The feeling that you can take on the world after a glimpse of the blue sky and a breath of fresh air isn’t coincidental. There are several aspects of traveling that produce this all-consuming bliss.
Travel positively impacts your health and relationships. It also allows you to enhance your skills and knowledge, which better equips you to navigate the world.
Traveling benefits you in ways that you might not even know.
Health Benefits of Travel
Health has been associated with physical activity for eons, and it is well-known that travel and physical activity work in tandem.
However, recent studies have shown that travel improves all-around health regardless of the extent of physical activity undertaken. This implies that there is something more to traveling that causes this spike in health conditions.
Let us take a look at the resulting mental and physical health outcomes travelers can expect.
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- Reduced stress and anxiety – Travel takes you away from all the things in your daily life that induce stress and anxiety. With the necessary distance and perspective shift, you can overcome your negative emotions more easily.
- Less risk of depression – Depressed people tend to self-isolate and ruminate over negative thoughts. Travel forces you out of your room to experience new places and meet new people. This gives your brain something else to focus on, at least for the time being.
- Boosted brain activity – It is a given that our brain rigorously engages with newness. Unforeseen problems challenge us, which in turn promotes brain health, resilience, and creativity.
- Weight loss – You might not shed pounds like you would with diet and exercise, but you sure will burn more calories than sitting around in the office all day. The kinds of activities you participate in are of prime importance. Going on a hike is going to burn more fat than devouring ice cream, of course.
- Increased energy level and appetite – If you travel, you can tell this marked difference from your normal life, right away. The drive to explore will make you more physically active, and as a result, you will burn more energy and have an increased desire to eat. Not to mention, the exotic cuisines help.
- Improved sleep pattern – Travel causes an uptick in physical exertion and brain activity during the daytime. As a direct consequence, the likelihood of good quality nightly sleep increases.
- Less risk of heart disease – Inactivity combined with stress and poor health practices are one of the leading reasons for cardiovascular diseases. Yearly travel helps you improve on all of these fronts.
Positive Impact of Travel on Relationships
As communal beings, humans are dependent upon relationships.
Loneliness can bring you down even if your body is at its peak health condition. From maintaining old relationships to making new ones, travel can help in every way.
- Appreciation for loved ones – When you spend some time away from your loved ones, you realize their importance in your life. Travel gives you that opportunity.
- Strengthened bonds – When you travel with someone, the chances of getting along are higher. This is because you are compelled to spend more time with each other and face everything together. You become more understanding with your parents, more tolerant of your siblings, more intimate with your partner, more caring of your friends, and more endearing to your children.
- Social interaction – Public relationships are just as important as private ones. You might meet new people and exchange enriching conversations, but what matters is the self-confidence and social skills you gain.
- Self-reflection – Your relationship with yourself is of the utmost importance, and yet often the most neglected. While traveling,you are dragged outside of your comfort zone. Because of this, you will discover certain aspects of yourself that you would not be able to learn otherwise. These could be negative traits you need to work on, or positive parts of your personality that you did not know about. All of it adds to your personal growth.
Skills and Knowledge Acquired from Traveling
Venturing out of your hometown into the unfamiliar world comes with its challenges.
When you overcome these barriers as a traveler, you not only derive pleasure out of your experience, but also acquire some essential skills and knowledge. This is the gift of traveling.
As you see more of the world, you become more openminded. As you pick up new skills, you become more competent.
- Curiosity – Curious people travel, and traveling makes you even more curious. After all, the only way to always learn something new is to stay curious.
- Navigation skills – When you are forced to find your way around in an unfamiliar city, your navigation skills are bound to improve. You start to understand how to read maps better, follow road signs, and learn to ask locals for directions.
- Time management – A traveler’s life runs on the clock. From catching a flight to checking into the hotel and making it in time for the guided tour, you can’t be late for anything.
- Money management – Traveling is quite an expensive hobby to have. People who don’t budget well can’t keep traveling for long. Be it saving some bucks on a cheaper flight ticket or being frugal about where you eat, you need to be financially smart all the way.
- Teamwork and planning – You will need to plan all your trips with your co-travelers to the finest detail. This means optimizing your daily travel schedule, and making certain compromises. Travel teaches you how to work patiently with people to reach the desired outcome.
- Problem-solving – A lot of things can go awry while traveling. You might miss your flight, lose your wallet, or get lost after missing the tour bus. These situations call for immediate level-headed decisions. This hones your ability to solve problems on the spot without panicking.
- Cultural exposure – On certain beaches in France, nudity is normal, while even an inch of exposed skin can be considered inappropriate in Saudi Arabia. People pay upwards of $40 for a decent handbag in the U.S., while haggling for a few cents is a common practice in Indian markets. You will never realize your privilege, or the lack thereof, unless you travel. Nor will you realize the respect that needs to be given to everyone, beyond all boundaries and differences.
- Language skills – When you visit a foreign country, you need to learn basic phrases to get around. Language skills don’t mean fluency, but rather the capability to learn and listen. Making yourself understandable and trying to understand another person is the key to communication. Travel enhances this skill massively.
- Patience – Have a go at standing in line to enter a major tourist attraction site, or try sitting for hours at stretch in the airport because of a flight delay. You will learn patience very quickly.
- Adaptability – You cannot expect the comfort and convenience of your hometown in a foreign country. In some places, the heat will seem unbearable. While in other areas, you may not be able to stomach the local cuisine. The traveler needs to bend their ways a little in order to find joy in travel.
- Self-confidence – The ultimate fruit of garnering all these skills is self-confidence. Once you see what you are capable of in adverse, unfamiliar situations, your faith in yourself will skyrocket. You can never know what to expect, but it doesn’t hurt to recognize that you can handle whatever might come your way.
- Empathy – A traveler lives on the empathy of strangers. The flight attendant gives your crying child an extra packet of juice, the hotel staff sets you up in a magnificent room for no extra cost, a local person helps you find the direction to the nearest supermarket, or another tourist gives you some medicine when you get seasick on the boat ride. Chances are, you will emulate and propagate this empathy on your part. Travel teaches you kindness in a hands-on manner.
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You always knew that travel makes you happy, and now you know why. Given the psychological, physiological, and relational benefits of travel, it is safe to say that travel makes you an all-around better person. Unlike common perception, travel is not a momentary high. You carry all of its positive impacts back to your normal life. So, travel as much as you can and live a better quality of life.
If you’re concerned about the possibility of something going awry while you travel, it’s understandable. Being away from the familiar things in your life has a way of increasing anxiety. It’s for this reason that you should always purchase travel medical insurance or travel insurance before taking a trip abroad. While no insurance policy can prevent you from getting sick, injuring yourself, or losing your luggage, it can provide financial protection if any of these things happen, plus a lot more. This provides peace of mind, and allows you to enjoy your trip with a little less stress.
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