Relaxing and having fun is obviously good for all of us. Travel exposes us to new places, opportunities, and people. A bit of adventure can be inspiring and give us a new perspective on life.
We benefit physically while traveling when we get out and explore our new environment. It is easy to spend an entire day on our feet wandering around a city that offers us new sites to see. A day in Dublin or Prague can easily be ten hours on your feet with a quick break to eat at a local pub.
If you travel to be in nature the physical benefits can be endless. Breathing in fresh air while hiking in the woods, climbing a mountain or swimming in the ocean is obviously going to be beneficial. And if you live in the north like I do, exposure to natural sunlight is a huge plus in the winter months.
Planning for a trip is often as enjoyable as traveling itself. It’s fun to do research, make choices, and, ultimately, have a trip to look forward to. Most people experience a sense of greater happiness even before leaving home.
We all need an occasional break from the stress of our day to day lives. Increased physical activity and mental stimulation help reduce your stress levels by producing the feel-good hormones in your brain. This alleviates our worries and provides a needed pick-me-up, at least temporarily.
Connection is one of the most vital emotional human needs. Travel offers the opportunity to bond with your travel mates and deepen your relationships. It also opens up our world to meeting new people and making new friends.
I enjoy meeting new people by chatting with whoever is close by. You never know who you might meet or where the interaction might go. This about the possibilities that may result from making a friend in Italy for example. If we really connect and a friendship develops, I have a personal tour guide and a place to stay when I have the opportunity to return!
Be courageous and immerse yourself in the local culture. Be open to trying new food, music or adventures. Explore the city or countryside as if you are doing research for your next novel. And, it is interesting to compare your own life to another culture’s way of living.
Our creative brains are inspired by exposure to new places, people, and activities. Visiting new locations and seeing the architecture, art, and natural beauty can rouse our creative passion. Local music and dance can deepen this sensation. The creative process has many health benefits and is an excellent way of practicing mindfulness.
If you don’t already have a creative outlet travel may influence you to take a class or start practicing an art form. It’s never too late to develop a new skill and creativity needs to be a part of everyone’s holistic health plan.
As holistic beings, all the positive aspects of travel mentioned so far also feed your soul. Exploring, learning, and growing all enlighten our spirit. Expanding our horizons can awaken things inside of us we never knew were there.
For example, the first time I traveled to Ireland I felt overwhelmed by a deep sense of belonging and nostalgia. Knowing my ancestors traveled the same roads and saw many of the same sights gave me a sense of grounding and a feeling of bonding with my family history I never knew was possible.
Travel offers us benefits that extend far beyond our vacation dates. The greatest reward is that experience changes you. Your outlook on life will never be the same.
Where are you off to? What is your favorite travel destination? Share your thoughts on how travel has the potential to change our lives in the comments below.