If you type “Why is travel good for your soul?” into a search engine, most results are opinion pieces quoting various statistics on the benefits of travel for travelers. They’re all right, because the general consensus is that frequent travelers are more satisfied with their physical health and well-being—plus much more!
Traveling takes you away from the everyday, and places you in new situations that can reset your mind and body. Even planning a trip can have a positive effect; if you’re anything like me you’ll ride a wave of happiness and excitement for days!
1. Escaping daily routines helps reduce stress and boost mental health.
While it’s good to maintain a routine when it comes to fitness and following a healthy diet, repetition in other areas of your life can leave you feeling as though you’re going nowhere. Switching up your situation and escaping from your daily grind, even just for a few days, can help reduce the symptoms of stress and increase feelings of positivity.
2. New challenges force you to step outside your comfort zone.
Travel in every format comes with challenges and by navigating your way through, whether successfully or not, you’ll reap the benefit of new life experiences. I’ll never forget the first time I took a solo trip; I thought my heart was going to leap out of my chest as I boarded the plane. I spent the next eight weeks firmly outside my comfort zone and returned home a more capable and confident version of my pre-trip self.
Tip: Make sure you’re prepared for anything by carrying a basic toolkit and some supplies in a lightweight waist pack when heading out without a backpack.
3. Travelers can learn new skills and gain life experience.
It’s no surprise that international travel can introduce opportunities to try your hand at something new. Whether it’s learning a new skill such as scuba diving, taking language classes, or finding out more about a region’s rich history, there are plenty of ways to better yourself when you’re abroad.
4. New experiences foster creativity.
When your mind faces challenges in new situations it causes an uptick in your brain’s capacity to problem solve and think critically about different solutions. It is this ability to jump between ideas that is the key component of creativity; thus, a well-traveled you is a more inspired you!
5. When you push your limits, you learn that it’s OK to fail.
A fear of failure can limit success. However, thanks to its unpredictable nature, travel can help you to get a handle on those feelings of fear. By forcing you to manage situations ad-hock and pushing you to take on new challenges at a moment’s notice, travel breaks down fears and teaches many lessons. One key one: That often the end result is of little consequence; it’s what we take away from the journey that matters most.
Tip: Whatever the challenge, keep your passport and valuables close at hand in a bra stash or hidden pocket in case you need to make a quick exit.
6. Travel experiences enrich your personal life story.
I wish I could share with you all the ways in which travel has enriched my life (read this article for a little insight); if you ever find yourself sitting next to me on a long-haul flight, I’ll fill you in. Needless to say, I credit a lot of the self-growth I achieved in my 20s to my international adventures. Thanks to all of the points I’ve mentioned so far, my travel experiences have given me a pretty unique narrative that makes for a great conversation starter when I meet someone new. Why not let travel start to shape yours?
Tip: A functional, durable backpack built for organization can help you travel light and ensure that you make the most of last-minute opportunities to explore.
7. Travel can increase your connection to yourself and others.
Mark Twain said that –
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
Stay home and you’ll find you have a very narrow view of the world and can relate only to people like you. Travel, and you’ll find your outlook on life is defined by a wide range of cultural influences and interesting life experiences.
There are so many ways traveling helps soothe the soul, and once you hit the road, you quickly learn that a life of travel is worth the price.
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Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):
9 Ways to Incorporate Travel Into Your Everyday Life
How to Have a Transformational Travel Experience
By Charli Moore on January 8, 2020
Charli Moore is an adventure enthusiast who has been location independent since 2011. A freelance writer she blogs about her adventurous travels at Wanderlusters, and has a penchant for adrenaline highs and crunchy peanut butter. Follow her on Instagram to feed your wanderlust.