The Mental Health Benefits Of Traveling The World
Changing your life begins with getting out of your comfort zone.
You dream about having a better, happier, and more prosperous life than the one you’re currently living.
You know you’re capable of much more, but you’re afraid of the unknown, things going wrong, and events that are outside of your control.
You tell yourself that you shouldn’t travel the world because “I might get lonely” or “it’s too far out of my comfort zone.” So you remain in the same place, forever thinking about having a better life, but not doing anything to make it a reality.
Together, we are going to change the narrative in your head, which is preventing you from living the life you deserve.
Over the past few years, traveling to 21 countries has taught me that the only way to grow is by getting comfortable doing the uncomfortable. In the words of Billy Cox:
“Life will only change when you become more committed to your dreams than you are to your comfort zone.”
Below are several ways that traveling the world has improved my confidence, mental health, and enabled me to create a life that I’m genuinely proud of.
So step out of your comfort zone, and I’m sure it will do the same for you, too.
Travel Can Lower Stress Levels.
When you’re caught up in the monotony of daily life, it’s easy to feel stressed about everything that’s not going well. For example, traffic delays on your way to work, a lack of sleep due to college deadlines, or anything else that could force you to overthink.
According to a study published in the LA Times, more than 80% of Americans noticed significant reductions in their stress levels after being on vacation for a few days.
It’s well known that vacations enable you to relax, temporarily escape from the problems of your life back home, and reflect on how you want your life to improve.
So whenever you find yourself going through a stressful period in life, consider taking a short break (even to a nearby city or state) to relax & unwind.
Traveling Promotes Independence.
When I first began traveling the world, one of my biggest concerns was the fear of being alone. Having lived with my parents until the age of 18, I had become relatively reliant on other people to survive.
But as I gained more experience navigating my way around airports, public transit, and other aspects of travel, I became more independent in my daily actions.
If you’re hoping to become more confident in social situations, consider staying in hostels so that you can meet like-minded people with a passion for traveling.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to improve your cooking skills, creating new dishes from locally sourced foods in your destination is a great way to become more creative in the kitchen.
Although getting out of your comfort zone may be daunting, your confidence in everyday life will increase as a result of putting yourself in unfamiliar situations.
You Can Be Alone With Your Thoughts.
Each day, we become overwhelmed with tasks, so it’s easy to feel stranded by a temporary inability to escape from our daily lives.
Right? We spend our days trapped in meetings, stuck on phone calls, and doing things we find mentally draining merely to collect a paycheque so we can continue the cycle.
When you’re 32,000ft in the sky, disconnected from the rest of society, travel allows you to reflect on your thoughts, and consider how your current life could improve.
As an example, I get a lot of mental clarity while on a long-haul flight as I’m aware that nobody on the ground can reach me. So I’ll use those precious 9 hours to enjoy myself, catch up on my (voluntary) Spanish education, and think about goals I’d like to accomplish during the next few months.
Over the past few years, I’ve come to realize that traveling the world is a great way to improve your mental health. Even if you just go to another state for a few days, you’ll discover that it massively improves your happiness & ability to handle stressful situations.
Travel is an opportunity to see the world, improve your mental health, and approach new circumstances from a different perspective. Marcel Proust said it best:
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”