Who does not enjoy a good trip to a city he had never been to? Traveling is a great motivation, as well as a source of joy, reflection and self-discovery. Traveling allows us to explore new climates and cultures, immerse ourselves in them and stimulate our mind.Obviously, there are other people who prefer monotony and be comfortable in their home. But the truth is that the rush for travel has been increasing in recent decades. Television, movies and internet have opened a window to other parts of the world, unique places that catch our attention. The fact that prices have been going down, allowing more people to move around the globe has also influenced this boom in travel.
Psychological benefits for travelers
There is extensive scientific literature about the psychological and emotional benefits of the good habit of traveling. Of course, some of these benefits can be quite intuitive, but it never hurts that science investigates and discovers the details that cause travel in our psyche .
Science has spoken
Without going any further, a study that was published in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that the feeling of happiness is found in the record of memories and experiences that are relevant to us, and whose maximum expression is travel.
Other research points to a clear correlation between being a traveler and longevity. Although this could be due to a socioeconomic factor (and therefore it would be a spurious correlation), it also seems to have detected something like a traveling gene . The fact of traveling to different parts of the planet is not in itself a factor that explains a greater longevity, but it does seem clear the psychological benefits that the experiences acquired during the trips give us. These can improve our quality of life and, ultimately, lengthen the number of days we live .
All kinds of travel is positive
When researchers talk about travel, they are very clear about it: every type of trip is positive for the psychological health of those who do it. From nearby destinations to trips to remote and exotic places, all trips can be a great source of emotional well-being . It is not necessary to go too far, spend a lot of money, or practice any specific activity: all trips “add up”.
However, and as is logical, there are trips that give us much more interesting experiences than others. Anyway, all the experiences that we live outside the home can be very positive to stimulate our mind. Each person has preferences regarding the adventures, and depends on many factors, such as personality, age and other variables.
Requirements for a trip to change our lives
Many people confess to their friends, assuring them that a trip they made literally changed their lives. It is true, sometimes trips destroy many of our thinking schemes and make us see beyond, opening us to new worlds and possibilities that we did not even contemplate before.
Some of the requirements for a trip to be a kind of ‘reset’ of our mind, are the following:
- The trip was made without company or with a group of individuals unknown until then.
- E l trip was a challenge of a spiritual nature .
- The culture of the country or region visited was substantially different from the traveler’s own culture.
- They were rather long trips , of more than 2 weeks.
- If you have ever had an existential crisis , you may have noticed that sometimes we need a change in our daily dynamics. In this sense, traveling can help us recover our faith in ourselves and even overcome bad times.
1. Reduce stress and anxiety
Stress is the 19th century pandemic in Western countries . The demands of work, the rush and the hectic pace of life cause us a latent discomfort that, sooner or later, manifests itself through stress pictures. We can not stop thinking about our obligations, at the meetings of tomorrow or in the labor uncertainty that haunts us, and we forget to enjoy the present and the small pleasures of life.
However, when we embark on a trip, we disconnect from all these daily anxieties and focus on living in the present , relaxing in the pool, visiting paradisiacal beaches, moving with the beauty of the landscapes … We focus on the moment and we are not looking for any meeting or to comply with work routines.
To learn more: “10 essential tips to reduce stress”
2. Power your ability to solve problems
Throughout a trip, we force ourselves to leave our comfort zone and we must face certain situations and contexts that require greater involvement. You will live certain experiences in which you will have to make decisions and solve problems .
It is likely that you get lost in the streets that you do not know, that you go with the right time to the sites and that you should communicate with natives who do not speak your language. In summary, throughout the odyssey you will have to solve several problems and complicated situations that will arise, and this will help you to improve this capacity.
3. Increase your communication and social skills
If you have always wanted to meet new people and make friends, you should bear in mind that travelling gives you the best opportunity to connect with other people . Being in an unknown place, it is very likely that you will be encouraged to talk with people and thus develop your social skills.
Do not worry if during the first days it costs a bit to address people who are on the road. Once the stage environment has been overcome, you will surely be able to meet exceptional people who will make your experience meaningful. You may even make friends and come back after a while to visit them , or receive them in your own home.
4. Open your mind and broaden your horizons
Travelling is the best solution to get rid of stereotypes and prejudices. In fact, you often hear that “travelling is the best cure against racism.” Prejudice makes us feel suspicious of people for irrational reasons and distances us from the possibility of connecting with new people.
When we are an expedition to a new culture, we will realize that some of these thoughts were not well founded. We will discover new people and customs that deserve our appreciation, helping us to open our mind and relate in a more friendly way with all kinds of people.
5. Encourages self-discovery
Taking an exciting trip is the best way to get to know yourself. We temporarily abandon our daily context and visit a completely different environment, which can help us take perspective on who we are and what we want in life .
In addition, travelling can give us a new vital focus, discovering things we did not know we liked.
6. It makes you happier
The experiences we experience during trips make us segregate different hormones of happiness, such as endorphins. When we are away from home we forget the worries and labour and family obligations. During a trip, we carry out activities that we like and that promote that we relate with other people.
7. It takes you away from fear and insecurities
The fear is a feeling that paralyzes us. And, as many experts say, the best way to overcome fears is to confront them. Once we become aware that fears are only in our heads, little by little we relativize and banish them.
Surely, before embarking on a trip to a distant and unknown destination, you have fears and insecurities such as: “Am I going to feel lonely?” And even, depending on the destination you choose, you may feel that you risk being robbed on the street or not being able to understand people if you have any problems.
The reality is that exposing ourselves to fears is the best way to overcome them. Many people have gone on a trip before and only a minority has experienced something serious. Give yourself the opportunity to know a new culture and overcome your insecurities.
8. It makes you rethink many things
Spending time away from home can expand your way of seeing things and life in general. Your priorities may be modified, and henceforth you give less importance to material things and values plus other things that you did not value before.
9. Encourage you to be more empathetic
Changing the context and immersing yourself in a new city and a previously unknown culture offers you the possibility to relativize your daily problems and put yourself in the shoes of other people who, perhaps, have a life much more complicated than yours.
This may favour that you are more empathetic and that you are able to value that other people may have different value systems.