We are living through some crazy times. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been described as a “collective trauma.” Now, whether or not we think we have been traumatized due to the situation is a different question, but the fact that people are saying it and/or feeling it is telling.
As travel destinations begin to re-open, it’s worth asking another question: “Can travel be part of our healing?”
As someone who has experienced first-hand the joy of exploration, I wanted to take some time to outline some of the benefits of traveling, and a look at why we should all consider traveling as soon as it is safe to do so.
There are many proven benefits to traveling. Travel gets people out of their living rooms and into new places; off of looking at image searches of Bali and actually going. Traveling to new destinations can push us to try new activities, such as hiking or kayaking. These activities can improve our physical fitness and inspire us to start new routines when we return home. Exercise not only keeps us physically fit, but it can help us to be emotionally and mentally healthy as well, something we all could use more of in our day and age.
Gratitude and Respect
Traveling also provides us with the opportunity to experience new cultures and to immerse ourselves in different worlds. As we experience how other people live, we become more aware that we are not the center of the universe. This realization can lead us to be more grateful for what we have and to change our perspectives. These experiences can also make us more respectful of our fellow human beings. An increase in gratitude and respect for others is a healing that the whole world could use, especially right now.
Travel is an excellent opportunity to find inspiration. People often report making huge mental breakthroughs while on vacation. If you’ve been facing a problem that you can’t seem to escape from, or you have a choice to make and aren’t sure where to turn, it might be time to book a trip! Get out of your own little world, expand your horizons, and give yourself a refresh.
Another healing benefit of travel is that it can help us recharge and prevent burnout. If we live the same lives day after day, working ourselves to the bone and never escaping our routines, we are more likely to hit a wall. Speaking of epidemics, stress in the United States is out of control, and the negative health effects of untreated stress create a list longer than most of us care to read. Travel allows us to step out of our routines and become mentally refreshed. These stress reduction benefits can play a part in thwarting the burnout epidemic, which has been a result of chronic stress.
Of course, we all need to be sure that it’s safe to travel before we can plan our adventures. But the many proven benefits of travel suggest that, as long as it’s done safely, traveling might be just what we all need right now. So, let’s start planning!