Travel is good for lots of things, but it can also increase mental well-being - and not just in the short-term. Whether you’re traveling for business, on a one-week family holiday, or have sold everything to pursue a life on the road, traveling can make you a happier person by building self-confidence, providing new experiences and memories, breaking routine and allowing you to meet people from all over the world.
Here is what, the founder of travel blog “Velvet Escape” and prolific traveller, Keith Jenkins has to say about her experience with travelling:
I feel happy when I’m gaining new experiences and insights and challenging my boundaries. Travel is the perfect catalyst for happiness, as it has allowed me to experience the natural, cultural and man-made wonders of the world. Being in foreign lands, it also continuously forces me to step out of my comfort zone - a great confidence-builder. In my book, travel is the best school there is: I’ve learned so much about the world and, most importantly, about myself.
So, the next time you find yourself heading out on a shopping spree to lift your mood, why not put that money towards a flight instead? Here are some ways how travel can make you happy.
It’s much easier to make new friends on the road than it is at home, where people are less inclined to chat to strangers on a bus or strike up conversation in a bar. When people are away from home, there seem to be less boundaries to cross and making friends becomes much easier, whether it’s a local curious to know where you’ve come from or a fellow travelers keen to have someone with whom to enjoy a beer or share a taxi. Social interactions make us happier and increasing our social circle means that we’re talking more and meeting different, interesting people, which hopefully means we’re learning more, too.
DETOX FROM SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media can be used for both good and bad, but it’s healthy for everyone to have a break from the internet every once in a while. Wi-fi is so prevalent that it’s hard to turn off and you can quite often find yourself tuning out whatever amazing place you’re in with your face in your phone, checking Twitter, scrolling through your Facebook feed, checking your emails... stop. Turn it off. Better yet, find somewhere with no reception and no wi-fi so that you don’t have a choice. It’s liberating and allows you to better enjoy the ‘here and now’, which nicely ties into the following point.
GETTING SOME ‘YOU’ TIME
Traveling gives us breathing space that is often lost in our usual day-to-day existence. Having a moment to take advantage of peace and quiet and to simply ‘be’ allows us to let go of stress and tension and just enjoy being in the moment — a key focus of meditation and a practice you can take home with you. If you’re traveling with a partner, it’s a chance to spend time with only each other for company, which is a thought that probably shouldn’t fill you with dread
BRINGS YOU SELF-CONFIDENCE BY DEALING WITH UNEXPECTED SITUATIONS
There comes a time when everyone must deal with an unexpected situation when they’re on the road. Even if you plan your trip to the letter, things can take a surprise turn. Whatever happens, there is a way around the problem and knowing that you can deal with these situations is a big boost to self-confidence and therefore your happiness.
LONG-LASTING EFFECTS OF TRAVELLING ON YOU
Aside from making you happier in the short-term, traveling can make you a much more contented, happy and relaxed person in the long run, too. Of course, most travel enthusiasts are constantly planning their next trip, but when we’re at home or past a point of being able to jet off whenever we like, past travels leave us with the memories and personal skills - such as confidence, broad-mindedness, friends and a worldlier perspective — that make people happy. And that’s why travel makes you a happier person.
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