To the discerning traveler, adventurer, connoisseur, or thrilled seeker, traveling is life and it brings joy, a level fulfillment and better understanding of the world. Although traveling may not be for everyone, however, these scientifically proven health benefits are rather encouraging. Hence, the need for a broader perspective and open-mindedness.
When was the last time you actually traveled to a completely different place that you are unfamiliar? It should be noted that traveling for business or incentive trips are one thing, however, traveling to a completely different part of the world that is unfamiliar yet safe completely disconnected from the phone, and the mundane life you are used to is far more exciting and better for our wellbeing and understanding of the world. Traveling the world is exciting, meeting people and learning about them and their culture, experiencing a culture shock, the varied and tasteful cuisines, nature, witnessing beautiful sunset and glimmering sunrises, stargazing all night and recharging has more health benefits for our mind, spirit and body and our perception of the world.
“ The average resident of the UK has visited 10 countries, Germans have seen eight, and the French traveled to five nations on average. But Americans? They tend to visit just three. In fact, 29 percent of American adults have never been abroad.”
Here are some interesting facts to consider. A study published in Hostelworld Global Traveler Reported that Americans are half as likely as Europeans to go abroad and visit more than one country. “The average resident of the UK has visited 10 countries, Germans have seen eight, and the French traveled to five nations on average. But Americans? They tend to visit just three. In fact, 29 percent of American adults have never been abroad.” Americans do travel, however, it is usually to neighboring countries, mostly Canada or Mexico and countries in the Caribbean’s. Affordability is evidently a big factor — about 71 percent of Americans say it’s too expensive to leave the country — however, research show that that’s hardly the whole story. Considering, what all the travel and deal sites have to offer. Today you can travel abroad without ransacking your piggy bank with thorough planning and working with specialized travel consultants.
1. Traveling makes us Healthier and Strengthens our Heart.
According to a joint study from the Global Commission on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, in partnership with the U.S. Travel Association, claim that traveling actually makes us healthier. The Framingham Heart Study found that those who didn’t take a vacation for several years were more likely to suffer from heart attacks than those who traveled annually. The study found that women who vacation at least twice a year show a significantly lower risk of suffering a heart attack than those who only travel every six years or so. The same is true for men. Men who do not take an annual vacation show a 20 percent higher risk of death and 30 percent greater risk of heart disease. Pretty alarming statistics that are worth noting.
2. Traveling Reduces Stress.
Another benefit is the reduction of stress. According to another study, three days after taking a vacation, travelers report feeling less anxious, more rested and in a better mood. Interestingly, these benefits tend to linger for weeks after the trip has ended. Although it is fair to say that missing a connecting flight or losing baggage in a foreign airport is sure to boost your anxiety, however, traveling has been scientifically proven to lower stress levels rather dramatically even in such unforeseen circumstances.
3. Traveling Enhances Creativity.
Professor and author, Adam Galinksy at Columbia Business School who researched the concrete links between creativity and international travel,explains that, "foreign experiences increase both cognitive flexibility and depth and integrativeness of thought, the ability to make deep connections between disparate forms." This means that new sounds, sights and smells all spark the creativity synapses in the brain. Travel alone isn’t enough, according to the research; international travelers have to be purposeful about engaging. “The key, critical process is multicultural engagement, immersion and adaptation. Someone who lives abroad and doesn’t engage with the local culture will likely get less of a creative boost than someone who travels abroad and really engages in the local environment.” A recent study from Academy of Management Journal found that people who worked overseas were more imaginative and inspired, than those who stayed in their home country. People who integrate a new culture into their identities, are more creative in the long run. Doing as the locals do for an extended period of time, opens up your mind, forcing you to think in different ways, and bounce around between different ideas. It’s a concept scientists called, cognitive flexibility. And the more cognitively flexible you are, the more creative you will be. This is one of the reasons why we just launched our Immersive Culture Centric Destinations.
4. Traveling Boosts Brain Power
Your mental health also experiences the perks of traveling. A poll conducted by the U.S. Travel Association discovered that travel, especially for retirees, prevents dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The study also found that 86% of those who travel are more satisfied with their outlook on life, compared to the 75% who do not travel.
5. Traveling Makes us Happy
The excitement starts from planning to itinerary building to looking at pictures, to actually booking your flight and hotel. An evidence is shown in the Journal of Environmental Psychology researchers found that people who simply looked at a photo of nature for only 40 seconds had improved focus and performance on their next task. Hence, it isn’t only the actual vacation that is good for you; it’s the complete planning, getaway, and return home experience that improves your health. A 2014 Cornell research study found that people experience more happiness just knowing they are going on a vacation versus knowing they are going to be purchasing something. Another study from Psychological Science found that anticipating an experience, before it even happens, makes you happier than if you are waiting for something tangible like a new smartphone. The act of planning a vacation can significantly improve your overall well-being. Begin your vacation planning today–book your ticket to the next destination on your bucket list, pack your bags and passport, and let your mind absorb the creativity and stress-free aura from your travels.
6. Traveling Increases our Faith in Humanity
Maddox found in his research that traveling the world increases our faith in humanity. The more foreign countries people travel the more their sense of generalized trust increases. Seeing all of the good that exists in the world, makes it easier to trust, because most people for the most part, are just trying to do the right thing. There is good in the world, just trust and be one first then all the goodness you seek may just find you. It also broadens our perspective and gives us a birds eye view. Traveling helps us look at our lives from a distance both physically and metaphorically. And when you do that, you’re able to see things a lot more clearly.
7. Traveling Reduces the Risks of Depression
While people tend to avoid the subject in our society, depression is unfortunately a major problem. Millions of Americans struggle with depression on a regular basis and it’s not uncommon for doctors to overprescribe medication for depression. Luckily, healthier alternatives are available for escaping the hopelessness of a depressed state. According to research, travel may be one of them.
A study from the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin found that women who vacation at least twice a year are less likely to suffer from depression and chronic stress than women who vacation less than once every two years.
8. Traveling keeps us Physically Fit
Nobody goes on vacation just to stay by the pool or in the hotel all day. It is part of exploring the new country and being engaged in multiple activities that makes it all worth it. You are out exploring, strolling through markets, hiking trails, or even lounging the beach. You are breathing in the fresh air and enjoying striking views and landmarks. And even if you end up sitting on a tour bus for a few mornings, you are still doing more than if you were stuck at the office or watching TV that will not make you feel any better.
Each year commit to traveling abroad, at least one country that you are not familiar with and become familiar. Commit to your wellbeing. Contact Trailblazer Travelz today to begin planning.