It’s true that traveling opens us to new experiences and allows us to appreciate different cultures, but there are also five real, but intangible benefits of traveling. Listed below are 5 reasons why traveling is more than “just a vacation.”
1. Traveling forces you to think outside the box. Overused cliché that it is, this expression describes how traveling helps you shift your mentality. When you visit a foreign country, you are exposed to a different culture and often a different language. Your brain has to switch gears so that you can listen and/or speak in a different language. Even if your native tongue is widely spoken, you still have to learn the ropes: look at maps, explore neighborhoods, negotiate transportation, and try new cuisine. If you visit a new city in your own country, you won’t have a language barrier, but you will still be in unfamiliar surroundings. Either way, you will make new discoveries. As a bonus, you’ll increase your brain power; the neurons and connections in your brain get a boost when you are learning, whether that means a few words in a new language or how to navigate through new streets.
2. Traveling is beneficial to your health. The constant stress that you experience on a daily basis takes its toll; you often work so hard that you don’t allow any time for relaxation and downtime. But your emotional, mental, and physical health depends on periodic stress-free living. One of the best ways to reduce stress is to forget about your daily routines and problems, which is hard to do unless you can physically leave it all behind. Just make sure you don’t create more stress by not making thorough preparations for your trip; arrange everything ahead of time so that you can truly kick back and enjoy yourself.
3. Traveling helps you solve problems. Sometimes crazy schedules, long hours, and heavy obligations cause an inability to see the forest for the trees. Getting away from all your problems, especially the ones you have been unable to solve, may just be the solution to some of them. Why? Sometimes the solution can’t be found while the problem is in your face day and night. The history books are full of stories about famous inventors who didn’t find the solution they were seeking until they stopped thinking about the problem.
4. Traveling rejuvenates you. Working every day and going through the same routines will ultimately sap you of your energy. You’ll get bored; maybe you’ll even get a little depressed. Traveling will recharge your batteries and inspire new enthusiasm. Allow yourself to try something new; learn how to ride a horse, snorkel, ski, or climb a mountain. When you do return to your daily routine, you’ll be energized and fresh, if not eager, to jump back in to your daily routine.
5. Traveling makes you a more interesting person. When you travel, you will accumulate diverse experiences and memories and you can return home to regale family and friends with new stories. You’ll bring new perspectives to conversations and you’ll open up new worlds to your friends who have never traveled.
These five intangible benefits of traveling are inspiring and thought-provoking, but there are a few more hidden benefits to consider.
Traveling may also provide unexpected, life-changing bonuses; you might ultimately experience a total change in your philosophical views due to your exposure to other cultures, or meet your soul mate, or stumble into an entirely new career. You’ll never know until you go!