How travel enhances your wellbeing
If you’ve been lucky enough to travel recently, take some time to reflect on how it’s benefited you and if you can implement anything from elsewhere back into your life. If you haven’t travelled recently, consider the benefits of travel below and apply the reflective questions to any short home trips you do or keep for future travels.
Being rested, refreshed and revived from travelling, you’ll have the motivation and energy to make positive changes in your life.
Mental and Emotional benefits
Widens your perspective
Travelling exposes you to different experiences and ways of life.
What’s inspired you on your travels?
What can you bring home and implement?
For example, you might like to try a new cooking style / recipe / different food, add new music to your playlist, start a new class or hobby such as dance / craft / sport or add something new to your normal routine such as eating lunch mindfully rather than at your desk, or going for an early morning walk.
People often say the best thing about going away is coming home because you realise what you’re grateful for.
What’s working well in your life?
What things do you want to keep?
What do you want to drop?
What things do you want to add into your life?
Who do you want to spend more or less time with?
Now plan out how you can make the answers to these questions happen and implement.
Emphasises experience over things
Research shows that experiences not things make us happier.
What good memories do you have from your travels?
What experiences do you want to plan for more of?
Can you replicate similar experiences into your normal schedule?
Spending better quality time with family and friends can improve connection, and communication. In addition, shared memories of experiences help foster this.
Increases feelings of happiness and satisfaction
A 2010 study found that people feel increased happiness pre-travel due to anticipating their holiday and that a relaxed trip boosts happiness further after return.
If you are planning an active holiday, schedule in a bit of relaxation time too.
Another study found that just planning a trip can make you feel happier.
A fun activity for a rainy day could be to do some internet searching for a desired holiday. What’s on your bucket list? Find pictures of where you’d like to go and what you’d like to see and do. Keep them in a future holiday file.
Having a little freer time in your day allows you take in your surroundings more mindfully.
Take time to notice what you can see, hear, smell, taste and feel.
Promotes personal development
Different places, cultures and experiences can increase your knowledge and skills. You might decide to further this with a language, art/craft, sport course.
What have you always wanted to learn about?
Seek out an online or face-to-face course in your area or books and articles.
Exposure to a different culture, eating different food, looking at unique art and crafts can inspire you to create something new or do something differently.
What ideas have your travels sparked?
Lowers risk of depression
For reasons listed above, travel could lower depression. One study confirmed that
Women who take a holiday at least twice a year are less likely to suffer from depression and chronic stress than those who don’t.
Encourages R & R
Away from your normal routine you naturally slow down a little thereby reducing stress. You can sleep longer and better, have more relaxed meals, take in your surroundings more mindfully. All of this will help reduce feelings of stress and the physical symptoms that accompany it. One study confirmed that holidays alleviate perceived job stress and burnout.
Can you implement some more R & R into your normal home routine?
Visiting new places exposes your body to different pathogens which create new antibodies in your immune system to help fight infections.
Increases your physical activity
Whilst on holiday you’ll naturally be more active as you explore, visit attractions and participate in activities. This might help improve your overall strength, flexibility and fitness.
Can you implement more physical activity into your normal home schedule?
Can you join a class to help with your motivation?
May reduce risk of heart disease
Studies have shown that a holiday can reduce the risk of heart disease in both men and women. This is likely attributed to increased rest balanced with increased physical activity, more time in nature and a general mood boost.
How can you incorporate a holiday activity or routine this into your home schedule?
May help you live longer
All the above benefits help to contribute to a healthier, happier and consequently longer life. Many of the things that you do when travelling like slowing down, eating locally and seasonally, spending quality time with friends and family, naturally moving more and learning new things are what Blue Zone communities attribute to their longer life expectancies.
Look at the Blue Zone traits. What can you start incorporating more into your life and community?
Over to you
What things from your travels can you bring back to implement at home?
I’d love to hear about them.
Happy and safe travels.