There are two kinds of people in the world – those who love to travel and those who haven’t done it enough to start loving it yet. Some travel for fun while others do it for their love for natural beauty. Some travel to gather artistic inspiration while others do it to expand their worldview and learn about different cultures. At the end of the day, anyone who travels, does so because it makes them feel good. No wonder the mental health benefits of traveling are backed by some solid research.
However, for this article, I decided to do my own research. I interviewed a bunch of people who’ve been blessed by the traveller’s bounty and here is what they had to say:
It offers you creative breakthroughs
Around 5 years ago, Phoebe Darqueling was recovering from incredibly painful shoulder surgery when she decided to visit her husband who was working in Greece. The days on her trip were long and hot, but the evenings were marked with a frosty beer and good conversation long after dark. Her week-long trip was a large dose of different landscapes, different food, different language, and it all contributed to lifting her out of her monotonous lifestyle.
Less than a week after her return to California, she planned to quit her job and pursue her writing career.
“During the year after the trip to Greece, I also got much more in touch with my creativity. I started writing a novel during my recovery. I gave myself 5 years to get a novel published, and last year was both my 5th-year mark and my first two novels were published,” she mentioned.
Not only that but she also invented a new form of paper engineering and has come up with various altered canvases ever since.
Traveling reignites your lust for life
Growing up S.T. Starlight identified himself as a shy and subdued kid. Spring break would be the toughest time for him because he felt like an alien in all the frat parties. He rather chose to go on road trips and cruise journeys with his family.
Feeling like a misfit would often bring his spirits down. Traveling reminded him that he can meet awesome people and that he belongs, maybe not in his immediate friend circle, but somewhere, that he belongs somewhere.
“I put way too much effort into ‘fitting in’ instead of learning to love myself,” he mentioned in the interview.
Meeting the right people helped him work on his passions. He has been doing figurative fine art for over a decade and has recently kickstarted a podcast that aims at building a supportive art community.
It boosts your self-esteem
Social anxiety and the lack of self-esteem that stems from it can have a detrimental impact on your everyday life. And that’s exactly what Karen Henderson battelled with for a long time.
“It doesn’t take much to make me feel like I’m worthless. But being able to share that with others was an experience I never had before,” she told me.
Traveling and being able to engage with new people taught her that we are never really alone despite what mental illnesses tell us. This sense of belonging gave her a boost that ultimately transformed her as a person. She’s now an advocate for mental health and works towards spreading awareness about it.
Our will to live is dependent on our sense of purpose. And the monotony of everyday routine can blur this idea of purposefulness. Doing the same thing every day can make us feel that we aren’t doing anything worthwhile. I’m sure numerous working professionals would back me up on this. Traveling has the power to shatter these monochromatic walls that tend to build around us as the days go by. A change in scenery for a weekend can do wonders. So why not give it a try and see what happens?