Life gets busy and overwhelming. We are loaded with so many daily responsibilities that sometimes, it can feel like we are only hanging by a thread. There are bills to pay, classes to take, a job to report to every morning, children to nurture, and a society that constantly demands our time, money, and attention.
“Go at least once a year to a place you’ve never been before.”
Responsibilities are good, as they are signs of the blessings that we have. We have bills to pay because we have a phone, or a roof over our heads, or a car to take us places, or children that we love. At the same time, if we aren’t cautious, these responsibilities can take a toll on our minds, bodies and overall health. It is important to hit pause every now and again, take a deep breath, break free from our daily routine and remember to enjoy life in its entirety.
All thanks to traveling, we are able to occasionally break free from life’s responsibilities do something new and pay attention to our health, our bodies and our minds. It is not being selfish, it is self-care. After all, we cannot pour from an empty cup. Whether it be miles away from home, or a neighboring city, traveling has numerous benefits to the health, and if done at least once a year, it can ensure we come out on top of this thing called life.
If you need more convincing, here are 5 benefits of traveling.
You may have thought that staying put in your clean apartment and avoiding dirt paths will help keep you healthy. But that’s false. Scientific study proves that a little dirt is good for you as they make your immune system stronger. So, go on that hike, get your feet dirty, travel to a new place, your immune system will be thankful for it.
Travel presents plenty opportunities to try something new and forces us to get active. The chances to try an activity like kayaking, zip lining, white water rafting, and so on, are higher when we are in a new environment. Afterall, we didn’t pay all that money to just sit in our hotel rooms watching Netflix. When we do all of these activities, we are exercising our minds and bodies and in turn, getting in better shape.
We can all agree that learning new things, new cultures and adapting to new environments helps expand our minds and give us totally different perspectives to life. Travel also helps us become more creative. According to this study, multicultural experiences facilitates creativity. Personally, whenever I travel, I come back home bursting with ideas and the logic is simple; sometimes when we step away from the “problem”, we come back with fresh eyes and perspectives to tackle it differently. This is exactly how travel can expand our minds.
Taking time off to rest, rejuvenate, and do fun activities can lower our stress levels significantly. Stress is mostly caused by our hectic routines, lack of rest and/or sleep, and doing the same things over and over again. Removing ourselves from the stressors can lower our stress levels and help us come back refreshed and ready to take on the world.
It’s true; those who travel tend to have a longer life expectancy. Whether local or international, all forms of travel enhance our lives and can actually increase our life expectancy. Research shows that travel reduces stress, keeps your body healthy inside and out, and boosts brain health. This adds up to an increased chance of living longer and why not to have more fun doing it.
Travel is a fun and enriching experience and it is what I like to call a “personal reward system”. By traveling at least once a year, you will notice the difference in your health, mind, and energy. You will return to your work, school, spouse, or children feeling as energized as ever and everyone around you will be happy to see that you are pouring a full cup. So, plan ahead, save money, and go on that vacation soon. You will not regret it.
NigerianJessica Ufuoma, who now lives and works in Canada, is very passionate about traveling and shares her experiences, tips, and advice on her website www.theufuoma.com. She hopes to use her platform to inspire young adults and millennials to travel, explore the world, and live life fully and intentionally.
Alexandra Fiman Maul, MPH