Traveling isn’t just fun. It’s important.
That’s right: important. It’s so important it can add years to your life.
If you keep putting off your vacation, that stops now. We have several compelling reasons why travel should be a regular part of your life.
If you care at all about your health and happiness, read these 8 reasons to travel the world.
“It’s not the destination but the journey that matters.”
This popular proverb touches on a universal concept: journeys make us grow. Of course, that’s a moot point if you never go anywhere.
Many of us live life in a box. We wake up, do our morning routine, go to work, come home, evening routine, and so on. If you’re only living for the routine, you aren’t doing anything that actually matters to you.
Getting out of the routine box and going anywhere else lets you see what real life looks like. Day one of travel will be the first real day you’ve experienced in a long time.
Outside your routine, everything is new and fresh and unfamiliar. The world seems bigger and you feel fuller.
You’ll start noticing the beauty of trees and sunsets. You’ll see businesses of all types and people of all attitudes. You’ll react to things emotionally and remind yourself what matters to you.
Best of all, you get to take all this growth and self-discovery home with you. Use it to restructure your life and form a new routine.
2. It Reminds Us What Our Life is Missing
The growth mentioned above is a great tool for reevaluating and restructuring your life. During your travel, the full, unbridled torrent freedom you experience is likely too much to process in the moment. But afterward, you’ll come to serious conclusions about what your life is lacking.
You start noticing what there’s “not enough of” in your life compared to your recent holiday. Whatever you’re missing at home becomes clear to you when you travel.
Then, you restructure your life to include these. Make more time for friends, meet new people, try new foods. Go out for entertainment more often instead of always watching Netflix.
Traveling also helps you solve other problems in your life you may not have noticed. The problems you’ve been blind to are seen more easily from afar. By removing yourself from your routine life, you can see and solve these problems in a detached setting.
3. Lasting Stress Relief
As mentioned above, traveling physically removes us from all the stress and problems of our daily life. Therein, we get a break from our regular stressors.
Then, upon returning, you’re equipped with a plan for minimizing these typical daily stressors. Your new routine will continue to reduce stress in your life for a long time.
Even the extra waiting time you experience while traveling can reduce stress. Traveling involves a lot of sitting and waiting. You’ll spend most of this time thinking to yourself.
Mental health professionals call that “meditating” and it’s regarded as an effective way to reduce stress.
But don’t take our word for it; check the facts. 89% of travelers felt their stress levels drop within the first two days of travel. That same study recorded better brain health, a significant decrease in depression, and much lower risk of heart attack for those who travel.
4. Physical Health
That’s right: traveling reduces your risk of heart attack, the study says. Men who vacation every year are 30% less likely to die from heart disease. Women who don’t vacation more than once every six years are almost eight times more likely to get heart disease or have a heart attack compared to women who vacation twice per year.
Why is this? First, we all know physical activity is good for your health. And travel automatically boosts your physical activity.
Think about it. What do you do at your typical tourist destination like Disneyland or New York City? You usually spend the whole day just walking around, for miles and miles.
Furthermore, reducing stress results in better physical health and longer life in general. We already discussed what a great tool travel is in reducing stress. And as you’ll see in the next point, it prevents future stress, too.
5. It Makes Us More Mentally Resilient
Routine life isn’t just boring. It actually weakens our mental resiliency.
When we stay with the same routine for too long, we train our minds to expect and conform to this routine. Then, each tiny problem that disrupts this routine is seen as the utmost of problems. We’re training our minds to make mountains out of molehills.
We also train ourselves to believe the future is full of scary surprises. This leads to worry and anxiety.
On vacation, we don’t know what to expect and, therefore, have no expectations. We take things as they come and enjoy the moment. Thus, breaking our routine with travel resets our standards of expectation.
Throughout your vacation, you train yourself not to worry about the future. In fact, the spontaneity of vacation is part of the fun! Unpredictability becomes a fun adventure and you look to the future with hope.
When you get back, you’re flexible and adaptable — ready to take life as it comes to you. When problems come along, they won’t seem like a big deal.
The cognitive stimulation of travel even promotes brain health at a cellular level and may prevent degenerative disease.
6. It Enhances Creativity
All the psychological benefits of travel described above are great for growing your imagination. Plus, on vacation, you do a lot more thinking about things you don’t normally think about.
You plan for new or atypical activities. You observe new places, people and events with wonderment. This flexes your imagination, which strengthens your creative skills.
That’s why it’s common to hear that writers travel often. It inspires your mind to dream bigger and better.
Don’t believe us? Check out these itineraries from Finelli & Shaw. You can’t finish the page without fantasizing about your dream vacation with butterflies in your stomach.
7. It Increases Connection
At work, you’re just a bee in a hive, one of a million, with a number instead of a name. And your coworkers are just a lifeless extension of the system. At least, that’s what it feels like.
But on vacation, you’re an individual, talking and interacting with other individuals. Unless you spend your vacation isolated in a cabin, travel forces you to reconnect with humanity.
Being forced to socialize helps us overcome social impairments. It helps you overcome shyness or trust issues and be more reliant on people. When you return, you’re more open to meeting new people and forming relationships.
It also helps us form deeper connections. Socializing with new people from other walks of life shows you that the world is much bigger than you thought. And that we’re all connected, by humanity, not our jobs.
All of a sudden, you’ll feel your job doesn’t define you, being human does. This gives you deeper reasons to connect with others.
8. It increases Happiness
How does travel increase happiness? Look at what you come home with:
- Reduced stress
- Increased health
- Inner strength
Travel refreshes you with a deep sense of joy, satisfaction, and hope. And it gives you the tools to live a deep, strong, meaningful life when you get back.
Of course, once you settle back to routine living, this all eventually wears off. That’s why it’s important to travel again and again, at least once a year.
Don’t Ignore These Reasons to Travel the World
What are the best reasons to travel the world? How about your health, sanity, happiness, strength — do we need to go over this again? Is “reduced risk of heart attack” not a compelling enough reason?
Don’t keep making excuses like you have something better to do. What’s better than being happier and staying alive?
Listen to sound advice and plan your vacation today.
Need more healthy life hacks? Check out the 9 Important Health Benefits of Having a Dog or Cat.