Psychological Benefits of Travel

Psychological Benefits of Travel

Although travel can offer countless benefits, we are going to focus on the 12 that I consider the most important.

It reduces stress.

Stress is caused by an accelerated rhythm of life, a rhythm of life so automated that the present slips from our hands. We spend most of our time thinking about those things that happened in the past and those that will happen (though most likely never) in the future, that we forget that the present is the only thing we have.

However, when we travel, we leave the hamster wheel in which many of us are involved, we leave the routine and live in the present: we relax on the beach, admire landscapes and sunsets, walk at nightfall, etc … And we don’t think that tomorrow is Monday and we have to go to work.

It encourages the development of social skills.

Travel is the perfect opportunity to meet new people and train our social skills.

At first, talking to a stranger may seem a little uncomfortable; however, if you dare to break that initial discomfort, you will surely meet wonderful people who can change the direction of your trip and why not, become friends for life.

Improve your problem-solving skills.

When you travel, you leave your comfort zone to a greater or lesser extent and face situations to which you are not accustomed. It is possible that you get lost in the city, get late to catch a bus or flight, cancel your boat trip because there is a storm, lose your passport, steal your belongings, have a misunderstanding, have rude passes to express something in a language that is not yours.

In short, it is likely that throughout your trip you will face some small problem that you are not accustomed to having to solve, but that you will end up solving successfully.

It’s the best antidote to prejudice.

Traveling is the best antidote to prejudice. A prejudice is a value judgment that lacks any proof to confirm it, and to a greater or lesser extent we all have some prejudice than others.

However, when you travel many times you will realize that things, people, other cultures, etc… are very different from how you expected them to be and you will learn to maintain an open attitude and the futility of prejudging.

Favors self-knowledge and personal development.

Travelling helps you get to know yourself, get out of your usual context and face new situations, so it’s a situation that helps you to know who you are regardless of the context that surrounds you. You will surely discover new tastes, new concerns or things about yourself that you didn’t even know.

Many fears are eliminated.

As I have commented in previous articles. (I recommend you take a look at this article: We are not afraid… We learn to be afraid) the best way to eliminate a fear is to face it, to expose yourself to it, in this way the fear loses strength until it ends up disappearing.

Before making a trip, especially if it is alone and/or to a culture different from yours, it is quite likely that different fears will assault your head: What if I feel lonely? What if I get lost? What if they traffic in my organs? What if I can’t understand people? And if… And if….. And if…

When we make the trip we will see a clear example of how the simple fact of exposing ourselves to all those fears, of continuing the trip without leaving us limited, makes them disappear.

Increases levels of happiness.

Travelling makes you secrete endorphins, happiness hormones. How can that be? Very simple… Travelling takes you away from everyday problems, takes you out of the routine, increases the number of pleasant activities you do and favours social interaction. In short, it makes you happier.

They change your priorities.

Some of your priorities may change during your trip. You will probably learn to value experiences and people more than material goods. After all, you’ve lived for a while with just the contents of a suitcase and haven’t missed a thing, have you?

You learn to be assertive.

When you travel, unless you want to end up ruining yourself you’re going to have to learn to say no, without feeling bad about it. In many countries they live in a large part of tourism and will not stop trying to sell you different things. So travel is also going to help you train your assertiveness, a skill that I’m sure will be very useful in different areas of your life.

Increase your level of empathy.

Travelling puts you in contact with realities different from yours and makes you realize how insignificant some of your problems are next to others. It makes you see that the world is not the same for everyone and gives you the opportunity to interpret reality from other different perspectives.

It encourages critical thinking.

When you travel you live many experiences and learn different things. However, you do not accept as valid everything that you find along the way but you learn to ask yourself questions, to reflect on things and to discriminate which of them you want to integrate with what you already knew previously and which of them you prefer to discard.

Travelling favours reflection and critical thinking since we are going to find an infinite number of different ways of seeing things, and of course we cannot accept them all as valid.

You broaden your view of the world.

To travel wide your vision of the world making you more tolerant and more flexible. The more you travel, the more different ways of seeing the world and interpreting reality you will find yourself.

You will discover that the world is a much bigger place than you thought and that the possibilities are practically infinite. You will learn to interpret things from different prisms and you will realize what for you is clearly red for another can be intense blue.