I love my routines. I like to make sure I am doing good things for my mind, body and soul. And then there comes a time when my mind, body and soul says, “Hey, let’s shake things up a bit!” (I have a cheeky side and she’s usually quite fun!) When she strikes, I like to go travel!
Anybody who has travelled outside his or her comfort zone can attest to the excitement that comes from being in a new environment. Research shows travel is not only exciting, it also offers the following health benefits:
Exercises the Mind:
When your brain is introduced to new experiences and environments, this exposure has been shown to improve both memory and concentration. When you interact with new people, cultures and situations, this contributes to building resilience that improves neurotransmitter connections in the brain.
In the same logic as above, travel can spark synapses in the brain and enhance creativity. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found a strong link between creativity and travelers’ immersions into cultures different from their own. According to the study, the better you are at engaging and adapting to new cultures, the more creative you will be.
Travel broadens your perspectives, not only of the world but also of yourself. You have opportunities to deal with situations that normally would not occur at home. Watching how other cultures live can force you to challenge your own assumptions and free your mind to experience alternative ways of being.
Greater Connection to Others and Self:
Think of the opportunities you have when travelling to connect with others whether it be for guidance, information, learning or help. When you open to others, you have a chance to connect in ways you might not do at home. The social aspects of travel have proven to enhance your sense of self. Research has shown that when you get out of your social comfort zone and immerse yourself into cultures different from our own, you strengthen your personal identity, including your values and beliefs, and increase your confidence.
I think this is one of the most important benefits of travel. When I was looking at some research, I came upon a study that showed the health benefits of just planning travel and the benefits start up to 8 weeks before departure! I love that! Most of all, pulling yourself out of your daily routines and into new surroundings resets both your mind and body, resulting in significant stress relief.
So, if this resonates with you, maybe it’s time to open a tab with Expedia.com and see where some travel could take you?! Go on, it’s good for you!