5 Proven Reasons Why Travelling Will Improve Your Outlook On Life

There is an old saying, “Change is as good as a holiday.” But could it also be that a holiday is a good change?

Travelling may not always be to have a holiday. It can be for work purposes, to have a sabbatical or to relocate to a new location for a period of time.

Studies have shown that travelling can improve our overall health and well-being because:

  • It creates new experiences for us, which in turn, leads to more happiness.
  • It generates new positive emotions such as excitement and anticipation.
  • It improves our ability to connect and relate with others.
  • It can help us become more productive especially in the days leading up to when we are due to travel.
  • It make us manage our life better which can include managing our schedule, managing our finances and managing our exercise and diet.

In addition to the health benefits, travelling also can improve how we view life, which in turn, can help us design our lives around the things or activities that really matter to us.

One of my most memorable travelling experiences was when I travelled to India for the first time. Having read about and seen images or movies about India, I had thoughts around what I would see and experience while I was there. Having the opportunity to spend three weeks there confirmed some of the things I related to India from the culture, sights and sounds, and the friendliness of the people.

Not only did the experience I had in India exceed my expectations, it increased my desire to return and make a contribution in any way I can. I would not have had this new desire form had I not travelled to India and experienced how life is there first.

Here are five reasons why travelling will improve our outlook on life and support us in creating the quality of life we want to have.

  1. You will gain new perspectives about life. Just being able to see how people in different countries or even different cities live will expand our awareness and knowledge about life. Oftentimes, things that we make out to be important in our daily lives may not be all that important once we get to see what others are experiencing daily in their lives.
  2. You will appreciate the life you do have. We sometimes forget how fortunate we are to have the quality of life we have. Having access to clean running water, electricity or food daily is a luxury many people do not have. The things we tend to whine and complain about on a regular basis will no longer be all that bad once we acknowledge that others do not have as much as we do.
  3. You will want to contribute more. Ultimately, our greatest joy in life comes when we are doing something beyond ourselves — serving others and making a difference. Organisations such as Pencils of Promise, Unstoppable Foundation and World Teacher Aid are some examples of people who’ve decided to make a bigger contribution in the world after experiencing what life was like in other countries.
  4. You will learn new things about yourself. Experiencing different cultures, histories or customs will give us new insights into what other people value in life. Just being in a new environment will stimulate new learnings and cause us to grow in ways which may have not been possible in our normal, every day environment.
  5. You will be taken out of what you’re familiar or comfortable with. It has often been said that if we want to learn more about ourselves or another person, then we should travel abroad. Why? It’s because once we’re outside what we are familiar with, we will be required to respond differently to situations we find ourselves in. While we may experience discomfort, we will be much stronger and better off for having had those uncomfortable experiences.

Whenever we think of having a break from work or life in general, often the first thing that is considered is whether to travel somewhere. This is because travelling has been an integral part of our existence. If we do have the opportunity to travel, especially abroad, then it is something we should consider doing as we will gain so much from the experience. If we don’t make travelling a regular part of our life, then chances are we won’t experience personal growth as quickly or as often as we would like.

Action Step: As you start thinking of your next travel destination, be conscious of what you experience, starting from researching and planning your travel, to actually experiencing it. This heightened awareness will only enhance your travelling experience.

Question: What is another reason why travelling will improve our outlook on life?

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