The Health Perks of Traveling

By: Francesca S.

With all the recent focus on science and health, we already know what the main tips are for maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle: cut down sugars, eat a lot of vegetables, never skip breakfast, exercise and all the other things that are supposed to improve your health. However, finally we can add travelling to the list! A study conducted by the U.S. Travel Association found travelling to be full of health benefits, ranging from physical to mental ones.

According to the study, travelling helps you to overcome shyness and it improves your social skills.  When travelling you might meet people similar to you or even share a few words with the locals. Usually you end up chatting with the person next to you on the plane or with tourists in line the same hotel as you. There are many occasions in which you can talk to people and even if you don’t make a long-lasting friendship, it adds to the experience. Even if you are already traveling with your friends, travelling together is a great opportunity to get to know them better! You get to spend all day with them, which makes the whole experience more enjoyable.

Travelling also presents challenges to overcome, such as being re-routed, losing the plane, not finding a car to rent, waiting hours for a “minor” mechanical problem to be fixed. The worst experience that has happened to me is a 3-hour flight delay due to technical issues! However, it is better to smile over these “technical issues” and any other inconveniences, since starting an “adventure” with a negative attitude is never the best option, especially since jet lag will be a part of your trip too. On top of that, travelling is found to reduce stress! You don’t have to worry about schoolwork; you can escape from your daily life to a city you can literally get lost in. Being free of what stresses you or brings you down at home makes you relax, focus and simply become a happier person.

If you are one of those people that claim travelling makes you gain weight, you are wrong! There are so many activities available in touristy places that help keep you in shape. You can take a beautiful hike in Mont Blanc, or bike your way on through the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. You can even try surfing in Australia or bungee jumping from the Victoria Falls bridge between Botswana and Zimbabwe.

Overall, thanks to travelling you can become a very flexible, patient and interesting person. You can open your eyes to new cultures, languages, people, cuisine and art. You can develop new skills as you take on different experiences, and most importantly you learn to live adventurously!

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