50 Reasons Why Travel Is Good For Your Wellbeing

Travel has long been a form of therapy for me, as a summer break from dreaded exams during my A level years; an escape from impending adulting during my University years; the only thing that could heal me after ‘that break-up’ during my twenties… So what exactly are the reasons behind why travel is good for your wellbeing?

There are actually so many that it’s difficult to know where to start! There are no less than 50 points in this post, so if I haven’t persuaded you that booking that trip is one of the best things you can do for your health and happiness by the end of it, I’m not doing my job properly!

50 Reasons Why Travel Is Good For Your Wellbeing

  1. Travel usually = sunshine (OK, not always, but even on ski trips and Arctic adventures you’re often out in the sunshine more than you’d usually be!). Getting a healthy dose of the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D, does wonders for your health and wellbeing.
  2. Whether travel includes sunshine or not, it always signifies freedom. And it’s a scientific fact that the key to happiness is not, as many believe, your income, but your perceived level freedom.
  3. You exercise more. Whether it’s prior to your travels to achieve your desired beach-physique, or by swimming, hiking or just walking around more while you are there, travel is often associated with greater health and fitness.
  4. Be it the sea, pools, a lake or river, you are beside water more often when you travel. The clever people at Condé Nast Traveller say that this really does make us happier.
  5. We are separated from the ‘real world’ for a while. While I don’t advocate travelling simply for the reason of absconding from life’s problems, I think it’s good for all of us to have a little escapism from the troubles of our every day life every now and again. Switching off from it all and unwinding is a great way to restore some peace and control.
  6. We also get to skip the 9-5 for a while. Leaving the rat race and all of the associated stresses and strains that come with everyday employment behind does us no end of good. Even the biggest workaholics need to take a break from it all…actually, especially these people!
  7. Ditching the 9-5 also often means skipping the morning alarm. Not having to get up at a certain time every day doesn’t just result in more sleep, but also greater relaxation and perceived freedom (see point 2).
  8. Spending time in a brand new environment is good for the soul.
  9. You are constantly passively learning while you are on the road. New experiences and insights teach you new perspectives about the world and broaden your horizons.
  10. You are also often actively learning. Whether it’s a new skill such as a cooking class or mastering the language, increasing our knowledge of a place’s culture or history, learning keeps our brains active, which psychologists say makes us happy.
  11. Being in a new culture also tests your boundaries, pushing you out of your comfort zone. It reminds you how capable you are, and is a great confidence builder.
  12. Travel expands our capacity to forego negativity and find new joy and wonder in our world.
  13. Observing the diversity that the world contains is great for teaching tolerance, acceptance and love for other human beings.
  14. If you’re stuck in a rut, there’s nothing quite like a little travel to help you to find a new perspective. The world contains many alternative ways of viewing life and problems, and sometimes it takes travelling to the other side of the world to discover another way of thinking or living.
  15. Travel teaches independence.
  16. Travel teaches resilience.
  17. Travel sparks creativity, inspiration and enlightenment.
  18. It’s one of the best way to meet new people and forge new relationships. Other travellers are some of the most open and friendly people I have ever met, and there’s nothing like shared experiences to bring people together.
  19. It’s a great way to reconnect with your current travel partner(s) too. Whether they are family, friends or recent acquaintances, spending quality time building memories together away from home is the very best way to build lasting bonds.
  20. Travel connects you to something bigger than yourself. Watch this TED talk to find out why the people in this study who were the happiest and healthiest were the people most connected to other people, to friends, family and community.
  21. Encountering unexpected situations when on the road helps us to be more flexible, adaptable and resourceful.
  22. You know the saying ‘happiness is infectious’? Well, never has this been so true as when you’re on the road. Friendly, cheerful locals and the joy of other tourists can help you to feel more positive and upbeat too.
  23. It’s a funny thing, but being away from your life for a while makes you appreciate your life more. All too often we take our friends, your family and home for granted, but absence makes the heart grow fonder and far more appreciative.
  24. Separation also gives you a new-found perspective. If you’ve been pondering a new life direction or dilemma, there’s nothing like a little time away from it to give you that ‘lightbulb’ moment.
  25. Travelling makes it easier to unplug. Sometimes we’re forced into switching off because of lack of wifi or charging facilities; other times we become so caught up in the moment that we forget about checking our social media for just a second. The result is liberating and helps you to enjoy the ‘here and now’ so much more.
  26. You have a chance for some very rare ‘you’ time. In our everyday lives we’re always surrounded by other people, and rarely have time to let go and just ‘be’. While travelling, there is an abundance of time for meditation and peace alone with our thoughts.
  27. You have an abundance of ‘time’. The feeling of not being pushed to meet deadlines and to take life at a leisurely pace has been scientifically proven to increase happiness levels.
  28. At the same time as the perceived abundance of time, there is also a feeling of always having something new to do or see when travelling. In the absence of this boredom void, the mind is more stimulated and entertained and therefore much happier.
  29. Being busy all day results in more restful sleep at the end of the day. I have never encountered such deliciously deep sleep as when I’m travelling (especially if it’s in an incredible five star bed!).
  30. Have you heard the saying, ‘travel is the only thing you buy which makes you richer’? It’s true. Travel teaches you that money is insignificant in comparison to experience, and one of life’s biggest stressors suddenly seems not quite so significant.
  31. It forces you to get organised. Nobody can travel anywhere unless they have their possessions and plans in order.
  32. While you’re more organised, you’re also less inclined to stick to routines, and it’s a well-known fact that spontaneity makes you happier.
  33. Dodging your daily routines also means dodging your daily responsibilities, leaving you feeling lighter and less burdened, with a greater sense of freedom (taking us back to that all-important point 2 again).
  34. It’s important to remember that for all the positive things about travel, it also exposes you to some negative things too. Reminding yourself of the less-savoury features of our world, such as crime, poverty, or environmental degradation can give you a new sense of purpose or drive to help, and can help you to be grateful for what you have in your life.
  35. Speaking of gratitude, travel is the best way to increase it. The ability to traverse the world and explore different cultures is a blessing that not everyone has the ability to do. Being thankful for your life and experiences makes you happier in all kinds of ways.
  36. Ticking off that bucket list item means much more than just getting the perfect snap for your Instagram grid. It gives you an enormous sense of fulfilment and achievement.
  37. Viewing beautiful scenery, and natural or man-made wonders of the world, likewise. Humans have sought out beautiful vistas to marvel at throughout history, because there’s nothing quite like the feeling you get when you look out over a stunning view.
  38. Often, the scenery we seek out is a natural landscape, because reconnecting with nature is good for the mind and spirit. It’s well-documented how nature can be beneficial for our health and happiness.
  39. Frequent travellers are far more likely to seek out relaxation therapies such as yoga, meditation and massage than non-travellers. These therapies reduce stress and increase daily resilience and calm.
  40. Frequent travellers are also more likely to engage in healthy behaviours, such as regular exercise and eating well.
  41. Speaking of eating, travel gives you the opportunity to sample different cuisines and eat some excellent food. And trust me when I say that nothing can make you happier than that!
  42. It also gives you the opportunity to wear new clothes that you wouldn’t normally wear, to say and do things that you wouldn’t normally do and to create an entirely new you! Nobody else knows you on the road, you’re not shackled by your past and you can be whoever you want to be.
  43. New clothes also means lots of SHOPPING! It’s undeniable that all of the new purchases that come along with preparing for a trip are pretty good for the soul (if you manage to turn a blind eye to your waning bank balance)
  44. Travel reminds us that experiences are more important for our wellbeing than things (point 43 still stands though).
  45. Travel enables you to tick off life ambitions, and encourages you to add more to your list as you go. There’s nothing quite like it in life that gives you that real sense of achievement, and that ‘I can do anything I put my mind to’ attitude.
  46. Travel often inspires you to give something back to the area that you’re visiting. Whether it’s something as small as paying a busker on the street whose music you’ve appreciated, or larger like volunteering to help rebuild after a natural disaster, travel inspires us to be more giving and there’s some convincing science behind why generosity makes you happy.
  47. It gives you something to look forward to. Anyone else think the anticipation of travel is sometimes as good as the actual travel itself?
  48. It gives you stories to tell, and makes you a more interesting person. Making other people laugh as you regale your hilarious travel stories is a great way of boosting self-esteem and all those good endorphins.
  49. It gives you fond memories to look back on. Recalling moments of happiness can sustain a moment of contentment for a long time after the moment has passed. Travel memories can stick with you forever.
  50. It helps you to continue to follow your sunshine. As well as increasing your wellbeing in the short term, travel can sustain the effects into the future too. And once you’ve had a taster of all the good things that travel has to offer in terms of health, happiness and general wellbeing, one thing’s for sure: you’ll be going back for more.

