Taking time for yourself to explore the world is not only a fun way to immerse yourself into a new culture, but it can also improve your health. New studies are showing that traveling can improve both physical and mental wellbeing, allowing you to grow both inside and out as an individual.
Self-care should be an important routine in your life; so why not devote time to explore, nourish and expand your mind?
Here are 5 science-backed ways that travel can improve your overall health and wellbeing.
Taking time away from your busy lifestyle and home environment can be a huge stress relief. Most of the stress we endure comes from being in a busy 'on-the-go' environment, therefore; diving into a new location can clear the mind from the hustle of outside noise. As you hold an optimistic outlook on the adventure that awaits you, your overall mood will improve. Being on an adventure will spark joy and excitement in your life, leading to less negativity and depressive thoughts. Traveling to a new destination will allow space to escape stress you may endure in your daily life, as well as give you time to reflect and reset.
As you begin to travel more often, each destination will continue to enrich your world-view and understanding of life. As you explore, experience and learn; your perspective may start to shift. You will observe how others live and learn to appreciate what you have. Being immersed into a new culture will also begin to shape your individuality; you will meet new people, learn languages and traditions that can be embedded into your own life. Whether it's simply using a new spice in your cooking or a learned word in your vocabulary. The memories you make abroad will stay in your heart forever, and you will become rich in experience as you continue to explore new corners of the world.
The experience of another culture endows the traveller with a valuable open-mindedness, making it easier for him or her to realize that a single thing can have multiple meanings. -John Lehrer
Improves Heart Health
Traveling at least once a year is found to improve cardiovascular health significantly for both men and women. Men and women who chose not to take vacation days are 30% more likely to suffer a heart attack! This may come as a surprise as many (such as myself) like to indulge in delicious and sometimes unhealthy cuisine while abroad. However, while exploring new places people tend to experience much more exercise than usual. Even without intention to workout or burn calories, you're walking and exerting energy by simply exploring. You're also more likely to take part in adventures such as snorkeling and kayaking which invigorate adrenaline, improving both your mental and physical health. The combination of taking a break from your busy lifestyle and diving into a fantastic adventure can have long-term benefits on your heart health.
Being in a brand new place, you have so many sounds, smells and sights to observe and absorb. Engaging in the surrounding culture can broaden your awareness, allowing your cognitive flexibility to strengthen. As you open your mind to all the sensations available as you travel, your brain begins to make long-lasting creative connections. You may find yourself wanting to write, cook or create in a new way while being abroad. Simply being present and aware of the magic around you will open your mind and enhance your creativity.
As you travel to a new destination, the knowledge you gain through experience can strengthen your voice as an individual. You will often be faced with decisions, pushing you to become more independent in your choices. You'll be living outside of your comfort zone, giving you the confidence you need to broaden your horizons. You will not be living a sheltered life abroad, and you can carry the power gained from your amazing experience when you return back to your home life.