I remember the first time I felt small.
I stood in Morocco’s Cave of Hercules peering out the opening unto the vastness of the sea. It went on forever, and suddenly I was nothing more than a dot on the landscape. I realized that I wanted to see the world – every part of it.
Unfortunately, everyone hasn’t had the “ah ha” moment.
If you need to tell your boss why you’ll need a week off or convince your professor to excuse you from class, here are five compelling benefits of traveling.
1. Reduce Stress
Nothing is permanent in this wicked world – not even our troubles. ~ Charlie Chaplin
Travel allows you to regroup and increase productivity by getting away from life’s daily pressures. Reducing stress is beneficial to our heart health and good for maintaining a steady weight.
I’m more active on vacations because I’m out exploring or doing fun stuff like hiking, snorkeling or horseback riding.
Doctors like to call that extra activity “exercise” and it also helps reduce stress.
You’ll get better results if you turn off your cell phone’s email alerts.
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I know, I know. Old habits die hard. You’ll thank me for that suggestion.
2. Renew Energy
There is more to life than increasing its speed. ~ Mohandas K. Gandhi
Relaxation is a wonderful way to refresh your mind and body. Sleeping until your mind, not an alarm clock, wakes you up is a great way to be sure that your body has enough rest. The farther you are away from home, the less likely you’ll feel the need to stick to a set schedule.
When you’re so used to the humdrum of life that it feels like you’re sleep walking, it’s time to travel.
Travel is the ultimate wake up call.
Suddenly, you find yourself in a foreign landscape and all five senses are coming alive and you’re wondering why you didn’t do this sooner. Instead of rolling over in the morning and sulking through your dress shirts and ties, you’re jumping out of bed and Instagraming pictures of your sunrise.
3. Expand Horizons
It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know. ~ Henry David Thoreau
Did you know that people in Western China, Tibet, and Mongolia enjoy their tea with a dash of salt? Or that in Muslim countries, Russia, and West Africa the “thumbs up” gesture is offensive?
There’s an entire world out there with a hodgepodge of amazing customs and cultures that are just waiting to be explored.
Traveling reminds us of this bigger picture and helps us embrace it. Getting out of our comfort zone creates room to grow.
4. Increase Open Mindedness
He enjoys true leisure who has time to improve his soul’s estate. ~ Henry David Thoreau
Visiting different locations and meeting new people gives you a better perspective.
You’re able to use your own experiences and judgement to create opinions. I’ve found that many times the media gets it wrong.
Reevaluate your attitudes and beliefs while you participate in other cultures. Trying different types of foods is an easy way to accomplish this.
If you’re really adventurous, take some new recipes home to try in your own kitchen!
5. Make New Memories
If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance. ~ George Bernard Shaw
Traveling with family and friends allows one to create new memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.
Positive experiences and adventures will strengthen your personal bonds and crystallize relationships. Time away in a relaxing environment could also help to repair any damage in a relationship.
Memories are the best travel souvenir you’ll find. They are free, don’t weight down your luggage, and won’t end up in the junk drawer!
Have you found any other benefits from traveling? Share them!