Does traveling make you happy? Traveling starts to make you happy even before you begin. Just bringing your mind to that place you long to visit, and knowing that someday you'll be able to see and enjoy it with your own eyes, creates positive changes in your brain.
In a study conducted by the American Psychological Association with a group of college students, it was found that these individuals, from the moment they started their travel preparations, increased their extroversion, agreeableness, openness to new experiences, and their neuroticism decreased. This shows how the mere anticipation of travel can positively impact your mood and make you happy.
But what is happiness...1. According to researchers at San Francisco State University, happiness is based on creating memories from experiences and personal life events. So, if you decide to invest in traveling, you're essentially investing in your happiness. This is because you'll create memories from experiences that will last a lifetime. Indeed, this idea aligns with how travel makes you happy by enriching your life with unforgettable moments and experiences.
They compared students who studied abroad for at least a semester with a group that did not travel for their studies. The findings showed that those who studied in another country were more extroverted and emotionally stable than those who chose not to travel.
Facing unexpected situations, and challenges along the way, and learning to communicate with people who don't speak your language pushes you out of your comfort zone. This in itself is a great gain and undoubtedly makes you happy through personal growth and newfound confidence.
3. Tackling problems more assertively. When you travel, barriers vanish. Suddenly, you're in a different place, with new landscapes, food that tastes different from your home, and cultures unlike your own. This broadens your mind and enhances your understanding of humanity in its entirety.
Getting to know different realities helps you take a step back from your own life, seeing the things around you and your problems on their true scale. You learn to appreciate what you have!
The renowned Canadian physician Mel Borins wrote in his 2000 book, "Go Away Just For The Health of It": "Getting away contributes to distancing oneself from the stressful parts of life. It can help improve your outlooks, provide new perspectives, and allow the development of new strategies for tackling problems." This perspective is a testament to how travel not only broadens your horizons but also makes you happy by providing new ways to address life's challenges.
4. Boosts creativity and brain plasticity. The new situations we encounter when traveling help stimulate our brains. And it's crucial to keep training the brain constantly. "There are three important elements to train the brain: exposing our brain to novelty, variety, and challenge. Traveling meets all three," says José Manuel Moltó, a member of the Board of Directors of the Spanish Society of Neurology. He adds: "Traveling requires, mainly, learning to memorize everything strange until it all becomes normal and familiar. This is a challenge for your brain and is accelerated training."
Therefore, explore new places whenever you can. Your brain will thank you, and this exploration is a sure path that makes you happy! Just make sure you always are equipped with the right gear.
5. Your heart stays healthy and happy. A study in the United States determined that traveling reduces the risk of having a heart attack. The research showed that in men who travel frequently, the chances of suffering a heart attack are 21% lower.
These five reasons, among many others, show us the benefits of traveling and how happy it can make us. Everything you experience on a trip - the people you meet, the places and landscapes you encounter, the anecdotes you take away, and what you learn and unlearn - all contribute to brightening your soul and heart.
Traveling makes you feel fulfilled, energetic, accomplished, active, and happy. Traveling makes you feel alive!
Travel! It will help you break out of the routine, experience a decrease in anxiety and depression caused by daily life stress, enrich yourself with other cultures and lifestyles, live new experiences that will surprise and enrich your spirit, and your mental and physical health will improve significantly.
Of course, do it with all the necessary biosafety precautions. The new reality we are living in demands it. Take care of yourself, take care of others, and seek what makes you happy!