The Magic of Travel (and how it frees your mind)

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People all over the world spend plenty of cash each year to purchase items that they know are good for them. The self-help industry is worth $11 billion, and it continues to rise.

From holistic ideas to powdered kale and everything in-between, there is a quest happening today to find a long-lasting peace in the chaos of our world. We want to take care of ourselves and our families in the best possible way.

One item must be added to this list: traveling.

The freedom to travel is uniquely rewarding. Exploring new locations, seeing new wonders, and embracing new cultures is the embodiment of what it means to be human.

Anyone who has traveled to a destination which falls outside of their comfort zone can attest to how days of travel provide freedom to the mind. The magic of traveling also provides us with these unique health and wellness benefits.

Reasons Why You Should Be Traveling More

#1. Traveling promotes a healthier heart.

Traveling forces you to be more active.

When you travel, your body experiences more physical movements. Even if you’re just rushing to catch a train or make it through airport security, the exercise works to keep your blood pressure levels lower. That reduces the risks of a stroke or heart attack.

You can add to these health benefits by incorporating physical activities at each destination. Try cycling around a new town as a way to explore. Go hiking up a mountain trail. Take out a kayak to explore the rivers or lakes where you are.

If you vacation at least twice per year, then you can lower your overall risks of suffering a medical event related to your heart by up to 8 times when compared to people who rarely travel.

#2. Traveling enhances your creativity.

New experiences can help open up neurological pathways.

When you visit a new community, region, or country, then there are changes to your neural pathways which occur. The new environment and experiences make the mind more adaptable, which develops more opportunities to be creative. When you regularly engage with new cultures, there is a direct correlation to your professional and artistic success.

You must do more than just travel to a different location to experience this magic. A total immersion into the new culture must take place. Try new foods, interact at the local markets, and step outside of the tourist frame of mind.

#3. Traveling shifts your perspective.

Experiencing something in-person is different than looking at photos and videos.

When you stay at home, there is a particular comfort element which is pleasing. Traveling does create some risk. Where there is uncertainty, however, there are great rewards to be found.

By visiting different cultures and communities, you’re stepping outside of the ordinary into the extraordinary. You are choosing to eliminate your echo chamber for something that is more profound. Travel transforms how you see the world.

People who travel often experience new realizations about their life because they’ve finally stepped outside of their box. Seeing life through a different set of eyes, or walking in the shoes of someone else, forces you to challenge all the assumptions that were made. True freedom occurs when you’re able to explore alternatives instead of the same daily routine.

#4. Traveling reduces stress while boosting your mental health.

You do not have to travel far to experience a positive mood.

Did you know that the stress your feeling right now can go away in just 24 hours when you make traveling a priority?

Reducing stress is one of the top advantages you’ll experience when you take trips on a regular basis. Even planning a trip provides you with a boost in your emotional state as far as two months in advance of your planned outing.

When you have something fun and engaging to look forward to doing, even if you’re only taking a weekend trip, it will feel like a reward. More travel equates to less stress, more satisfaction with life, and a stable mood after returning when compared to people who hibernate in their homes each weekend.

#5. Traveling improves your connections.

Traveling immerses you in different cultures which can help shape your worldview.

One of the best reasons to start traveling is that you get to meet new people. Even if you don’t like social events, you’ll find that connections are possible in every community. Whether you discover a kindred soul in a local bookstore or a like-minded adventurer on a zip-line, the world becomes a smaller place in a good way because you’re meeting people you don’t get to meet by staying home.

The sense of being connected to one another opens the mind to new possibilities. Instead of being locked into a single point of view that demands superiority from others, you’re able to see more perspectives. That one attribute makes it possible to improve your physical and mental health.

Being in different cultures will also strengthen your personal identity. Your beliefs and values become confident components of how you define yourself.

#6. Traveling sharpens your mind.

There is always more than one place to visit.

Being introduced to new experiences encourages the brain to build resilience at the cellular level. When you travel frequently, this natural resistance becomes strong enough that it may delay the onset of certain degenerative diseases. At the same time, improvements in concentration and memory occur with such a profound effect that people with dementia see physical and mental enhancements.

How do you maximize this benefit? Instead of taking a vacation or trip to the same spot each year, go somewhere new. The differences in location and activities provide a rewarding effect on your physical and mental wellness.

#7. Traveling helps you rediscover the magic at home.

Traveling helps you appreciate what you have.

When you see the same things every day, the routine of life gets boring. The mountains outside your front door are no longer noticed. You miss the amazing smells of that restaurant you used to visit every week when you first moved to town.

The focus reaches a point of absolute tunnel vision. Your primary concern is to get through your day. Nothing else matters.

Spending time traveling awakens the senses. It reminds you of all the great things there are to love about home. You have awesome wonders that no one else gets to experience. By exploring how other people live, think, and experience life, you’ll begin to appreciate all those things about home you may have forgotten about.

#8. Traveling helps you see the beauty of our planet.

There are many wonders in the world that one can discover by traveling.

We are truly gifted to live where we do. Between the fantastic landscapes to the sunsets on distant horizons, every corner of our planet offers something beautiful to see. Each biome and ecosystem offer access to unique wonders which allow us to relax, appreciate life, and dig our toes into the warm sands of a beach.

When we don’t experience these things, it becomes easy to lose sight of all these majestic wonders. The same old sunset gets boring. Leaving trash outside instead of picking it up feels like a reward because it is less work.

Being exposed to new elements of Mother Nature’s beauty helps us to see that we are not alone in this universe. Humanity is blessed to have a twin, our planet, loving us. Travel helps us to reignite that love again if it’s been lost.

#9. Traveling offers a chance at reinvention.

Traveling can help relax the confines of the mind thus leading to new possibilities.

Every life reaches moments where there is a crossroads decision to be made. These moments of transition offer a fresh start. They open up a world that may have shrunk down to the smallest of sizes. Even if you are isolated and alone at home, deciding to travel gives you a chance to interact with the world.

People outside of your circle don’t know your struggles. They have no knowledge of you beyond what they see at that moment. You can find a new passion for life when no one has preconceived notions about the type of person you are.

Traveling offers new chances to be happy. The invitation is always open. Whether you explore to find an original purpose or you want to know more about yourself, the process of discovery will help you chart a course to the reinvention that you might need.

Are You Ready to Start Traveling More?

Bonus: you will have photos and/or videos of your travels to share with your loved ones.

Although the benefits of traveling are profound when you explore different nations and cultures, you’ll find similar wellness improvements when visiting new places close to your home.

You aren’t required to spend a fortune to take advantage of these health benefits. Driving down the road to a community you’ve never visited is just as effective. Explore downtown shops. Tour a museum. Do something that puts you outside of your everyday routine. Spend a day exploring, take a weekend holiday, or go on a lengthy vacation.

The point here is simple: just do something. Even if the only thing you do is book a hotel room down the street, sleeping in a new bed can shift your perspective.

You do not get to experience the magic of traveling when you stay home all the time. Take a courageous first step, explore the creativity found in different cultures, and this holistic approach could make your life happier and healthier than you ever thought possible.