What Traveling Does To Us

You’re scrolling through your Instagram feed one day, putting off doing your homework, when you see a picture of a beautiful location advertised. A sigh slips from your mouth, and you wish you were there, remembering that summer break is only a week away. It’s no surprise that most people love traveling. Sure, the planning process might be boring, and actually going on transportation from where you are to your destination might be tiring, but in the end, it’s all worth it. Travelling enhances our mental abilities, expands our knowledge of different cultures, and improves our health – both mentally and physically.

You look out the window of the plane, excited to get a peek of what you’re about to experience. As you leave the plane and step onto this new place, everything changes. Your mood immediately goes up; no matter how bad you slept or felt before, you instantly think about what’s to come. Naturally, you constantly look around, noticing tiny things that changed from where you were before. Somehow, everything feels different – sometimes, even the air itself feels like it’s changed! It might not be the actual location that’s changed, it might just be you not being accustomed to new concepts! Either way, you slowly learn to adapt to going places in different ways, along with this new location’s customs and traditions and trying to figure out where you fit in, no matter how short or long your stay is.

From all the places you’ll want to visit and learn about (even if it’s just the mall), you’ll be doing at least two forms of exercise. One: walking. You’ll do this way more than usual. And, it is partly because of this that traveling has increased life expectancy greatly, as women who travel at least twice per year have a significantly less chance of dying due to heart disease. Contrarily, men who don’t take a vacation at all in a year had a 20% higher risk of death. Two: mental exercise. As you try to make yourself embrace the differences between where you’re from and where you’re visiting, especially if you speak a different language, you’re opening your mind up. When you go to an unknown place to explore and dive deep into its history, you won’t want to sit in a car to get places – you’ll want to walk. That’s because you get a much better view and understanding of everything around you, and get to truly know the history of the place. In a study done by the LA Times, participants saw an 89% decrease in stress after only a couple days of traveling. The more one visits places and tries to have an open mind towards other customs and traditions, the more one will feel like they’re being welcomed as a visitor in a part of that world. The more one travels, the more one’s physical abilities and knowledge will grow.

Last but not least, traveling adds onto what we already know – or at least think we do – about the world. There are many stereotypes, such as how French people are arrogant or how Brazilians have monkeys as pets. When one gets the opportunity to visit these places, not only might it change one’s perception about the way in which that society functions, but it also might change their view about themselves, encouraging them to be better people. Also, the more one learns about different places in the world by actually going there (instead of sleeping through History class), the more cultured and interested they will usually become. Sometimes people go to the internet looking for answers, but those answers aren’t always correct. That can only be changed by taking time to learn about what’s around them. They will usually be mesmerized by history, customs, and the different people around them.

Once again, traveling is beneficial to changing your view of the world and opening your mind. However, it’s always good to remember that most of the world does not have the financial, mental, and/or physical conditions to be able to travel places. That is why, when you do have the opportunity to explore the world, take advantage of it! The more you go places and learn about them, as mentioned earlier, the more information and well-being you will have. This, in turn, can make the world a better and more open-minded place for everyone.