I am getting close to leave for my next adventure...this time to Spain for a yoga retreat, culture, hiking, wine and olive oil tastings! While those are amazing things about travel and adventure, there are additional internal shifts and benefits from travel.
Travel isn't only beneficial to your physical well-being, there is also a significant amount of research suggesting that exploring a new place is also greatly impactful on your emotional and mental well-being. I'm in!
Here are a few good reasons to travel and how it positively impacts your mental and emotional wellness....
1) Travel relieves stress
Life can get pretty hectic with busy careers, family responsibilities and being accessible 24/7 with technology. Thus, taking a break from the daily hustle is essential for your mind to relax, recharge and rejuvenate. Traveling promotes happiness and helps you take your mind off stressful situations. This leads to lower cortisol levels, making you feel more calm and content. Not to mention while experiencing amazing things!
2) Travel fosters new perspectives and reinvention
If you allow it, travel has the ability to expand your mind and perspectives more ways than you can imagine. Traveling, especially to a foreign country, can allow you the space to re-evaluate and reinvent your life. Meeting people from other cultures will teach you that the way you’ve been looking at the world isn’t the way everybody else does. In fact, your point-of-view might have some blind spots. Seeing the world for yourself will improve your vision and your view on life. Some of the happiest people I met were in poverty stricken areas. You also can get a great appreciation for your own life. Some my greatest shifts in perspective came to me when I was traveling the world.
3) Travel increases resilience
Going or living somewhere where you feel excited and intimidated at the same time builds resilience. I have done quite a bit of travel solo, and love it. I have to problem solve, be on my toes, and aware of what's around me. To know I can do that, is an amazing feeling. 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 builds flexibility, patience and emotional strength.
Travel can help you when larger issues in life happen with more grace and patience, I remember earlier in my very early travel days our rental car in Costa Rica was broken into and that included my passport, money and credit cards and some belongings! Another travel adventure to Peru, I lost my cell phone on the plane. These experiences taught me to work through situations more calmly and to attach less emotion to belongings and still be present. I could have let those incidents ruin my whole trip, but I chose not to. 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.
4) Travel is Education
Seeing the world provides an education that’s absolutely impossible get in school. Travel teaches you economy, politics, history, geography, and sociology in an intense, hands-on way no class will. You can learn a new language and be exposed to culture and not to mention amazing food!
5) Travel helps you move forward
If you’re between jobs, schools, kids, or relationships, travel can be a perfect way to move from one of these life stages into your next great adventure. Travel will give you a chance to reflect on where you’ve been, where you’re going, and where you want to end up.
6) Travel helps you develop skills you didn't know you had
Sometimes it’s only far from home that you realize you you’ve got skills you’ve never used. It’s travel that brings them to the surface and makes you smile, satisfied to have reached the mountain top, or crossed a gorge or helped a villager clean up after a storm, or even to have successfully ordered a meal at a restaurant where English is not spoken.
I could go on with more reason to travel! All of the benefits I mentioned above can be integrated into your everyday life. The peaceful feeling you had by the ocean, cooking delicious food, and all of the skills, can be recreated at home. The memories and experiences you have traveling will be with you for a lifetime!
Photo: Me in New Zealand
Life and Leadership Coach, Licensed Counselor, outdoor enthusiast, yoga lover and passionate about wellness.