50 Reasons Why Travel Is Good For Your Wellbeing

Are there any other reasons why travel is good for your wellbeing that I’ve missed?

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50 Reasons Why Travel Is Good For Your Wellbeing

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11 Comments

  1. March 1, 2018 / 10:19 am

    For me it’s all about the making memories and travel is so much more enjoyable with littles to share with

  2. March 1, 2018 / 12:25 pm

    I agree, it so good for the soul. X

  3. Emma @ Adventures of a London Kiwi
    March 1, 2018 / 4:27 pm

    EPIC post Polly! I need to print this out & pin this up somewhere!

  4. Steph
    March 1, 2018 / 7:54 pm

    Printing this out for every time I ever doubt booking a trip somewhere! Travel is good for you = fact 🙂

  5. March 2, 2018 / 4:03 pm

    I agree with all of those! Don’t think you have missed any at all!

  6. March 3, 2018 / 11:54 am

    Lots of nodding from me here, can’t think of anything you’ve missed!!

  7. erindeerich
    March 3, 2018 / 10:32 pm

    wow! Extensive list! Travel is just so great.

  8. March 7, 2018 / 10:53 pm

    Wow what a list! Fantastic. I agree with them all.

  9. sophiehannahxo
    March 8, 2018 / 2:08 pm

    love this post Polly. and its so true too!! xxx

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