What comes first to mind when you say the word ‘journey’? Buying cheap plane tickets? Unforgettable Instagram sunsets? Mountain crossings with heavy backpacks? Any journey can be exciting and adventurous — and much more than just sip Margarita on the sun-drenched beach.Any journey can be exciting and adventurous — and much more than just sip Margarita on the sun-drenched beach.
It is not news that traveling is good for physical fitness (gastro tours in Tuscany are not counted), but what is even nicer, according to psychology research, exploring new places is very beneficial for mental and emotional health. In other words, traveling makes us happier.
And here are nine reasons why:
1. We become more self-confident
A business trip to New York, a family holiday in Morocco, or a bold decision to quit (and sell) everything and live for months on wheels – when we set off on a long journey, we leave the usual comfort zone. In addition, even a very detailed plan does not negate surprises that happen all the time. Plunging into another culture and lifestyle, we learn to solve problems in an unfamiliar situation, which makes us more flexible, patient, and emotionally strong, as a result of which we increase our self-esteem.
2. We make new friends
Agree, it is much easier to make new friends on a journey than by moving along the usual work-home route. Your airplane neighbor on the way to London may become your husband, a fellow traveler on an excursion tour of Machu Picchu may be your future employer, and the sweet girl with whom you ordered solitary cocktails at a Chicago bar can be a lifelong friend. All of these are real stories that can happen to you.
3. We receive positive emotions
Sincere friendliness does not depend on the level of well-being and easily evokes a mutual feeling — seeing the broad smiles on the faces of residents of Laotian or Filipino villages, it is impossible not to smile back. Well, if this habit becomes a faithful companion — the world deserves the spread of a positive epidemic.
4. We begin to value those are not close anymore
Leaving familiar surroundings and close people, for a long time or not, we learn to appreciate them more. No one will listen to stories about adventures in distant countries with such attention as friends and relatives, ready for the love of us to endure enthusiastic monologues about the wonders of the planet. Well, then, an amazing moment of the meeting after separation always gives special emotions.
5. We learn something new
Regardless of what we do on the journey, it fills life with experience and knowledge, be it Taiwanese cooking classes, Spanish lessons in Colombia, diving in the Maldives or yoga in Goa. The brains work more actively, adrenaline rages in the blood, every day makes us happier — according to the findings of psychologists, this is a natural process when we learn what we find pleasant.
“Before you leave your homeland for the first time, you live thinking that it’s like that everywhere, and then you realize that there are a lot of different people, cultures and mentalities around,” says Lino Regush, the author of the crazy-cuccumber.com blog, which started in Bali and became a successful culinary project in New Zealand. — To make the trip successful, it is important to switch to the open mind mode: look at the world with wide eyes, accept the customs of other countries, try everything that seems interesting, without trying to adapt the surrounding reality to yourself. So we get a unique experience, which as if updates us and, of course, makes us happier.”