For those of us who love to travel, the days we spend exploring are just about as meaningful and fulfilling as they come. Traveling is a time to disconnect from the daily hassles and stress of work, experience the way other cultures live, try new flavours.
It is also becoming increasingly clear that traveling has a number of psychological benefits. Planning ahead and taking that vacation we have been dreaming about can have a positive impact on our well-being, relationships, and maybe even our personality.
We all have an intuitive sense that taking a break or trip can help us feel recharged. The good news is that this feeling is supported by research. Taking a vacation actually does improve our well-being and mood.
Building new connections and strengthening the relationships we already have is a big reason why so many of us are passionate about traveling.
For starters, it can sometimes feel much easier to meet, and even approach, new people when we are in a new environment and operating outside of our normal routine and comfort zone. Whether it’s through an organized tour or a chance encounter with a stranger at a café or museum, engaging with fellow travelers or locals can lead to meaningful interactions and even long-lasting friendships.
Traveling is also a great way to help us recognize how fortunate we are. Through interacting with different people and ways of life, traveling can help us realize our privilege and all of the things we have to be thankful for.
Ultimately, regardless of whether it is a staycation or vacation, the key is to try and be mindful and in the moment. It can be tempting to count down the number of days we have left, or to feel pressure to document each moment so that we can share it on social media. The more we can resist these urges and focus on the present, the more likely it is that our vacation will end up being the experience we hoped for. Finally, planning our staycation or trip is a large part of the fun, so remember to enjoy this process too!