Are you desperately waiting to hit the road? There may be a valid explanation for that desire. Recently I came across a friend who just returned back from a family trip to Pokhara; a valley known to be the gateway for trekking to the Annapurna mountains in Nepal. The satisfaction he got from the trip was quite vivid as he overcame his fear and got out of the never ending boredom zone.
As Nepal opened up for domestic travel and also started the travel bubble with India, the locals in the valley mustered up the courage to travel. The popular tourism destination of Pokhara and Chitwan turned out to be a favorite destination for the locals in Kathmandu and other parts of Nepal. The hotels witnessed a significant surge in occupancy and restaurants were filled with customers after a long waiting of 9 months.
Taking a vacation is more than just a fun diversion from our daily mundane routine. Many researches have proved that travel is a very good antidote to mental wellness. They have learned a lot about why travel makes us more resilient and allows us to live in the moment.
1. Travel can minimize the risk of depression:
A whopping 81 percent of American travelers say they regularly travel where a primary goal is “mental wellness,” and they overwhelmingly see a vacation as a chance to “hit the reset button”. Exactly this is needed as more and more people are experiencing challenges to maintain mental wellness in the testing times of this pandemic.
2. Travel can rewire your brain
People who explore new places, try new food and continue to experience new things are far less likely to develop cognitive decay, according to Dr. Michael Merzenich . Want to maximize your brain’s neuroplasticity? A change of scenery may wake up your brain. Learning a few words of a different language, taking a cycling trip or a trek in nature, or even trying to cook local food can get those neurons firing.
3. Travel can help you become innovative
If Howard Schultz did not walk cobblestone streets of Milan in 1983, where he got the inspiration to introduce the coffee culture in America the world would not have enjoyed ‘’Starbucks’’. Every trip has an opportunity to open up the ‘‘third eye’’ that allows us to see invisible possibilities from simple to complex innovation. Taking a trip fueled the appetite for groundbreaking innovation for Howard Schultz or Steve Jobs. It can also help you see the invisible potential in your life as well.
4. Travel nurtures healthier relationship
People who travel increasingly believe in building more bridges and demolishing the walls. Travel nurtures the relationship within the family who travel together and cements the tie between the host and the guests across the globe. This is a great way to keep sanity in the world and foster the spirit of global citizenship.
5. Happiness does not end with the trip
Nothing lasts forever and neither does every trip. However, an investment in a travel experience lasts way beyond the travel period. A study by Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a Cornell University psychology professor, asked participants to self-report their happiness after making any major material and experiential purchases. At first, the participants ranked their happiness with both kinds of purchases about the same. But over time, their satisfaction with material things went down, and their satisfaction increased with experiences they had spent money on. Needless to say, investment on travel experience remains with the traveler forever. Hence it is one of the best investments with a great ROI.
As the world is gearing up to restart travelling with caution in 2021, it is absolutely important to ensure the happiness of each traveller and put mental as well as physical health as a priority. The tourism industry is capable of delivering a free flow of dopamine by investing in sustainable tourism.
As the saying goes ‘You can’t give what you don’t have!’. It’s pertinent to be happy before one shares happiness with the world. Supported by the above mentioned statements it is needless to say that travelling not only benefits you, but it benefits the world in one way or the other.