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10 Reasons You Should Travel More to Boost Your Health

Travel [trav–uh l] verb:

1. make a journey, typically of some length or abroad.*

2. (of an object or radiation) move, typically in a constant or predictable way.*

3. (my own) life-giving, love-enhancing, cultural awareness, unpredictable, flexibility, new friends, global family, the closest to God, appreciation

It is through traveling that some of the toughest prejudices of my heart softened and swelled into teary-eyed compassion. Prejudices towards what I thought I knew shattered through learning.

It is through traveling that my Southern, white bubble was popped. Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy my heritage of traditions, etiquette, and hospitality, and the Christian values on which I was raised. Enriching them even more has been the experience of others' cultures with their own traditions, values, and relationships with God.

I thought I had people and God all figured out. Turns out there is more...a lot more. A lot more depth. A lot of different cultures. A lot more to loving well.

"That is what learning something new is. You suddenly understand something you've understood all your life, but in a new way." - Doris Lessing

We see travel everywhere now. Every blogger/vlogger especially. We envy the way others travel for a living and wonder how they got where they are. Yes, we. I am not a famous traveler. I'm not even a famous blogger/influencer. I do, however, love to travel, and I do mean love.

It's easy to see why after these top 10 all-around health benefits to reap from traveling:

1. It strengthens relationships. Psychology Today, an online publication, backs this claim, which is my personal top reason for traveling. Particularly, this article points out the relationships between significant others. However, I find it to be true in all bonds.

2. It helps you reinvent yourself. There is nothing like being in a foreign country - learning the language as you go, losing yourself (quite literally) along the way, and being emerged in cultural so unknown and unique. That kind of experience stays with you and starts to become a part of your own, individual culture. (Forbes)

3. Travel Improves Sleep Patterns. This may be debatable depending on the person. However, when I travel (and the article suggests the same), I sleep very well. Some countries enjoy the practice of afternoon naps - how do I start a bill to adopt this custom in the U.S.? Perhaps it is just the simple act of taking the time. In our busyness, we push through to get all that we can accomplished. When we are away, we find ourselves indulging a bit more than we normally would. (Travelex)

4. Travel increases the lifespan of men and women. Partaking in a little R&R is scientifically theorized to lower the chance of heart disease in men and women by drastic numbers. In men who travel, it was found that their overall mortality rate decreased by a whopping 21%. (Forbes, 2018)

5. Travel decreases the likelihood of depression. The Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin did a study on women that revealed they are less likely to suffer from depression or chronic stress if they vacation at least twice a year. Others who vacationed less than once every two years were found to have higher levels of depression and stress. (NBC News)

6. Travel eases weight loss efforts. For the fellow tried-every-dieter, can I get an amen? Explore parts of the state, country, or the world - either way you're seeing beautiful new sights and upping your success rate of losing weight. That is what we call a win-win. (Thrive Global)

7. Travel brings boosts your immune system. By subjecting our bodies to different environments, antibodies are strengthened, therefore building up our immune systems. Scientific research suggests that the boost is significant, though cleanliness practices should still be well maintained. (Yale)

8. Travel lowers stress and negativity. By temporarily removing ourselves from the environments that create stress and negativity in our lives, we are able to reset our emotions. Author, Wallace J. Nichols, especially credits this phenomenon when we vacation near water. Being a water-baby myself, I completely support this theory. There is nothing more relaxing than a body of water and a little sunshine. (Life Hack)

9. Travel keeps the mind sharp and cultivates creativity. When you travel, you are introduced to novel stimuli, cognitive stimulation which strengthens memory and concentration. I mean, have you ever navigated the subway? Focusing on what trains to take all while experiencing the people of the that takes concentration andcreates some unforgettable memories. Whew. (Travel Advisor)

10. Travel makes you happy. When given the opportunity to step outside of our day-to-day, we let go of the weights that hold us down, give in to the experience, and enjoy even the little things we take for granted. Happiness. (CNN)

While this year may look a bit different with traveling (or not traveling) during COVID, there are ways to still soak up this bliss.

First and foremost - safety. The CDC (the Center for Disease Control and Prevention) has issued a helpful guide in how to take the best precautions while traveling during a pandemic.

With borders closed during these times, what better time to learn and see your very own home country?! With incredibly fun tools like Road Trippers, the most adventurous (and safe) road trip route is a click away! Simply type in your start and end locations and watch the magic of the perfect plan being laid out before you. You're welcome.

Whether you are planning a future dream vacation or an instantly gratifying trip, services are changing the way they operate to adapt to the times. Scott's Cheap Flights, a company who facilitates finding the best international airfares, now has opened up a domestic chapter for their U.S. patrons. A personal favorite (Scott, if you're out there and want to set up an endorsement...) this low-cost membership has paid itself 10x over on flights.

No matter how or what you plan, just don't stop planning. Happy travels, friends!

Where will you take your next excursion? Drop the details in the comments below!

*Oxford Dictionary + Google

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