What do you think of when I say travelling? Is it images of far flung places of paradise? Young backpackers across Asia? Living humbly for 6 months in printed harem pants and flip flops? It can be all of those things but so much more. In the last two years me and my husband have travelled quite extensively, alongside full-time jobs for most of it but we did it in shorter, more frequent stints. We travel intentionally after knowing the transformation that can take place, no matter how long you’re away.
When I say travel, I mean exploration, curiosity and not necessarily the conventional idea of a ‘holiday’. I have guides on Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo over on medium if you fancy a read, but here’s ten reasons why travel of all kinds is nothing but good for you!
A change of place triggers so many new feelings and ideas and you will always come back with an abundance of inspiration. Sometimes whilst you’re exploring somewhere new, solutions to a problem can come to you, or the beginnings of something exciting can start to bubble. Either way, something is unlocked just by changing the space you’re in.
Taking in a new city and people-watching you realise how big the world is and how small you are. You have all these things going on in your life but yet, here are thousands of others potentially feeling the same or living it totally differently to you. In Scandinavia for example, sustainability and environmental responsibility is a deeply ingrained value. Whereas in the UK this is still growing.
3. Personal development
No matter how long you’re away for, there’s always something you have the challenge of; learning a few words in the native language or navigating your way to the nearest supermarket. These seemingly little things are what push growth each time you do it. Taking the time to learn about the history of a place can help you understand the culture, and its reason for being.
If like us, curiosity gets the better of you, you can learn so much from a short conversation, with the guy making your coffee for example. It gives you an insight into how other people live and what factors might have shaped their life. Just by asking for recommendations on somewhere to eat or a gallery to visit, you’ll almost always get more than that. We got so many little snippets of how Norwegians live, just by talking to our waitress at dinner one evening.
If you go on short trips quite regularly, look at the items you take with you every time, as well as the things you start to leave behind. I noticed I always packed the same three trousers and two pairs of shoes on every trip we took. But I started to leave behind a lot of jewellery and extra makeup. Packing more minimally really takes out the stress of all the extra clothes and accessories you know you won’t use, plus it clears the space for any goodies you want to bring back with you!
6. Memories + Stories
Without sounding cheesy, this is the most priceless part of travel. For so many of us, our dream is to be able to see the world. The people you both travel with and meet, the smells and feelings in a particular place are all what you end up remembering the most. These memories stay with you forever.
Food has such a deep meaning amongst all cultures and can speak more about people and history that a lot of other elements can’t. Again, by being curious and understanding how a dish is made or why there are certain flavours used, you learn so much. We found when we asked about food on a menu, most people are actually quite proud explaining the reasons behind them.
8. Finding yourself
Do you find yourself going out of your way to do something different when you go away? We do too. Similar to personal growth, doing something new in a new place can spark a sense of evaluation within yourself. Recently, after going on a tour of some wild beaches and caves in the Algarve, all by kayak, I started to feel more confident with my ability of navigating deep water and my overall sense of taking risks.
Travel has really opened my eyes to how lucky I am to have seen different parts of the world we live in. Every time I see a beautiful landscape or a city from a high viewpoint, I feel so grateful to be there at that moment in time. For some, regular travel isn’t an option or easy to do, so it’s an even sweeter experience when you do finally get to be somewhere else.
10. Anxiety + Stress
When we’ve been away in an intense period, being forced to step back from it has done wonders for anxiety. When you’re in transit there’s a limit on what you can do, especially if your Wifi connection is bad. So you’re forced to take a pause, do something else. You want to make the most of your new surroundings, so it doesn’t leave much room for anxiety.
All this goodness from travel, there’s a whole world to see and one life to do it in! (Next port of call is to see how to do it more sustainably)