Chocolate, wine, bacon – most of the time in life, the best things are bad for you. In fact, that’s probably what makes them so great. One exception, however, is travel.
Travel is not only one of the most fun, exciting and enjoyable things you can do, but is actually good for you. Don’t believe us? Here are five reasons why it’s an exception:
Travel is a great way to learn
Reading books and surfing the internet can give us a lot of knowledge, but nothing really beats seeing something for real and learning from the source. For example, head to the battlefields of KwaZulu Natal and learn about the country’s colonial past, or go on a safari and find out about the Big Five by talking to the people who know the most – those who work in conservation. Wherever you go, talk to locals to find out about their way of life, and learn about the history of an area by exploring it yourself. You’ll find that you retain information so much better too!
Travel is good for the health of your heart
A 20-year study showed that women who travel once every 6 years or less were an incredible 8 times more likely to have a heart attack or develop heart disease than those who traveled at least twice a year. You are more likely to get active when you’re travelling, walking around new streets to explore, mountain biking, or swimming in the sea. Plus, all physical activity lowers the risk of heart disease, strokes, and high blood pressure.
Travel takes you out of your comfort zone
Nothing exciting ever happens inside the little bubble that is your comfort zone. It’s time to be brave and try something new, whether that is an adrenaline-packed activity, tucking into a delicious new meal or simply the act of travelling itself. Being in a different country can give you so many new opportunities to step out of your comfort zone and you will be so glad you did!
Travel can improve your mental health
It almost goes without saying that travelling makes you feel happier and (as long as everything goes to plan!) can reduce your stress levels. However, a study performed by Canterbury University, Otago University, and Michigan State University shows that “blue space,” such as the ocean, has a significant impact on lowering psychological distress. So, not only does relaxing by the sea help you soak up some sun and catch up with your book, but it is also scientifically proven to improve our mental health.
Travel challenges you
Things do not always go to plan when you travel and this can make or break you. Having to deal with delayed flights, awful accommodation or sudden changes of plans can be incredibly stressful. However, it does allow you to flex your problem-solving muscles and you can be proud of yourself at the end of the trip for all you have achieved. It will change how you feel about yourself and the world and these are things that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
So, what are you waiting for? All the facts point to the fact that travel is good for your mind, body, and spirit, so you owe it to yourself to book a trip somewhere soon. What do you think are the best benefits to travel? Please leave them in the comments.