How Travelling Benefits You Emotionally Tisca just hates traveling. Whenever someone invites her for a trip, she backs out giving frivolous excuses. Once her mother asked her the reason she avoids traveling and pat came the reply, “It is exhausting, Momma”! Her mother smirked and asked her to start planning a trip immediately. As it was an order from her mommy dearest, Tisca followed it diligently. The next morning, Tisca hugged her mom and said, “Travelling seems to be fun!” Her mother asked her the reason of her changed opinions overnight. She replied, “I am feeling quite good while planning the trip”. Her mother tells her, “This is just the beginning.” Actually! While traveling has so many benefits, emotional benefits top the list. If travel escapades are well-planned, they won’t ever exhaust you, but just lift you emotionally. Though I have not traveled to many places, yet every travel has added something to my personality and a lot more to my memories. Here are some proven emotional benefits of traveling. “Change your location and you may change yourself” – Eric Weiner Travel Transforms You Are you bored of your own self at times? I do. My same old reactions and thought-processes make me feel dull and uninteresting. As opposed to this, traveling to a new place gives a fresh perspective. You get to realize many things during traveling. Razvi, a mom of two, says, “If I were given a choice, I would travel four times a year, instead of twice. Not only me, but my kids feel that I do change a lot after traveling. I take things lightly and even feel good after a holiday.” Travelling is like a teacher. It makes you learn life-lessons through practical means. And these lessons are etched in the mind for long. To extract more out of travel, plan going to places that are culturally and economically different to the one you belong to. Exploring starkly opposite places gives a new outlook and makes you contemplate whether you and your life are on the right track. Travel when with your kids or without them, travel when you have recovered from an illness, travel when you earn a lottery or travel even when you are completely broke. There are different ways you can travel and each has its own benefit. “Age is no barrier when it comes to travel” Travel Sharpens Your Mind Are you aware of the ‘same old grind’? Why would not you? You are going through it almost every day. Most of us have to do the same work in the same fashion all week long. When the task is repetitive, our brains do not function well. Our brains get a lot of exercise when they face a crisis. When faced with problems, our brains start functioning in a better manner. Critical situations grease our brains. Traveling snatches your daily routine from you places you in a new situation altogether and asks you to deal with all the things that come with it. Such situations and events make our brains work harder. Travels, especially to adventurous places and new cities help us deal with different situations which we might not have experienced earlier. So to make our life work smoothly, our brains start working at double the speed. The moment you step outside of a familiar environment, your brain gets new information to process. Making new decisions, adjusting to a new routine, getting exposed to a new culture is good for the brain. This is very helpful to keep your brain away from degenerative ailments. It also helps in keeping your brain active and slow down the process of aging. So says Cedric Fernandes, “I am 50 now and my zest for traveling has all the more increased. I feel young and energetic in new environments. However, I make sure I eat good food and take care of my health while traveling.” “Travel not to find yourself but to remember who you have been all along” Travel is a Stress Buster Stress is an awful thing. At times, we do realize that we are stressed but other times we do not even know the levels of stress we are getting exposed to. Stress prevents you from enjoying your life to the fullest. It does not even let you slow down and take life as it comes. It is a privilege to stand by the window and sip coffee while soaking in nature. At such times, travel takes you away from stressful daily routine and helps you unwind. So says Fiona, a travel blogger, “I have been traveling alone since my 20s. I do not work while traveling. It gives me some time off from the laptop. It helps me write better as well. I return all charged up.” Traveling is essential for the mind. All the accumulated stress gets washed off and you get a fresh and rejuvenated mind that thinks freely. Traveling helps calm the mind and relaxes it in more ways than one. If the purpose of traveling is bursting out stress, then chose a place that is away from the daily grind – be it a beach, mountains, and valleys or towns that are not very crowded. Some people even feel relaxed in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city. It depends on what calms you down and ups your relaxation. “If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet.” – Rachel Wolchin Travel Keeps You Happy So what lights your face up? Is it a piece of cake or a new place? I know that both of them do but a cake will finish off soon but the memories of visiting a new place will linger on for many days. On the lighter side, you can have your cake even in the new place you are traveling, right. When you are traveling, you do not have to go through the daily humdrum – work, office, cook, clean, drive, etc. You get a break from routine. When you travel, the settings of the brain go on a reset – in the technical language, your mind returns to factory settings to free up space. Our ancestors were nomads and they were happy traveling. Then gradually people started settling down. However, we are still very happy to behave like nomads and go on a traveling spree once every couple of months. So says Savvy, a corporate professional, “Mine is a desk job. I am in my cubicle most of the time. I make sure that I take a break from the 4×4 enclosure that I stay in all day long and travel to faraway places. I get to explore and experiment and do so many things that make me happy.” Right from the time you start planning a trip till the time you return, your happiness quotient is on a high. “Jobs fill your pocket, but adventures fill your soul.” – Jamie Lyn Beatty Travel Keeps Depression at Bay Depression is real. While many of us do not realize that they are going through depression, it has been affecting people all around the world. When this ailment is in its budding stage, people can get out of it consciously. Travelling is one of the remedies and also preventive measures for depression. Doctors also recommend people to travel in order to keep their minds active and happy. Traveling not only helps the mind