1. Mental Reset
Travel allows you to escape your everyday routine and change things up from what you are used to. It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, we often lose sight of what is really important in life. “Changing our routine once in a while is a good way to reset,” says Sara. When you are in a new environment, you become more aware of your surroundings and start seeing beauty in the little things. Tired of your job? Feel like you do the same thing every weekend? Plan a trip away from home and see how travel can give you the mental reset you might need.
2. Confidence Boost
If there is one thing I have learned from my travels, it is that you always have to expect the unexpected. From cancelled flights and hurricane warnings to language barriers and getting lost on the metro, there will always be barriers to overcome while traveling. Facing adversity, though, will teach you to be resilient and give you a newfound confidence to take on the world. When you successfully navigate a foreign city or bargain with a salesman in another language, you are proving to yourself that you are capable. These learnings can be reapplied to your life back home and give you the confidence you need to crush a job interview or close a client negotiation.
3. New Perspective of the World
One of the many benefits of travel is the learning that comes from visiting a new place. Sara says, “Being exposed to different cultures, rituals, landscapes, foods, etc. can help us gain a greater appreciation for humanity and challenge our opinions, biases or world views.” Whether you are exploring the Mayan Ruins, climbing the Great Wall of China, or studying Michaelangelo’s masterpiece in the Sistine Chapel, you are no doubt learning a great deal about the history and people that make up the culture in the place you are visiting. When we experience first-hand how other people live their lives, we expand our horizons and gain a new perspective on the world. This increases curiosity and creativity, boosting happy hormones in the brain.
"One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
4. Enhance Relationships
It does not matter whether you are traveling alone, with friends, family, or strangers -- there are countless ways to feel connected to others while traveling. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, “social connection can lower anxiety and depression, help us regulate our emotions, lead to higher self-esteem and empathy, and actually improve our immune systems.” When you travel with others, you are experiencing new adventures together, trying foreign foods, and creating memories that will last a lifetime. On the other hand, traveling alone can feel daunting, but simply asking a local for dinner recommendations or bonding with another solo traveler can spark feelings of social connection.
5. Live in the Moment
According to the Psychological Science journal, “people derive more happiness from the anticipation of experiential purchases and that waiting for an experience tends to be more pleasurable and exciting than waiting to receive a material good." Traveling is made up of experiential purchases and can come in many different forms. Want to kayak through the Wailua River in Hawaii? Take a zip lining adventure in Costa Rica? Meditate on the beaches of Mexico? Experiences like these increase gratitude and encourage us to live in the moment. As Sara describes, “practicing to decipher and stay rooted in who we are as our context changes can help us become more aware of ourselves.” Being present can decrease stress about the future and remind us what is truly important.
For anyone who wants to travel but is still feeling nervous or unsure about it, Sara recommends taking it slow. “Take your time and be compassionate with yourself. For over a year now we've been told it's dangerous to travel, so it makes sense for us to be hesitant. It can be tempting to feel like we ‘should’ travel just because we can, but there is no need to place such a burdensome expectation on ourselves. Doing necessary research and processing the impact of this previous year can help us get to a space where we are ready.”
Get to know Sara and follow her on IG @millennial.therapist where she shares tips and content to normalize human experiences and encourage self-reflection.
Are you feeling inspired to plan your next trip yet? At Ketanga, we are so ready to get #BackToTravel and have been working hard on a stellar end of 2021-2022 Fitness Retreat lineup. Check out our instagram for more travel inspo @ketanga_fitness and visit our website to see upcoming retreat details. We hope to see you on a Ketanga Fitness Retreat soon!