The 11 psychological benefits of travel

Who doesn’t appreciate a good trip to a city they’ve never been to? Traveling is a great motivation, as well as a source of joy, reflection and self-discovery. Traveling allows us to explore new climates and cultures, to immerse ourselves in them and to stimulate our mind.

Obviously, there are other people who prefer monotony and being comfortable in their home. But the truth is, travel fever has increased over the past few decades. Television, cinema and the Internet have opened a window to other parts of the world, unique places that hold our attention. It has also influenced this travel boom that prices have come down, allowing more people to travel around the world.

Psychological benefits for travelers

There is an abundant scientific literature on the psychological and emotional benefits of the healthy habit of traveling. Of course, some of these benefits can be quite intuitive, however it never hurts for science to investigate and find out the details that travel causes in our psyche.

Science has spoken

Without going any further, a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that the feeling of happiness lies in the recounting of memories and experiences that concern us, and that the ultimate expression is travel.

Other research indicates a clear correlation between being a traveler and longevity. While this may be due to a socio-economic factor (and therefore would be a spurious correlation), some sort of traveler gene also appears to have been detected. Traveling to different places on the planet is not in itself a factor that explains greater longevity, but it seems clear the psychological benefits that the experiences gained during the trip bring us. these yes they can improve our quality of life and ultimately extend the number of days we live.

All types of travel are positive

When researchers talk about travel, they’re very clear: every type of travel is positive for the psychological health of those who do. From nearby destinations to trips to distant and exotic places, any trip can be a great source of emotional well-being. You don’t even have to go very far, spend a lot of money, or do a particular activity – all trips “add up”.

However, and of course, there are some trips that give us much more interesting experiences than others. However, all the experiences we have away from home can be very positive in stimulating our mind. Everyone has preferences when it comes to adventures, and it depends on many factors, such as personality, age, and other variables.

Requirements for a trip to change our lives

Many people confess to their friends, assuring them that a trip they’ve taken has literally changed their lives. True, travel sometimes destroys many of our thought patterns and makes us see beyond, opening us to new worlds and possibilities that we had not even considered before.

Some of the requirements for a trip to be a kind of “ reset ” of our mind are:

  • The trip was made without company or next to a group of previously unknown individuals.
  • And the journey was a spiritual challenge.
  • The culture of the country or region visited was significantly different to the traveler’s own culture.
  • They were quite long journeys, More than 2 weeks.

If you have ever experienced an existential crisis, you have realized that sometimes we need a change in our daily dynamics. In this sense, traveling can help us regain self-confidence and even overcome bad times.

The 11 psychological benefits of travel

There are probably many more than eleven, but in today’s article we will list them. 11 most important benefits of the good habit of traveling and discovering the world.

1. Reduces stress and anxiety

Stress is the 19th century pandemic in western countries. The demands of work, the rush and the hectic pace of life cause us latent discomfort which, sooner or later, manifests itself in stress. We can’t stop thinking about our obligations, the morning meetings, or the uncertainty at work that surrounds us, and we forget to enjoy that and the little pleasures in life.

However, when we embark on a journey, we disconnect from all these daily anxieties and we focus on the life of the present, Relax in the swimming pool, visit paradisiacal beaches, move with the beauty of the landscapes … We focus on the moment and we do not wait for any meeting or to comply with the work routines.

To find out more: “10 essential tips to reduce stress”

2. Increase your problem-solving ability

Throughout a trip, we are forced to step out of our comfort zone and face certain situations and contexts that require greater involvement. You will have certain experiences in which you will have to make decisions and solve problems.

You might get lost in streets you don’t know, going to places just in time, and having to communicate with locals who don’t speak your language. In short, throughout the odyssey you will have to solve various complicated problems and situations that will be presented to you, and this will help you improve this ability.

3. Increase your communication and social skills

If you’ve always wanted to meet new people and make new friends, you have to keep in mind that traveling gives you the best opportunity to connect with other people. Being in an unfamiliar place is very likely to encourage you to talk to people and thus develop your social skills.

Don’t worry if for the first few days it is a bit difficult for you to target the people you meet along the way. Once you have passed the stage, you will surely be able to meet exceptional people who will give meaning to your experience. at you could make friends and come back in a while to visit them, Or receive them at home.

Recommended article: “Guide to meeting new people: places, skills and tips”

4. Open your mind and broaden your horizons

Traveling is the best solution to get rid of stereotypes and prejudices. In fact, we often hear that “traveling is the best medicine against racism”. Bias make us suspicious of people for irrational reasons, And keeps us away from the possibility of connecting with new people.

When we are on an expedition to a new culture, we will realize that some of these thoughts were unfounded. We will discover new people and customs that deserve our esteem, helping us to open our minds and communicate more kindly with all kinds of people.

5. Promotes self-discovery

Getting to know yourself is the best way to get to know yourself. We temporarily left our daily context and visited a totally different environment, which it can help us take a step back on who we are and what we want in life.

Plus, traveling can give us a vital new approach, discovering things we didn’t know we liked.

6. It makes you happier

The experiences we have had while traveling make us secrete different hormones for happiness, such as endorphins. When we are away from home, we forget about the worries and obligations of work and family. During a trip, we did activities that we love and that help us connect with others.

It all plays out in favor of our psychological well-being.

7. Stay away from fear and insecurities

Fear is a feeling that paralyzes us. And, as many experts claim, the best way to overcome fears is to face them. Once we realize that fears are only in our head, little by little we relativize them and banish them.

Surely, before embarking on a journey to a faraway and unknown destination, you have fears and insecurities such as “Am I going to feel lonely?”. And even, depending on which destination you choose, you may feel like you might be robbed on the street or not be able to understand people if you have any issues.

The reality is that exposing yourself to fears is the best way to overcome them.. Many people have traveled before and only a minority have experienced something serious. Give yourself the opportunity to experience a new culture and you will overcome your insecurities.

8. It makes you rethink a lot of things

Spending time away from home can broaden the way you look at things and life in general. Maybe your priorities will change, that from now on you will pay less attention to material things and values ​​as well as other things that you did not appreciate before.

9. Encourage yourself to be more empathetic

Change the context and immerse yourself in a new city and a previously unknown culture it gives you the opportunity to put your daily problems into perspective and put yourself in the shoes of others that they can have a much more complicated life than yours.

It can encourage you to be more empathetic and to appreciate the fact that other people may have different value systems.

10. You are constantly learning

Live unique experiences in environments other than those to which we are accustomed they provide us with learning and knowledge that values ​​us as people. It gives us a different view of things, of relationships, of religion, of how different cultures approach life.

In addition, the habit of traveling gives us the tools to question our daily life and our most deeply rooted values. Knowing new things improves skills and abilities that we had latent, And develops our critical thinking.

11. Develop your outlook and broaden your horizons

Travel and discover new countries and cultures broadens our vision of society. This makes us more respectful and flexible as we learn to value the needs and ways of thinking of people we know.

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