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5 Reasons Why Travel Matters

You don't have to travel thousands of miles to benefit either.

By Shell Robshaw-BryanPublished 5 years ago 4 min read

As an outdoors and travel blogger I’ve been to some incredible places and done some amazing things, but one thing I’ve learned is that the benefits I get from traveling aren’t just confined to exotic locations and five-star luxury hotels.

Let's look at the true benefits of traveling and exploring not just the world, but what's on your own doorstep.

1. Travel is Liberating

Traveling provides us with freedom; the freedom to luxuriate in leisure time, with nothing too pressing occupying our minds. Traveling can be stressful, as anyone who has faced a last-minute canceled flight will attest to, but often, the hours spent traveling gives us precious time. Time to read a fiction novel without feeling guilty, time to listen to a favourite album, or any other number of things that we enjoy doing, but are usually too busy to do.

Fancy a cocktail at the airport at 7 AM? Go ahead! For a few wonderful days, you are free to pursue things you want to do and for me, the ability to be even just a little hedonistic is always very welcome.

2. Travel is Challenging

Overseas travel (and I’m not talking about package holidays to Spain) can be challenging and will absolutely take us out of our comfort zones. Unfamiliar sounds, sights, and smells all assault the senses, distracting us from the everyday issues we must deal with and presenting us with new challenges.

Getting to grips with new environments, assimilating different cultures and overcoming new challenges gives me a real sense of achievement and only serves to enhance my love of travel.

3. Travel Teaches Us Humility

There is nothing quite so humbling as visiting a developing country or experiencing poverty or life in the face of adversity. Venture beyond a tourist resort, outside of a plush hotel and experience, even for just a short time a more authentic travel experience.

Seeing people who prosper with so little and seeing people living lives far removed from my own existence, allows me to put my own troubles into perspective. It reminds me I am human and I can step outside of myself and feel both inspired and thankful for all I have.

4. Travel Moves the Soul

I don’t care how much of a sap I sound like, but the first time I found myself at the top of a mountain, I cried. I was so amazed by the peace, tranquility, and beauty of where I was, I was utterly overwhelmed. My senses seemed unable to cope with all I was trying to process, and I was standing there, smiling with tears running down my cheeks.

I go snowboarding at least once a season, and I’ve stood on top of a lot of mountains, and even now, that first time at the peak, or the first time I get off the lift, I have to take a moment to still myself with a short meditation, as the feeling of being overwhelmed by the natural world hits me, as though for the first time.

5. Travel Aids Creativity

When I board a train or a plane, a wondrous thing happens. Within minutes, I am calm. My mind begins to wander and my inner poet and philosopher wake up. I become fully absorbed in the landscape rushing past my window, and nature, even just a distant glimpse through a train window, has a hugely powerful and cleansing effect on me.

Routine acts like a straight jacket, compelling us to be logical, strategic and productive.

This mental downtime only ever happens to me when I’m traveling or exploring the outdoors, and during this downtime, I’m at my most relaxed and content, which is the ideal state to promote creativity. Feeling this way is certainly nothing special; similar to the concept of Flow, this downtime allows our subconscious selves to break free of our everyday routine, routine that acts like a straight jacket, compelling us to be logical, strategic and productive. When we are free of these constraints our brains are able to roam free, promoting relaxation, creativity, and a sense of well-being.

Beauty is Everywhere, Let's Take More Time to Look For It

All over the world and even in our own backyards, there are unexpected places bursting with beauty, and remember a special moment can be just as awe-inspiring and memorable as a dramatic view — beauty is everywhere if you just take a moment to look for it.

Mental downtime and reconnecting with the natural world is important for our well-being, so perhaps we shouldn't be so narrow in our view of travel, whether that means eschewing your usual luxury resort hotel for something a bit more authentic or simply fitting more local micro-adventures into your life.

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