Traveling for the mind and body

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I initially started writing this blog post trying to put together something exciting and creative about traveling. But then I thought about the places I’ve traveled to, and what those experiences meant to me.

I LOVE to travel. But it’s not always the “planned vacations” that made my life richer.

Some of the most rewarding journeys were the spontaneous, last minute, and completely unplanned trips I’ve taken.

If you ask those who travel a lot, they’ll tell you how much traveling has changed their lives and inspired them, opened their eyes to a whole new world and experiences they never thought of before.

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page” Saint Augustine.

This quote couldn’t be more true. When you leave your comfort zone and step into a new world you’re faced with people who speak a different language, eat different foods, dress differently and go about their daily life in ways different than you do. At first you might feel a little uncomfortable, but your curiosity will probably soon kick in and you will enjoy the foreign experience!

Exploring the world will not only broaden your horizons and expand your mind and thoughts, but it will also improve your health! In a joint study between The Global Commission on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement studies and The U.S. Travel Association, researchers have found that travel offers similar physical and cognitive benefits as crossword puzzles and museum visits.

They found that women who vacationed less were at a significantly higher risk of developing heart disease. Similar results were found for men. They found that travelers almost saw an immediate significant drop in stress after only a day or two. While the actual travelling route may cause a little anxiety if you lose a baggage or miss a connecting flight in a foreign country, once you’ve reached your destination, you’ll likely feel less anxious and be in a better mood.

This positive mood change can also last for a few weeks after your vacation has ended. So the next time you’re going through a stressful time at work, book yourself some time off and get away. Your mind and body will thank you for weeks to come!

Traveling has also been shown to increase our flexibility and creativity. This is because when you’re in a new atmosphere, you’re likely to engage with your new surroundings in ways you may not do so at home. Your mind will have to adapt and find creative ways of getting what you want. Engaging with the local culture is of key importance for this to happen though.

The more you engage with different people and cultures the more you will expand your critical thinking and boost your creativity.  

It's also important to mention that traveling helps with feelings of depression.

Unfortunately, our society’s depression is on the rise due to the current ways we live our life. Most of us are constantly stressed at work and concerned with the rise of living costs, bills, and loans. You might have heard the term: “retail therapy” from one of your girlfriends when she splurged on something after a stressful week at work. What’s a better way for you to decompress? Travel! Research shows that traveling helps lower the risk of depression and increases happiness more than the possession of something new (ie. Buying something or “retail therapy”).

So, if traveling helps in so many ways emotionally and mentally, why haven’t you packed your bags yet?

Fortunately, with online booking sites the prices of vacations are very affordable these days. You can explore some of the coolest areas in the world by scoring some cheap flights online and renting a lodge or an apartment by a local resident who has their place up for rent. So go ahead, dig out your passport and explore your world.

Your work will still be there in two weeks when you come back, I promise you ;) But you’ll be refreshed and energetic to tackle it better than before you left.

Just remember: “If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet, he said” Rachel Wolchin.

Stay real,

Sirin