When we travel, we not only see the world; we also open our minds, giving ourselves a much-deserved break from our day-to-day lives. For most of us, there isn’t much else between our homes and our offices, and the daily stresses of routine add up. We all have so much on our plates – juggling families, careers, and other responsibilities that it is hard to take a step back. Travel forces us to reevaluate, and it is a perfect way to experience places in a way that stimulates our imaginations and well-being. Travel photographer John Rapisardi knows firsthand just how much of a stressbuster, travel can be.
Rapisardi’s professional passion has always been in real estate, but his desire to travel and make the most of his time outside of the office helps him manage stress and wellness. “A new landscape is not only easy on the eyes but easy on our minds too because unlike the familiar sites back at home, we don’t associate it with familiar traumas and past experiences,” Rapisardi explains. Travel takes you out of the mundane and into a world meant to be explored. “When you can explore, you have this overwhelming sense of freedom where the only expectation is to be a sponge and absorb new experiences and feelings.”
Employers in France and Great Britain know traveling is a good method to release stress for their employees. Employees in France have an average of 37 vacation days each year and Britain gives employees 26. The average employee in the United States receives 14 days of vacation.
“I don’t have a lot of days off during the year but I try to make the most of my weekends and holidays. You don’t really need to go far or spend a lot of money to find fresh air and nature”.
According to Wallace J. Nichols, author of “Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do” vacationing – especially near the water – can help us reset our emotions and actually increase compassion. “Often associated with feelings of awe and wonder, water can boost our empathy and compassion, our connection to ourselves and those we are with, and for many — from musicians like Pharrell Williams to neurologists like Oliver Sacks – it’s a steady source of creativity and insight,” he says.
Find a new place and immerse yourself in a new culture for a few days. Ignite your senses and forget your responsibilities. Give your mind and body a break by simply packing your bags and hitting the road. You never know what you might find, and you may even find upon your return that you are more rested and productive.