but also the body. Planning holidays to new cities and places are good for overall health. People who travel frequently easily keep negative emotions away. This is because when our brains are busy adjusting to a new place while traveling, it does not have time to think about negative people and thoughts. Travelling removes you from an old set that is depressing and stressful to a new one that rejuvenates you. So opines Aayushi Khetan, a tender specialist, “Travelling opens me up and makes me escape from the daily grind. I am always busy even while traveling – waking up early to see the sunrise, exploring the city on the foot, taking pictures, etc. Although I return exhausted, I am quite happy after the holidays.” “Travel literally is the language of life” Travel Inspires Creativity All those people who belong to creative fields and even those who do not do so should take traveling seriously. Traveling helps open up your mind and inspire novel creative ideas that help both personally and professionally. People who are entangled in a rut should get out of it by traveling or their minds will become like a frog living in a well. Such frogs think that well in itself is the entire world and there is nothing beyond it. While traveling, you experience new things, places, people, smell, taste, and the like. This stimulates your brain in different ways. Miraya, a creative writer, is a part of a writers’ group that meets at a new place once in a while. Miraya says, “When we meet at unexplored places, we are so thrilled with everything new that we end up with so many ideas to write.” “Travel as much as you can, as far as you can, and as long as you can.” Travel Boosts Confidence Some of us are scared to death when we encounter a situation we have never experienced before. Travelling is such a thing. It is new and scary at times. However, when the trip is well planned, the fright reduces gradually. It adds on to the confidence of the travelers who otherwise never step even out of their homes. Traveling lets you discover your personality traits. At times, we do not even know what our capabilities are or whether we will be able to survive the crisis. All this makes you a better person. Travel to places where people do not know who you are. This way you will not have to behave in a certain format. And when there is no pressure to put on your best self, you actually learn new ways to tackle life situations. So says Abraham, a celebrity chef, “Wherever I go in my country, people recognize me and I end up behaving like the person I portray on the television. So, this time I went on a foreign trip with strangers through a travelers’ group. They did not know me and I had the time of my life.” “Travel is the healthiest addiction.” Travel Enhances Mental Strength It doesn’t matter that you are physically strong and can lift tons of weight without uttering ouch. You might not know that high above physical strength is mental strength. When you are mentally strong, you can rise above all the situations that you face in life. It is necessary that people are emotionally tough. To become a tough nut, it is required that you step out of your comfort zone. You can do this by learning a new hobby, skill or art or just travel to a foreign country. One of the tricks that need to be learned in the modern world is to be patient. One needs to be tolerant of people and environments and travel teaches you the same. So says Abhishek Vasu, “My work requires me to travel. As I work for a multinational company, I have come across people from all walks of life. Earlier I used to squirm at their habits but now I have become much more flexible and patient with other people. Travelling has taught me so much that I cannot even explain here.” Other Benefits of Travel Travel uplifts your mood and keeps it bright for a longer time. Travel helps you tackle sleep problems and offers sound sleep. Travel improves productivity at work and lets you manage efficiently. Travel promotes problem-solving skills and makes you resourceful. Travel inspires you to adopt a healthy lifestyle. “Travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer.” How to Plan Your Travel To extract more benefits out of your travels, you need to understand that it requires meticulous planning. You need to turn your trip into a memorable experience that boosts your energy every time you think about it. For this, you need to make sure that: Instead of searching for destinations for travels, hunt for experiences. You need to be inquisitive and pursue things that you have not, without fear. Make sure you respect the feelings of others on the trip and the people whom you meet. Also, remember that every travel may not turn out to be the best, but every expedition will teach you something. How to Make the Most of Your Travels After Return The benefits of your travels are not limited to the time that you are out. All that you seek and gain should continue to do good to you long after you return. For this, you need to do some things in return as well. To hold on to positive experiences after travel, you can make a scrapbook with pictures and things that you learned on the trip. If you liked that ballet of a performer, get to know more about it. You can even learn this form of dancing. Even while you are on the trip, you can maintain a diary and write about your experiences. You can read this diary once in a while. What made you feel better on the vacation should be analyzed and followed on the return as well. If you like walking in the streets, try to walk on the streets of your city as well. Choose an area that you never explored on foot. You will feel much better. Do Not Fret if Travel Plans Go Wrong Not everything will be perfect in your travels. You might miss your bag at the junction, things might get stolen or you might not like the food at the place that you visit. Instead of vowing never to travel again, you need to take things in your stride. Such experiences actually make you learn about your character and power that you have. If you used to believe that you can eat everything, you might learn that there are particular foods in the world that do not suit your palate. Travel teaches you to accept the things as they are and move on. There are many people who get injured severely while traveling but they do not stop at that. They learn to be better equipped and try to be safe while traveling. The more challenges you face, the better you are at handling them. Travels make you mentally strong and physically tough. It is imperative to remember that travels can be stressful. For this, you need to begin with shorter expeditions and gradually move on to bigger ones. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s begin traveling “All my bags are packed, I am ready to go!