Traveling is Good for Your Mental Health3 min read
If someone asked you why you enjoy traveling, you’d probably answer with something along the lines of “to see the world,” or “to meet new people and learn about new cultures.”
But there’s one more perk of traveling to add to your list: Its positive impact on your mental health.
Now, we’re not referring to that stressful business trip you went on last month to Japan—although some may not mind that kind of jetsetter lifestyle. Rather, we’re talking about that relaxing vacation you took last winter to the white sandy beaches of St. Thomas. Or that time you took a stroll along the charming, cobbled streets of France. Yes, those leisure trips. Sigh.
There’s a reason why most people enjoy themselves so much when they travel, other than the simple fact that you’re temporarily out of the office.
Travel is not only completely rejuvenating; it can also be intellectually stimulating. Many of us are naturally wired to enjoy novel experiences and adventures. And as a result, we embrace opportunities to change things up from the monotonous day-to-day routine.
Travel gives us a chance to break the normalcy of our daily lives and immerse ourselves into a new corner of the world. Not only does this give us the chance to try new foods and engage in new activities, but it also allows us to learn more about life in general. As we come to view the world from a different perspective, we might even find that we appreciate our own lives a little more—especially as we meet and get to know new people.
And in addition to meeting new people, traveling is also a great way to strengthen relationships you have with friends and family you already know. In fact, a study conducted by the U.S. Travel Association found that a vacation with a loved one can help deepen your bond with them tremendously.
Granted, there are plenty of ways a perfectly planned trip can go wrong. If you’ve ever traveled and had an unpredictable event throw off your itinerary, you know exactly what this is like. Most of the time, however, we learn to become more flexible and go with the flow to prevent it from completely ruining our trip. These experiences also teach us how to become more patient and even better problem solvers as we try to get ourselves back on course.
It can be easy to forget that your mental health is a major part of overall wellness. But with all of these benefits of traveling, chances are you probably won’t forget about it anytime soon. So go ahead, book that trip to Sicily you’ve been dying to go on. Even if it is just to improve your well-being.
Photo by Kuma Health and Wellness.