“Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection.” —Lawrence Durrell
Do you feel guilty when you travel for leisure? It’s alright; you’re not alone. In fact, I sometimes feel the same way too whenever I go travelling.
In some cultures, dedicating most of your time and efforts in your work indicates that you are a hardworking person. My teachers in school also used to tell me that if I work hard, I will be rewarded.
Here’s what I think: If you work hard in whatever you do, that’s good. But if you overwork yourself, I’m afraid you need to stop for a little while and read this. Let me share with you….
1. It is good for your health
Travelling is good for your health. I have to agree on this one. When you travel, you exercise your body. If you had read my article on Exploring Laos: 5 Unforgettable Moments on the Road, you’d notice that most of the activities I did required a lot of walking, running, climbing, pushing and jumping. The experience was tiring, but it made me feel a lot stronger and healthier than before.
Did you know that studies have shown that travel can lower the risk of depression and heart disease? People who take at least one vacation per year have lower chances in dying from heart disease or even getting a heart attack.
Going to new places every day.
I was asked before about why I travel — because for a lot of people, travelling is not only tiring, but it takes a lot of time and money. Being questioned like this is common to me now, and many times I explained to them about the reasons why I travel; one of them is because I value my health. I truly believe that travelling is good for the body and the mind.
As I have mentioned earlier, I feel a lot healthier and more energetic than before. Yes, travelling can be super tiring. But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, eyh? 🙂
2. It is good for the mind
Working too hard can lead to stress, and if it’s not managed wisely, one can potentially suffer from burnouts. When you start feeling this way, take some time off. You deserve a quality “me time” too.
Travelling is good for the mind because it helps you to rejuvenate and relax the mind. Indeed, travelling has been proven to reduce stress.
Now ask yourself this question: Is my health the most important thing to me? If the answer is “Yes”, consider travelling or getting a relaxing vacation somewhere you like.
Quiet times at the mountains in Laos.
Upon returning from your travel, you’ll feel a lot healthier, happier, and a lot more productive at your workplace.
Travelling is also a wonderful learning experience. You get to learn about new cultures, experience new things, meet new people, and many more. From my own personal experience, travelling has given me more knowledge and intercultural awareness — something that was not really taught to me in school.
I am also a lot more independent and confident with myself, especially when I am on the road on my own.
If you’re a student, consider applying for exchange programmes, or perhaps venture into a neighbouring country during your semester breaks to experience a world different than yours. Trust me, even if your country and your neighbouring country share similarities in many ways, you can still find many cultural differences.
3. It is good for your relationships
Travelling helps people to improve their relationships. I am not very particular about who I travel with although I am aware that travelling with the right person will be very good in the long run. That’s because it is not always easy to know if someone is right for you until you both have already travelled and gone through hard times together.
Chillin’ in the evening with Alexandre in Laos.
The good thing about travelling is that it either brings people together or breaks them apart. This is when you can put your interpersonal relationships to the test. Now when I look back at my own backpacking experience, I realised how tough and easy travelling with another person can be.
Whether you are travelling alone, with a travel buddy, or in a group, travelling can also help you improve your problem-solving, teamwork and communication skills.
4. It takes you for explorations
Travelling is when I get to explore about myself better. Many of my friends feel the same too. Whilst you can learn more about yourself even from the comfort of your own home, travelling is just another great way to do it — and it works well for me.
Delphine and I at Kuta Beach, Bali.
There are also times when you need new inspirations, say, for an upcoming book or blog articles that you intend to publish. Travelling will help you find the inspirations you’re looking for.
I have always believed that travelling enhances creativity. That’s because when you travel, you open yourself to new things, new experiences, new people. You start seeing things in different ways too. Eventually you look at the world in a whole new perspective, and realise that everything you see is not always what is pictured on your school textbooks.
5. You can make more new friends
When you travel, you get to see many new faces, and the numbers of friends you make along the way depends on how sociable you are. I don’t meet and greet everyone I see when I travel though.
At Gili Trawangan with this awesome couple.
But I remember saying “Hi” and “Bye” to many people whose names I don’t even remember. I don’t really consider them as friends, but it doesn’t really matter, because at the end of the day, it is all about living in the moment.
I may not remember the names of every person I hangout with, but it’s the experience that makes me cherish all the memories I share with them.
For all the friends I made along my journey, thank you for the good times, and I’m glad we are still in touch.
So….when will you hit the road? Let’s go together, perhaps? See you somewhere on the planet! 🙂