So many of us travel these days – on family holidays, gap years, business trips, educational programmes, so we all know that it’s great to have a change of scenery from time to time, a little adventure for a week or two. But then why is it that some of us catch the notorious ‘travel bug’? I am guilty as charged; I was diagnosed many years ago, and I haven’t quite managed to shake the habit – not that I have tried to of course.
So why is it that travel is just so good for us? Well, here are a few things to consider:
1. Broadening the mind. Travel and the subsequent exposure to other countries and their traditions increases our awareness and appreciation for other cultures, helping us to see things from a different perspective.
2. People skills. Being out of our comfort zones and in unfamiliar territory certainly makes for interesting encounters with locals and travellers alike. It is quite common to find yourself in extraordinary circumstances with people you hardly know – particularly when backpacking or straying off the beaten track, and it’s experiences like these that really test and improve your people skills – often leading to lasting friendships.
3. Social media detox. Exploring faraway places and rugged terrains will often correlate with a lack of phone reception, or at least wifi connectivity. And while you’re busy doing lots of amazing things in the great outdoors, you can’t be distracted by social media or work calls, so you can concentrate on all those amazing things and getting totally absorbed in the moment.
4. New experiences. Food, environment, weather, personalities – travel opens our eyes to so many new things, as we sample local dishes, we discover exciting wildlife, we get caught in a tropical storm, or we come across larger than life characters that make our travel experience all the more colourful. It all adds to the memory bank.
5. Increasing self-confidence. By taking us out of our comfort zones, travel tests our boundaries. We face new challenges – such as language barriers, awkward miscommunications, unpredictable situations, and general disorientation. By dealing with, and overcoming these challenges we learn more about ourselves and our confidence in ourselves when life throws a bit of a curveball.
6. Appreciate home. Travel is great, but it can be lonely, particularly if you are travelling solo. Missing those home comforts and the people that make up our concept of ‘home’ makes us appreciate them all the more.
7. Constantly learning. We learn new skills, new languages; we learn about the history of a new place and its traditions. Travel fosters some serious life skills which can be applied in many different ways wherever we go.
8. Do things you never find time to do. When we travel we find time for those things that we tend to put off in our daily lives, such as reading a book, or meditating, or writing. When you find yourself on a train, a bus or a plane, then it’s the perfect time to indulge.
9. Focus on you. Work, family, social circles – there’s a lot to be distracted by when we are going about our daily lives, and sometimes we forget the importance of ‘me time.’ Well maybe we don’t forget it, we just don’t find the time. So travel is a great way to get a bit of distance and gives us time to focus on ourselves a little more.
10. Building lasting memories. With travel comes a sense of excitement and adventure – anticipation of the unknown, and as such there is a great chance of experiencing those moments of ‘perfection’ that engrain themselves in our memories, and they also make for great stories when we go back home.
11. Be a happier, more relaxed version of you. Take a ‘no stress’ approach to travel and just roll with it, deal with what comes your way when it comes your way and just detach from the hustle and bustle of your daily routine.
Now that we’ve gone through the great benefits of travel, find out why taking a social media detox is so good for you too.