There are few words in the English language more inspiring than the word travel. For some, it conjures up visions of rolling green hills in a quaint, bucolic Irish countryside; for others, it’s an exotic night market in Southeast Asia, and for some, it might just be an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean.
Whatever your reason for travel, there’s no denying the thrill you get the moment you book your trip. A rush comes over you as you let your mind drift off into unknown lands, anticipating your next great adventure.
The days before your trip become a little more exciting as you plan, and you look forward to detaching yourself from the daily grind. We all know that travel is a great way to be physically active, cover ground, and explore new cultures. But traveling also does wonders for our mental health. It can be euphoric, eye-opening, and at times challenging. But at the end of the day, it helps us grow and makes us stronger because of it. Here are six great ways that traveling can boost your mental health.
We’ve all seen that person. The traveler that is so sure of themselves. Nothing seems to phase them as they walk with a confident gait and look like they can handle anything that comes their way. The experienced traveler is a sight to behold. The truth is that traveling can be hard. It takes you out of your comfort zone and puts you in positions that you’ve never been in before. It can be challenging and downright harrowing at times. But therein lies the beauty of it. With each new experience, your confidence begins to grow as you learn how to deal with foreign situations. Travel makes us strong and provides mental clarity that we can apply to our everyday lives when the trip comes to an end.
Lowers stress levels
It’s no secret that travel is a great way to decompress. Studies show that even booking a trip can lower our stress levels. The daily grind can wind us up, and if we don’t take care of ourselves, we’re liable to explode. Taking a trip, no matter where it is, helps us reset, achieve balance, and recharge our batteries. Experiencing something new inspires creativity and takes our minds off the stressors of everyday life.
Broadens your perspective
If you stay in one town your entire life, your viewpoint is likely to be narrow and reflective of where you grew up. Getting out into the world can open doors and show you things that you have never seen or even thought of before. Experiencing new cultures promotes empathy towards new people and ways of life and encourages you to keep an open mind. You become less egocentric and start to look at things from a world point of view rather than just your own. Traveling to new countries and intermingling with different ethnicities can be some of the best life education you can bestow upon yourself.
Improves your communication skills
A great thing about travel is that it forces you to become a better communicator. Whether it’s a new accent, different values, or a completely different language, you’re going to have to learn how to communicate with people on a different level. A friendly hand gesture in one country might be completely offensive in another country. Even holding your chopsticks the wrong way in some countries can show great disrespect and insult your hosts. Educating yourself on the ins and outs of a foreign country is a great way to sharpen your verbal and nonverbal skills.
Helps you learn to deal with adversity
Let’s face it. When you’re on the road nothing is ever going to go as smoothly as you had envisioned it. Learning to roll with the punches and not sweat the small stuff helps build character. You’ll face many unforeseen challenges while traveling, which will teach you patience, give you mental clarity, and make you a better problem solver.
Happiness and satisfaction
At the end of the day, we all want to be happy. Travel might not be for everyone, but research says it’s one of the most satisfying and fulfilling things one can do. There’s a sense of accomplishment achieved after conquering the unknown. It fills your cup in a way that nothing else can and gives you a new sense of joy that you long for until your next trip.
We all need a break from our everyday lives from time to time. Investing in yourself through travel is one of the best things you can do to open your mind, experience different perspectives, and see the world through a new lens. You’ll create life-lasting memories, meet amazing people, try new food, and probably even shed a few tears. But at the end of the day, you’ll grow as a person and experience a deep sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. So pack your travel backpack for men and women and get out on the adventure. They call it the travel bug for a reason. Once you catch it, it becomes increasingly hard to ignore as you eagerly await your next voyage. It’s important to practice self-care in this hectic life, and you might find that traveling is the most therapeutic thing you can do for yourself.