Studies have shown that experiences can have more of an impact on our wellbeing and happiness than material objects, and nowhere is this more apparent than in travel. Whether planning the trip of a lifetime or simply setting off on a series of short breaks, traveling can be one of the best ways to stay happy and fulfilled. Here we take a look at some of the biggest reasons why travel is less a luxury than a necessity.
Think about how often you expose yourself to new challenges, keep alert to unknown environments, and assess unfamiliar situations in daily life. The answer is likely to be a lot less than you might like. Our ability to increase our learning capacity is greatly improved when we are driven to take on the exciting challenges that traveling provides, resulting in a great sense of achievement.
Numerous studies have shown that those who travel frequently for leisure are less likely to suffer from stress or depression. Taking a break from long working hours and the daily routine is a great way to remain happy and positive at home as well as on vacation.
Traveling recharges the batteries and replenishes the reserves when it comes to emotional, mental and physical energy. Those who travel often record lower rates of absenteeism at work, higher productivity levels, and much less fatigue.
Couples who head off into the wider world together find their bonds strengthen when they share new experiences and encounters together. Travel improves trust and cooperation levels in partners, friends and family, resulting in a happier home life.
No matter how relaxing your vacation is, it’s still likely to be more physically demanding than a desk job. Whether it’s city sightseeing or hiking, watersports or swimming, travel can improve physical fitness immeasurably, releasing endorphins that also improve our mood.
Whether traveling alone or with friends, travel increases the frequency of meeting new people and committing oneself to new situations. This inevitably results in an increased sense of self-sufficiency, greater levels of flexibility, growing communication skills and higher measures of self-assurance.
Being in the same place for too long can rob people of perspective. Traveling not only shows us the beauty of new places, but also reminds us of the things we love about home, from stunning natural scenery to cultural attractions that are easy to overlook in everyday life.
Sitting at the heart of western philosophy is the Delphic maxim “Know Thyself”, and getting oneself halfway there is taking a flight to unknown lands to see unfamiliar peoples and customs. Learning about the world is invariably a process that involves learning about oneself – a quality that will shine through back home.