In the age of COVID-19, we’ve all learned to appreciate the safety and security of home. But this pandemic will not last forever, thankfully. And when that glorious day comes, you can bet that the coronavirus will have taught us yet another valuable lesson: to not only appreciate home but also to appreciate the opportunity to leave it, to venture out into the great, big world. To see the wonders that lie beyond your own front gate.
This article explores the vast benefits of travel and provides tips and tricks for making the most of every travel opportunity.
An Escape from the Ordinary
Whether you’re embarking on a journey of a few feet or a thousand miles, travel is always an ideal way to break out of your ordinary routine and escape the worries and frustrations of daily life. And after a year of pandemic living, that need for escape and adventure has perhaps never been greater.
Travel allows you to leave the old routine behind. And that sense of newness is incredibly exhilarating. After all, whether you’re exploring a new continent or simply the next town over, you have both the perfect excuse and the perfect opportunity to leave your comfort zone, try new sights, new tastes, and new experiences. And, in the process, maybe even discover a new you!
And that is both empowering and liberating to the mind, soul, and spirit that may have been too long encumbered by life’s daily grind.
A Healthier, Happier You
The simple reality is that daily life is stressful. We get bogged down with work and family. We spend our time indoors, often in front of a screen of some sort. And we forget to take care of ourselves.
But when you travel, odds are you’re not going to spend much of the trip holed up in a hotel room watching television or surfing the internet. Instead, you’re going to be moving. You’re going to be active. You’ll be engaging with others and trying new things. And that has been proven not only to increase physical and mental health, but also to slow the aging process — helping to keep you strong, sharp, and vital at any age!
A New Perspective
One of the greatest benefits of travel, perhaps, is that it gives you an unparalleled opportunity to experience life and see the world from a new perspective. For students, this can be a particularly enriching attribute of their studies. The chance to not only discover but learn to live and study in a different culture can yield positive effects that the young traveler will enjoy for the rest of their lives.
These rewards are both tangible and intangible. It’s not only that student travelers will reap the mental and physical health benefits that come with travel generally, but these experiences can also provide a depth of intercultural awareness and experience that is a tremendous asset in the professional world.
The Good Earth
An inevitable but often overlooked benefit of travel is that, no matter what your particular interests or itinerary may be, chances are good that you’ll spend at least some, if not most, of your travel time outside.
And, if you’re like most of us, the more time you spend in nature, the more you appreciate it, the more you love it. There is, in fact, perhaps no better way to cultivate a new generation of environmentalists than simply to get people outside in it.
In fact, a great way to build travel into your life is by joining — or creating your own — outdoor adventure group. A group like this can give you the perfect chance to fill your life with travel, even if it’s simply to discover the natural wonders practically in your own backyard.
Best of all, an outdoor adventure group can easily be designed to practice mindful travel. As you and your fellow adventurers learn how to explore nature responsibly, minimizing your impact on the environment, you’ll learn more about sustainability in general. And that can change your life and habits for the better as you become a better steward, role model, and protector of the environment.
Travel is far more than a luxury to be reserved for retirement. Adventuring isn’t just something to dream of as you play the lottery. Travel is an essential gift for the mind, body, and spirit. It’s the chance to break out of the routine and escape life’s worries and hassles for a time. It is a chance to learn about yourself, what you love, who you are, and all you’re capable of. It allows you to cultivate new perspectives about the world and the people in it. And it’s a chance to learn to love, celebrate, and care for the environment that cares for us.
Guest Author Bio
Jori Hamilton is a writer and journalist from the Pacific Northwest who covers social justice issues, healthcare, and politics. You can follow her work on twitter @HamiltonJori, and through her portfolio at Writer Jori Hamilton.