I bet you did not know that it has been scientifically proven that travel is good for you and that there are many benefits of travel.
Traveling the world or your own country is not just fun and exciting; there’s ample research to suggest it is highly beneficial for your physical, mental, and emotional health.
Let us dive in and look at some of the benefits of travel that researchers have explored and verified scientifically.
Improves Your Health
Maybe the most obvious, or maybe the least obvious. One of the most important benefits of travel is your health. Specifically stress reduction.
According to a study by The National Library of Medicine: Three days after vacation, physical complaints, the quality of sleep and mood had improved as compared to before vacation.
Some will say that travel is more stressful than relaxing. I agree it can be when things go wrong, But, it does not need to be. If booking a trip is stressful for you let a professional do it for you. Use a travel agent or go on an organized trip with a group vs. a self-planned one.
If you are concerned about booking travel yourself consider this company who will book the trip for you and partner you up with locals:
If you are concerned about what could go wrong, read this: 15 Biggest Travel Mistakes And How to Avoid Them
Allows You To Relax and Decompress
Perhaps one of the most understood benefits of travel is relaxation!
In today’s fast-paced world, we all struggle to slow down. Taking a vacation is a great way for you to put everything on hold and relax.
Disengaging from the day to day of life allows you to clear your mind, rebalance, and refocus.
Advances Social Skills
Have you ever been in that awkward situation where you do not have anything to say?
I think we all have at some point in our life. With a couple of trips under your belt, you will have much better social skills. A key benefit of travel that people often discounted.
Travel forces you to be social. People naturally ask where you are from, how did you end up in your chosen location, and so on.
It is not uncommon to be invited to local events. Attending will give you the chance to mingle with people that you otherwise would not have the chance to.
Improves Communication Skills
I cannot tell you how many times we have been in a situation where none of us could speak the local language and no one in the host country spoke English. A common scenario in some countries. And, a common reason people don’t venture overseas.
This has never been an issue for us. Believe it or not, you can muddle by with basic sign language or communicate in pictures.
I have described entire requests like I need to do laundry, or I would like to buy local art all by simply drawing the picture.
It is a lot easier today, we all have Google Translate which is great. But you will not always have wi-fi. If you get out and about enough you will figure out how to communicate without language.
Do not be afraid of not speaking the local language. Try to communicate as best you can. If you can pick up a word or two, you will be ahead of most others, score – another benefit of travel!
Makes You Appreciate What You Have
Traveling helps us appreciate our lifestyle and it is humbling.
You really do not know just how fortunate you are until you get to see life in other parts of the world.
Simple things like running water and electricity suddenly have new meaning to you.
You may think to yourself, I don’t need to travel to appreciate what you have. And, you may be correct. However, chances are this benefit of travel will make you appreciate them even more.
Strengthens Your Immune System
Yes, this is comical given I am writing this article in June of 2020. The year of COVID. But seriously, travel does build your immune system.
While you will never escape the potential “Delhi Belly” incidents completely you will build up a tolerance for them.
And, in some cases, if you are unlucky and get exposed to something more serious, you will be immune the next time.
Broadens Your Horizons
Connecting with different people from different cultures gives you the opportunity to see issues and daily life from a different angle.
Experiencing life at the moment rather than through television or someone else’s narrative is eye-opening.
You will develop a new curiosity that you did not know existed. And, you will become more open to the world outside of the US.
Develops Your Tolerance
If you would have told me twenty years ago that I would understand how or why some cultures engage in point-blank bribery I would have said you are bonkers.
I am not condoning it. I am simply saying that in some cultures it is a necessity.
It was explained to me by a dear friend: Right or wrong if you do not take the money someone else will.
And, in some counties, if you do not engage you are not going to get far.
Stretches Your Pallet and Taste
Food is like the universal language of love. Let’s face it – we all must eat.
Every region of every country has its own local cuisine. All locals want to showcase their dishes and traditions.
Eating around the world gives you a totally different appreciation for food.
Do not get me wrong here, I am not talking about eating bush meat or domestic animals. That is not for me and I am completely against how some counties cultivate their food. This aside, let us talk vegetables here to avoid any debate over the food source.
No two cultures are the same, no two cuisines are the same. Everything from available vegetables to seasoning varies and exotic choices await!
For example, sampling a vegetarian curry in Thailand is radically different than sampling a vegetarian curry in India or England for that. In fact, northern and southern Indian curries are very different.
Makes You Adaptable
You have all heard the expression “When in Rome” and we all know the meaning.
The reality can be a jolt of lightning to your social core or it can be the true test of your endurance and adaptability.
I am a firm believer that things will go wrong and I expect it. I also do not panic or freak out when things go wrong. Neither do the people that travel with me. I am known for keeping the calm in that I encourage all to chill while we figure it out.
Have I ever been in a situation that was not safe? Of course – many times. I am talking about experiences like this:
You are in India. It is rainy season and the sewer systems have backed up onto the main street. The choices are walk through the water and proceed on to a good time or stay hotel bound. Which in my case would have been for weeks. I chose to go out and deal with whatever came my way. I survived.
You are in Cuba and the water cuts out and there is no water for two days. Do you stay in? No. Not at all. Simply get some bottled water and take a shower as you would normally and continue.
My point here is you can adapt to almost any situation. And, if you do with a light heart you will survive with no scars. In fact, you will be quite elated by your ability to overcome obstacles.
I bet you never considered adaptability to be a benefit of travel!