Benefits of Travel Therapy
Benefits of Travel Therapy
I don’t know about you but this summer is flying by, and I’m doing my best to soak in every single second. In honor of August being one of the busiest travel months around the world, I thought it was a good time to talk about why I’m so passionate about travel, travel therapy, and explain why it’s an integral part of my private practice, this podcast, and my social media.
So to get us started, let’s dive right in with why I love traveling.
From a young age, my parents instilled the importance of seeing and being aware of the world at large. Shortly after graduating from high school, I went on a whirlwind tour of Europe with my AP European History teacher (Ps. I’m a serious history nerd!) and was hooked to traveling. The history, museums, new languages and foods, it was all so fascinating and exciting. My eyes were opened in a way that they had never been before and in a way that only travel can still do today. Countless trips, cities, and countries later, I have personally reaped the benefits of travel in more ways than I count: I’ve discovered new foods, been inspired to move to new places, celebrated relationships and major life milestones, grieved losses and breakups, and re-defined my alignment with my values. Nothing in my life has given me as much support, clarity, and personal growth as travel.
Because I want you to trust that my experiences can happen to you and love backing things up by facts, I wanted to share a few facts to back up why travel therapy is proven to be so powerful.
Research has shown that that it’s highly beneficial for emotional, physical, and mental health and here are my top favorite facts:
Foreign experiences increase both cognitive flexibility, encourage you to be more open, and enable you to enjoy more creative boosts than those who do not travel. When you’re in the same environment day in and day out, you can start to run on autopilot. Being in new surroundings can literally be a workout for your brain. I’m someone that craves spicing things up so when I find myself feel unmotivated by the day in and day out grind, I know it’s time to shake up my routine and explore a new area. When I’ve been away on longer trips, I’ve found that I start to miss that same routine and have a new appreciation for it when I return.
Not only do you see new places, traveling exposes you to new environments and can actually boost your immune system. If you’ve flown during cold season and gotten sick, you’re probably questioning this, but your body is becoming stronger! Think about it like this, when you’re traveling, you’re likely getting less sleep and on the go a lot allowing for your immune system to decline. When exposed to germs or viruses, you’re more like to get them, hence why you get sick. But here’s the fun part. Assuming you take care of yourself while sick, once you overcome this sickness or bug, you’ll be more likely to beat it the next time AND have a stronger immune system for the next bug that crosses your path.
Sticking on the health theme. People who skip vacations are more likely to suffer heart attacks and report higher stress. American listeners, I’m looking at you! We tend to be given the least amount of vacation time AND are less likely to take it because we feel guilty. Research shows that you we are more productive when we work less and practice more self-care. So start today and max out your vacation days this year.
Even though travel can be stressful, getting away two plus times a year can greatly reduce stress and depression symptoms.
The anticipation of taking a vacation can actually increase your long-term happiness more than a new material object. So next time you’re about to purchase an item, think about what that same dollar value could provide you with via travel. Which is more important to you?
Trying new things!!! Who’s tried a new food, new activity, or done a bold challenge like sky diving or the like while traveling? When you’re out of your regular your routine, you’re more likely to get out of your comfort zone and try that new food, that wild and crazy activity that you wouldn’t do at home, or introduce yourself to other people
Speaking of trying new things and my final point for today, when you try new things, you become more well-rounded and this enhances your self-confidence. Think about the last trip you went on and what you were excited to share when you came back. Now, think about how that same confidence you had when sharing your experiences did or could translate into you being more confident in other areas of your life. Are you now less nervous to speak in front of your team at work? Ready to try a new fashion or hairstyle that you saw while traveling? Talk to someone you’ve had a crush on? The options are endless if you’re open to it.
So how can travel help you?
Well, it’s time to find out by sitting down and mapping out how you want to utilize your remaining vacation time this year. Whether you want to go to a few towns over for a few hours or somewhere on the opposite of the world, both are incredible for your mind, body, and soul. I fully recognize and respect that everyone has different budgets, which is why I’m so insistent that your next adventure can come in many different forms.
If you’re looking for a few tips about how to plan a trip on a budget, head to episode 13 of Real Talk Travels with Carly Helfand. She’s the queen of traveling with reward points from credit cards and reward points and even offers a class that helps you understand what type of rewards system works best for you.
Also, check out my latest blog post about how to create a travel bucket list. I’ll be doing a podcast on this topic soon, but in the meantime, use these tips to jump start your own.
Well that’s a wrap for today and hope you’re already scrolling the internet for you next travel getaway!
As always, feel free to reach out with any questions and click HERE to learn how I can support you throughout any and all of your travel adventures!
Keep Adventuring :)