Effects of Travel on Your Mind, Body, & Soul
‘If I'm an advocate for anything, it's to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else's shoes or at least eat their food. It's a plus for everybody.’ ~ insight from the late Anthony Bourdain
We have a limited number of travel days every year, making each one individually precious. And yet, like many people, I tend to let these precious days go unused, instead opting to prioritize work. This leaves me exhausted, stagnant, and simply, dull-minded. I know that after I travel to a new place or even to an old familiar place, I am rejuvenated. And I always come back just a little changed, just a little wiser, just a little bit at peace with myself. To put it in more eloquent words, ‘As we move through this life and this world, we change things slightly; we leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life--and travel--leaves marks on us. Most of the time, those marks--on our body or on our hearts--are beautiful.’ ~ another wise perspective from AB
There will always be reasons to talk yourself out of travel - money, time, and prior commitments - to name a few. But, today let's focus on why you should invest in yourself by using those vacation days. Let’s evaluate the different ways that travel positively affects you. Maybe you’ll be inspired just enough to book that trip you’ve been thinking about for ages. Or start exploring new travel possibilities.
1. Traveling gives you a new perspective on life.
Whether you're sharing a homemade meal with a family in the middle of a Moroccan medina or shouting ‘Kampai!’ as you empty your sake cup in a Japanese bar, you’ll walk away with a glimpse of people’s lives. And once you’ve peeked through the crack of that culture door, you’ll want to throw it wide open. You’ll want to tell others about it and you’ll definitely use a few nuggets of this gained wisdom in your own life.
2. Travel changes your personality.
It’s no question that travel totally changes your outlook on life, but your personality too? We’d have to say yes to this. Sharing a cup of tea with a Turk or strolling through hidden parks with a Parisian - discussing everything from the arts, to politics, to family - will impact the way you make decisions in your own life. This in turn will begin to mold the ‘fundamental you.’ Maybe a once impatient chatterbox will learn to slow down and listen. Or a shy introvert may find the courage to grab a drink at the bar and strike up a conversation with their neighbor. When you experiment with being a different person, you’ll find yourself growing to be more open, more forgiving, more understanding, more free....and just a little different than before.
3. Traveling increases your emotional stability.
Traveling can put you in new kinds of stressful and exhilarating situations that you haven’t before experienced. These types of situations can be vastly different for everyone. For some it’s navigating buses, trains, and signs in foreign languages. For others it’s driving on the opposite side of the road. For some it can be as simple as ordering food in a country where no one understands you. While some of these experiences might be stressful, over time these things will get easier. With time you learn how you can get by without using your native tongue. By learning and adapting to these new stressors you can actually increase your emotional stability.
4. You will experience a new kind of adrenaline rush.
Travel can give you a rush that you don’t experience at home. Maybe for you this rush will be reaching the summit, stepping foot into your first hostel, or taking that leap out of an airplane in your first skydiving thrill. Whatever the rush is for you, we think this might just be what keeps you coming back for more.
5. You become more aware of everything and everyone.
When traveling, especially outside of your comfort zone, you become more aware of the world around you. You will take notice of the details around you and start to question behavior that you once thought was normal - like the everyday use of single serve plastic. When you see this plastic wash ashore in Bali, marring this surfers paradise, you may start to question your own environmental impact. And maybe even vow to integrate reusable items into your life. Opting for reusable containers for storage instead of baggies, beeswax covers instead of saran wrap and reusable water bottles with filtrations instead of disposable ones. Seeing the world and the impact we have on it has a way of affirming our part in a much larger whole.
6. You’re more likely to fall in love (or some version of it) when you are out of your comfort zone.
It’s no surprise that we're more open to a whirlwind romance while traveling somewhere new. There’s just something about that mysterious man or woman from a different culture that makes our heart skip a beat… even if you barely speak the same language. Or maybe we’re just falling for the accents, either way...it’s all really good fun.
7. You mature faster.
When traveling you will quickly be forced to make decisions for yourself and you will have to learn to live those decisions. You don’t have anyone to rely on, everything is actually up to you. If you ask us, this is the hallmark of maturity.
8. Travel disrupts your routine , which is the impetus of novel thinking.
Simply put, you start to make new connections in your brain. This will improve your cognition and activate reward circuits. Ultimately, your brain benefits from being on its toes. Finding your way through a new neighborhood, understanding new customs or getting used a transportation system so different from your own. Our bosses should be encouraging travel because it’s been shown that after working your brain and rewarding yourself with travel, you actually come home thinking differently, more motivated, and more creative.
Are you ready to see some of these changes in your own life? With Unbound we take the stress out of travel and travel takes the stress out of your life. Sounds like a win win doesn’t it? Unbound is a platform where you can discover authentic travel recommendations, share local inspiration and off the beaten path discoveries, book trips with trusted locals and experts, and make money by coordinating and hosting experiential trips. You can learn more here.
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