In our materialistic world of today, sometimes it’s a little difficult to truly appreciate non-material things. Taking a vacation often makes us feel guilty because we’re spending money on it, and yet we’re not actually gaining anything tangible. However, if you look at science, you’ll realize that this is exactly why traveling is so important—it provides us with an experience. It can truly rejuvenate our souls and let us enjoy that sense of adventure, and going away for a while can be seriously beneficial for our mental health.
Getting out of the rut
While having a developed routine is important for our mental stability, the problem arises when that routine turns into a rut. When every day starts looking the same and we’re uninspired, unmotivated, and constantly wondering whether there’s anything more to life, this is a good time to shake yourself awake from that humdrum existence and go exploring. Constantly staying in one place is not only boring, but it means we’re basically a one-trick pony—we only know one thing, one option, and we stick to it blindly, unaware that there might be something better hiding out there. Changing your surroundings shows you other cultures, other people, and other ways of living, but it also makes you appreciate what you have back home. Opening your mind up to new possibilities means getting the opportunity to learn something about yourself and start being the kind of person you’ve always wanted to be.
Experiences last longer than material objects
Has buying a fancy dress or a luxurious watch ever made you truly happy for longer than a few days? Our consumerist society places a lot of emphasis on material things, but it seldom ever makes us happy. What does make us happy and what lasts for a very long time is knowledge. Seeing, learning, and experiencing something new tends to stick with us, especially because it widens our horizons and teaches us how to be wise.
Unwind with quick weekend getaways and road trips
Your vacations don’t even need to be overly long to truly benefit you—indeed, getting out of the city for only a few days can be downright transformational. Certain countries like Australia already have weekend getaways and road trips with friends as one of their cultural habits, and you see a lot of Aussies exploring the wide expanse of Down Under as soon as they get a little free time and can get away from work.
If you can string together two or three days, going on a road trip with your besties is one of the best things you can do to relax and enjoy yourself, and you don’t need a lot of preparation to pull it off. Simply pack up a small suitcase, get some snacks, and make sure your car is in good working order. Aussies usually call a mobile mechanic from Perth to come to their homes and do all the basic checks, and if you find something similar you could save yourself a lot of time. Visit nearby towns or villages, or go a little further check out a whole new state. You don’t have to go far to benefit from a change of scenery.
The benefits of month-long travel
Of course, sometimes you also need longer vacations. While you’re probably used to taking two weeks off to go to the beach once a year, have you ever considered investing time into a real adventure? Rather than doing something you’re used to already, why not dare to walk the entire Camino de Santiago, or maybe the Appalachian Trail? Long hiking trips are truly some of the most exceptional experiences you can have, especially if you do them when you feel troubled and unbalanced. Getting over a bad breakup, losing someone you love, or generally feeling aimless unhappy—these are all things that could be helped if you really took time to heal your mental health and focus your mind on the beautiful simplicity of walking and living a simple life for a month.
Sometimes, the reason we’re so afraid to travel is because it makes us break our routine. Things are new and different and this can make us afraid, but as long as you follow a few safety tips you should start feeling much more secure. Start by getting good travel insurance and sturdy luggage with a good lock, and make sure to carry all your cash and important documents in a money belt hidden underneath your shirt. Send a copy of your itinerary to your friends, and don’t travel alone if you’re inexperienced. This and many other safety tips can truly help you make the best of your holiday.
Dare to experience the spirituality of travel. It can be like a healing balm to your soul if you allow yourself to take the plunge and explore the places you’ve never seen before, so book a trip as soon as you can, and enjoy it.