Need a holiday? There’s more to that craving than just topping up your tan.

A lot has been written about how Millennials value experiences over stuff. And, according to science, they’re definitely on to something. In fact, there’s a significant amount scientific research that suggests that exploring a new place can do wonders for your mental health.

A whopping 81% of American travellers say they regularly take vacations where the primary goal is mental wellness. Truth is, life can be overwhelming. Family, work issues, commuting, daily chores, illnesses, home maintenance … it all adds up! And, although heavy luggage and overcrowded airports may not sound very relaxing, travelling is one of the best remedies for internal struggles. It’s not just about seeing new places, but rather escaping old ones that have a negative impact on our lives.

It gives you the opportunity to step away from the daily grind, and good news is that the benefits already kick in before check-in. There is an immense amount of power in having something to look forward to when it comes to balancing your mental health with daily struggles. Simply the anticipation of travelling can make you happier.

Travelling shakes up the status quo. It will give you space and distance from stress and anxiety. Leaving work stress behind in exchange for new experiences, could reveal a world of possibilities beyond your bubble. Fending for yourself - whether it’s bargaining at a local market or hailing a taxi in a foreign language – will force you to adapt to a life that’s out of your comfort zone. The more challenges you overcome while travelling, the more resilient you become.

It has the ability to expand your mind in a way you never thought was possible. New experiences prompts new thoughts, feelings and even ideas leading to enhanced creativity. Without getting too technical, creativity is linked to neuroplasticity (how the brain adapts and rewires itself) In other words, fresh stimuli spark synapses and awakens new areas in your brain that could have been dormant during periods of monotony. Something as simple as learning a few words in a different language or even trying new foods, can get those neurons firing up.

Travelling can strengthen  relationships. Sharing new experiences with your other half can make your relationship stronger as well as reignite that romantic spark. While spending time with a loved one can add to the feel-good factor, travelling solo can refresh your sense of independence and inner strength.

But, is it possible to reap the benefits of travelling after returning home? For sure! If you loved the food in Italy, learn how to cook Italian. Try to recreate those crucial reminders that life is good … maybe you walked more or took the time to sit down to a proper breakfast. Do more of that to recreate the same feelings you had while you were on vacation.

Travelling is not simply an enjoyable pastime, it’s an act of self-care.

So, if you still have a few “wanderlust-worthy” places to scratch off your bucket list, pack your bags and get going!

Source: forbes.com, lonelyplanet.com, mappingmegan.com, psychcentral.com, thriveglobal.com, hostelworld.com, therecoveryvillage.com, popsugar.com, intrepidtravel.com

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.