to live a full life. And it’s something we should long to embrace. Being exposed to different environments strengthens our immune system by mobilizing its antibodies. It’s been proven that people who regularly take pleasure trips have a lower risk of heart-related problems.
Going on a vacation significantly reduces the risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease. People who travel often are less prone to depression and mood swings, and they are generally happier with their lives. Globe trotters tend to be more satisfied with their overall health and well-being than those who almost never take a vacation.
For thousands of years, people found the need or desire to move around. With time this urge to travel has become only stronger. Pleasure trips positively affect our health and well-being in many different ways. And this is one of the main reasons to make the best investment in yourself and get a move on.