Can Travelling Really Make You a Happier, Healthier Person?
For many people, their holiday is the highlight of their year. It’s a chance to explore, take a break from everyday life, and reconnect with loved ones. However, whilst the enjoyment of escaping abroad is undeniable, is it true that travelling can actually make you a happier, healthier person?
‘We Get to See the Whole World’
Certainly, for the elite few, long-term travel offers numerous advantages. Beatrice Muller is one such example. In a report taken from 2008, then 89 year old Muller revealed how she had shunned a nursing home and had taken to spending her retirement on a cruise ship instead, despite the £3,500 a month price tag.
In the report, she commented: ‘we’re spoiled to death, we get to see the whole world and meet the most incredible people.’ Similarly, Lee Wachtstetter, an 86 year old woman originally from Florida, chooses to spend her retirement cruising instead of living in her native country. She states: ‘The day before my husband died of cancer in 1997, he told me “Don’t stop cruising.” So here I am today living a stress-free, fairy-tale life.’
More Affordable Travel
Although lifelong cruising is beyond the financial reach of most people, the occasional holiday is thankfully well within reach for most; even if it is a break within the UK. According to research, the mental and physical health benefits still apply, whatever form of travel you take.
In a recent study, conducted at Yonsei University in South Korea, happiness was measured in 279 participants, who were on a skiing holiday at one of 3 ski resorts. This was achieved by assessing their sense of pleasure, their levels of engagement in either skiing or snowboarding, and satisfaction reported afterwards.
Dr Lee, one of the researchers working on the project, concluded that ‘adult playfulness can influence people’s happiness, whilst activities and socially convening around a sporting activity such as skiing can have positive psychological outcomes and contribute to overall well-being.’
The Wonderful Benefits of Holidays
In 2012, the US Travel Association launched a ‘Travel Effect’ awareness campaign to reveal the health-benefits of travel. Here’s just some of the reasons why travel can boost your health and make you a happier person.
- Staying fit. Active holidays, such as hiking or skiing, encourage physical activity. Also, it’s likely that once you’ve climbed one mountain, you’ll be seeking the next challenge, and it’ll be even bigger than the last!
- Stress relief. Travel provides the perfect opportunity to take a break from everyday strain and struggle; and to remove yourself from familiar stressful situations. This can have psychological and physical benefits.
- Stay motivated. Booking a holiday not only gives you something to look forward to, but it’s also something crossed off your bucket list; and there’s something extremely psychologically satisfying about achieving your dreams, one at a time!
Travel Around Every Corner
It’s important to remember that travel doesn’t have to be about getting on to a plane and visiting far-flung destinations. In fact, there are many wonderful places to explore right here in the UK, and plenty of budget accommodation if you want to spend a night or two away. You’ll still feel the benefits; whether you spend thousands, or just a few pounds.