When a busy daily routine at work, or at home starts to control your life, it can become stressful. Stress causes both physical and psychological problems. So to prevent stress and boost your immune system it is important to be able to break your routine and do something different, like going on vacation. Dr. Mehmet Oz elaborated on a study about the effects of traveling for pleasure on our well-being. He discovered that vacationing improves our mood and reduces stress. People who travel are more satisfied with their physical health and well-being.
He even discovered that taking vacation can lower men’s risk of death by 21 percent and mortality from cardiovascular disease by 32 percent. For women on the other hand a lack of vacation is associated with a higher risk of heart disease and death from heart disease (supported by the Framingham Heart Study). Traveling can provide happiness and to many of us travelers it makes us feel more alive. It motivates us to get out of bed; it brings more color in our life, it enriches us with new experiences, friends, skills, memories, and stories to tell our friends and family.
Those who travel much will agree that it teaches you how to be more frugal and happy with less. The first time you travel it happens often that you pack too many things in your backpack or suitcase, only to find out after your travels that you didn’t use all of it. The more you travel, the smarter you will pack, carrying only what you really need. This allows you to travel lighter and more flexible. I even know of people who discovered after their travels that they had too many things at home which they don’t really need. According to the Academy of Management Journal traveling and vacationing can increase creativity and temporarily help to boost our productivity. When you return from a vacation feeling relaxed and refreshed, that’s not just an emotional response to time away from work and daily worries. You’re actually experiencing some of the nourishing effects of traveling. One of the most important benefits of traveling is that it teaches us about the world around us and enriches our life. Already around 400 AD Saint Augustine wrote:
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.”
Equally important as learning about the world around us, traveling teaches us more about ourselves. Traveling can teach us things that no university course will be able to. Traveling provides us with many new experiences and situations to deal with. You might have read about these situations, but how you respond to them is personal and not always predictable. Each new situation will require a different approach and will challenge our abilities. You will discover new skills and weaknesses, and likely you will become more independent and confident about yourself. I can confirm this from personal experience. And it was also the general conclusion of a small survey I conducted in 2018 among 36 women who traveled alone through Latin America. When you grow up in a certain environment you might think that the whole world is like that, but traveling gives us more perspective. While working as a tour leader I often heard people in my tour groups complaining about the stressful busy lifestyle in the Netherlands. However, most of them have no idea how lucky we are. Most people in the world aren’t able to live the life we live.