Taking care of ourselves comes in many forms, but one way that is especially close to my heart is traveling.
To travel simply means to go from one place to the next, typically to a distant or unfamiliar place.
You know that feeling you get when you start planning a trip? Or when you take a random weekend away? That feeling is what keeps us sane! Taking that trip is what keeps up mentally sharp. We weren’t made to sit at a desk for 8 or more hours a day. Why do you think Europeans take a whole month off, don’t start their day till like 10AM, take social breaks throughout the day, and make sure they are enjoying life!
With that said, traveling means so much more to me than just that. Traveling is a time where you get to get lost, find those hidden gems, find out what is hidden deep within you, meet wonderful humans along the way, and learn about cultures you wouldn’t of otherwise known.
Another thing that happens when you travel, especially solo travel, is you get to find out just how strong and truly capable you are! Take my fellow wanderluster and blogger, Jamie of Pink Luggage Abroad. She was in Vienna and of course the worst happened; she was pick-pocketed, and her cell phone was gone! Can you imagine being in a country where you don’t know the language and your phone is now gone? This of course would cause panic for most of us! But no, this bad-ass babe handled it with grit and grace!
When I started traveling, something changed. I changed. I was able to see that there was so much more to this world than just the suburbia I grew up in. That my “bubble” wasn’t as big as I thought it was and I also knew that I didn’t want to stay in that “bubble”.
The more I started to travel, the more I realized this was in my blood. I am a true wanderluster; I am in love with all of the places I haven’t been and the people I haven’t met.
While traveling over the years, I also realized that I am most happiest when I am traveling. Why? Simply put, it makes my heart and mind happy. I am at ease.
What are the 8 reasons why traveling is good for your mental health?
Traveling is an excellent stress reliever: we get so consumed in our every day life, especially this time that we are living in. History is being made and change is coming. Which means it is ever so important to find ways to relieve that stress. Yes, the gym, eating healthy, socializing, and self-care all do, but traveling may be the best one of all. For a period of time, however short or long, you get to get away from your everyday life and see something new and amazing. You get to relax your mind and just go with whatever the day brings to you. What is a better stress reliever than that?
Traveling helps you find and re-invent yourself: it absolutely does! Traveling allows you to find out what you do and don’t like. It allows you to see places that make your jaw drop and bring that into your every day life. It allows you to understand just who you are, who you don’t want to be, and how to be the strong bad-ass you were meant to be!
Traveling boosts your overall satisfaction and happiness: well, duh! When you travel, are you happy? Do you come back to your regular routine happier than when you left it? Of course you do. Traveling allows us to clear our minds, completely let-go of our day-to-day and reset our batteries. It is necessary and it it is vital!
Traveling makes you mentally resilient: this is more important than you think! When we are mentally resilient we perform better in all aspects; home life, work life, social life, etc. There is something about traveling that makes you sharper, more efficient, and ready to rule the day! You know the, I can tackle anything that life throws at me, feeling!
Traveling enhances your creativity: absolutely! Traveling gives you ideas, allows your brain to think of different ways to accomplish your goals, and brings a fresh perspective! Have you ever gone on a trip and while you’re gone you have all these new ideas on how to go about meeting your goals? I know whenever I go somewhere for vacation, I come back with lots of ideas!
Traveling changes your way of thinking: it makes you see things differently, in a better way. You begin to realize that you probably have it pretty good and to not let the little things at home get to you; i.e., the Starbucks line is too long so you get frustrated or the power is on 24/7. You especially need to travel to a 3rd world country and see how you come back a person who now has a different grasp. I remember when I lived in Nigeria, where the power would go out at least once a day, traffic was horrendous (I mean like 3 hours to get over the bridge), and not being able to find what you wanted in the market. When I moved back, life really wasn’t hard. When you go to places that have different customs, you grow as a person and your thinking changes for the better.
Traveling teaches you how to communicate: especially if you travel alone. You begin to realize that communication can be found in many forms, not just the spoken word. You start to see that you can get by even if you don’t know the language and that there are people who will help you along the way; you will probably end up with some great friends, too! I know that I have friends all around the world and that those connections are going to last a life time.
Traveling can strengthen your relationships: traveling with a significant other or family can strengthen your relationship, ten-fold. You adapt to your surroundings and notice that you can get through stressful times together as you are there to help one another. Plus, you get to see explore the world together and that in and of itself is a bond strengthener. Let’s think about being at the airport: you may get frustrated because possibly the plane is late, or the line is to long, or your luggage is taking forever; but, when you are with someone, things don’t seem so bad and you work through whatever situation arises. This then carries into your home life.
Take that trip! See those sites! Get lost! It will do wonders for you!
If you are new to traveling, are a wanderluster like me, or need some travel ideas, lets connect! I can’t wait to hear all about why traveling revives your soul or what is making you want to start traveling!