Traveling is something that most people either enjoy, aspire to enjoy, or at least admire from the adventures of others they see as they scroll down their timelines.
We already know people love doing it, but do we know the “why” behind the benefits traveling gives us? Do we know the “how”?
The answer to that question is a resounding yes—and we’ve even got scientific facts to back up why and how traveling is so good for you.
If you’re an avid traveler, and you’ve always known the feelings and fulfillment you get from it, but never knew the logic behind it, then the mystery has officially been solved.
If you’ve always wanted to travel, but haven’t yet found the opportunity, then maybe this will give you a little gusto in seeking one out!
1. Your mental well-being improves
It’s not hard to see why—as a traveler, you’re likely spending much more of your time outdoors and in beautiful places than you usually would. You’re visiting sites that would take your breath away. You’re seeing new things and having incredible new experiences. You’re releasing more of those happy chemicals in your brain. How could it not make your mental health skyrocket?
2. Traveling strengthens social bonds
Spending more time with someone than you normally would, and sharing a unique experience with them can lead to feeling more of a strengthened bond within your relationship. Similarly, traveling solo accomplishes this same sense of camaraderie, but with yourself. Yep, it works the same way! Traveling is truly a journey only felt by those involved.
3. Insomnia dissipates
If you’ve ever suffered from insomnia, you know how debilitating it can be on your everyday life. However, if you’ve ever travelled, you also know how quickly you fall asleep once your head hits the pillow at night. With all the walking, touring, and general activity, you’re pretty spent by the end of the day. It makes it hard to struggle with sleeping! Having a hard time struggling doesn’t sound too bad though, now does it?
4. You can combat obesity
If you struggle to manage your weight, you’re definitely not alone. The hardship can stem from normal day-to-day life, sitting in your car for long periods of time, and sitting in a chair for even longer. Doing this same routine day in and day out can become quite a taxing thing on your body. Traveling completely switches things up. You’ll be doing lots of physical activity without even realizing it, and you’ll be less focused on eating. Plus, many of the excursions you may go on with friends you’ve met during your travels will probably be active, too. You’ll likely be doing things like hiking, rock-climbing, kayaking, city walking tours, and the list goes on. Traveling is literally the opposite of sedentary, if you think about it! It makes perfect sense that it could be a natural remedy for anyone suffering from obesity.
5. Reduced stress
This one is huge! Stress is said to be the silent killer, and it’s no surprise why this is the case. Stress gradually wears your body down, period. It weakens your immune system, making you susceptible to disease, viruses, and other bodily infections. It ages you and decreases your happiness in the short-term and the long-term. Despite all the known pitfalls of stress, so many people in the world are so stressed out all the time. Travel could be the antidote, as it breaks you away from the daily routine that’s stressing you out in the first place! Your stress can also be reduced by all the physical activity you’re doing, as mentioned above.
6. Increase your creativity
Creativity is related to neural connections you have in your brain.
According to a Thrive Global article by Diana Smith, “Whenever you visit a new place, the brain interacts with new things, such as new sounds, new tastes, new habits, and sights. This improvises your brain for a new neural connection. And thus boosts up your creativity.”
This explains why so many writers take their notebooks on the go, searching every nook and cranny of the world for the gems of inspiration that traveling certainly provides.
“‘Foreign experiences increase both cognitive flexibility and depth and integrativeness of thought, the ability to make deep connections between disparate forms,’ explains Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School…” an NBC news article by Larry Alton states.
These connections our brains increase our ability to make serve as the reason why we find so much inspiration as we travel. It’s the reason you probably notice your creative juices flowing much more than they would in a typical day at the office.
7. Your brain gets some exercise, too
You’re using your brain in ways you might’ve never needed to back home, so it’s no wonder traveling can help give your brain a boost.
“When you experience new things, environments and people (which is the central part of travel), your brain meets new challenges and builds resilience to degenerative diseases. Exposure to new things improves not only your memory and focus but also does wonders for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s,” says Smith.
Looks like it’s time to scrap that crossword puzzle and book a flight. That’s more than enough reason to take off as soon as possible!
8. Decrease depression
Travel has shown that it is effective in decreasing someone’s odds of getting depressed. This makes sense when you’re consistently raising your happy endorphins in your brain, and it’s a much healthier, more natural alternative to getting a bunch of pills prescribed to you by a doctor. Natural is always better, if possible!
9. Boost your self-confidence
Traveling is known for being a confidence-booster in itself because of all the new experiences and learning curves you deal with. You often surprise yourself with how well you handle things while traveling in these new environments, which is where the confidence kicks in. Otherwise, you make mistakes, learn from them, and grow your confidence anyway. The result you yield is the same either way.
If you were looking for reasons to travel that you didn’t already have before, we’re sure you must’ve found one or nine in the scientifically proven benefits listed above.
Keep in mind, these are only a select list out of what is probably hundreds of why’s and how’s out of the many benefits of traveling, but we figured this list should be more than sufficient.
So go ahead and book that next adventure, and we’ll see you on the road