In an age where adults are often cramped into cubicles for forty (or more) hours a week, and too many kids are wasting away indoors, it’s important to highlight that there could be a great number of physical benefits to exploring new lands. Let’s talk about you. Yes, you! From my experience (and discussing with fellow travelers) there are direct and observable benefits that come from frequent exploration of new places. Here are three reasons how traveling can physically and mentally benefit you.
When traveling to new places, you’re exposing your body to new types of bacteria. As your body adapts to new and unfamiliar threats, your immune system grows and improves. You don’t need to travel to the middle of the Amazon to find new bacteria, either! Even a weekend road trip will expose you to those omnipresent creepy crawlies. Of course, you won’t turn into an indestructible super hero by visiting new places, but over time you may notice that you generally have more energy and are less affected by the seasonal bugs that go around. I’m not a doctor, I can only speak from experience!
This one really sticks with me: traveling to new lands, meeting new people, and experiencing new cultures expands your understanding of the world. You naturally begin to draw parallels and develop a natural interest in learning about society in general. Travel exposes you to new arts and architecture, language, cuisine, and beliefs. These don’t need to act like every adventure is life-changing, but think of all the new and interesting things you’ll experience and draw connections from!
Out of all the benefits of travel, this is the one I hold in highest regard. There is something incredible about an activity that can entirely change how you see the world. People say that staying physically healthy can boost your mood and improve your mental health, but I firmly believe that taking part in activities that cater towards positive and critical thinking will naturally create positivity towards other acts of self-improvement, such as exercise, discipline, and self-care.
Travel Naturally Encourages Exercise
When was the last time you woke up and said “I feel like walking around my neighborhood for ten hours today”? I can’t think I’ve ever wanted to explore my hometown for half a day on foot, but whenever I touch down in a foreign city that’s all I can think about! While many destinations may have you eating more than usual, the walking, hiking, swimming, climbing, and exploring will keep the blood pumping.
Now, I really don’t want to make you think that you have to vacation constantly or spend beyond your budget going to exotic places. The point of travel isn’t to go to the most remote and expensive locations, but to develop a mindset of openness and a thirst for new experiences. While traveling is undoubtedly a luxury that not all can experience with any amount of regularity, it’s important to think of it as more than just a vacation: it’s like a spa day for your brain! Next time you have a day to yourself, try exploring a nearby town you haven’t visited before, or if you live in a bigger city, even a new neighborhood can get the proverbial ball rolling. Just remember, wherever you decide to explore, always wander and ponder!