4 rea­sons to travel more

Kingston Whig-Standard - - WORLD NEWS -

In ad­di­tion to eat­ing health­ier, ex­er­cis­ing more and get­ting more sleep, many peo­ple re­solve to travel more at the dawn of a new year. Travel is much more than leav­ing one’s home. It’s about set­ting habits aside, es­cap­ing com­fort zones and try­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent — and do­ing so in a dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tion. In its lat­est World Tourism Barom­e­ter, the United Na­tions World Tourism Or­ga­ni­za­tion found that 1.184 bil­lion tourists trav­eled out­side their coun­tries’ borders for at least one night in 2015. Eu­rope, Asia, the Pa­cific, and the Amer­i­cas all recorded around a 5 per­cent in­crease in in­ter­na­tional ar­rivals that year. Eu­rope was par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar, per­haps hedged by a weaker euro against the Amer­i­can dol­lar and other cur­ren­cies. The U.S. Travel As­so­ci­a­tion says that di­rect spend­ing by res­i­dent and in­ter­na­tional trav­el­ers in Amer­ica av­er­aged $2.7 bil­lion a day. Mil­len­ni­als may be lead­ing the travel-en­am­ored pack. The United Na­tions es­ti­mates that 20 per­cent of all in­ter­na­tional tourists, or nearly 200 mil­lion trav­el­ers, are young peo­ple, and that the mil­len­nial de­mo­graphic gen­er­ates more than $180 bil­lion in an­nual tourism rev­enue. The U.N. also re­ports that mil­len­ni­als are more in­ter­ested than older gen­er­a­tions in trav­el­ing abroad as much as pos­si­ble. In­fre­quent trav­el­ers or those who have never trav­eled may not un­der­stand why head­ing to parts un­known is so ap­peal­ing to so many peo­ple. The fol­low­ing are just a hand­ful of rea­sons why travel is so en­tic­ing. 1. En­gage the mind. Stay­ing men­tally ac­tive over the course of a life­time pro­motes long-term health. Nav­i­gat­ing un­fa­mil­iar places or read­ing a for­eign lan­guage while sit­ting in an in­ter­na­tional coun­try can en­gage the brain and get synapses fir­ing. The Mayo Clinic re­ports that higher

cog­ni­tive ac­tiv­ity en­dows the brain with a greater abil­ity to fend off brain patholo­gies, such as dis­ease and de­meen­tias.

2. Con­nect with new peo­ple.

Travel opens a per­son up to not only new ex­pe­ri­ences, but also new peo­ple. English poet John Donne penned the fa­mous line, “No man is an is­land,” which un­der­scores the im­por­tance of hav­ing friends and mak­ing new ac­quain­tances. Re­search con­ducted by the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan found the act of talk­ing with peo­ple in a friendly way can im­prove a per­son’s mem­ory, sup­press ex­ter­nal and in­ter­nal dis­trac­tions, and en­cour­age peo­ple to see things from an­other per­son’s per­spec­tive. It doesn’t hurt to broaden one’s so­cial net­work, ei­ther.

3. Build con­fi­dence.

Leav­ing one’s com­fort zone can be a great way to bol­ster one’s self-es­teem. Nav­i­gat­ing cul­tural bound­aries and over­com­ing those bound­aries may be ini­tially in­tim­i­dat­ing, but do­ing so can make a per­son more con­fi­dent and more adapt­able to change.

4. De­velop opin­ions.

Un­til a per­son vis­its a place in per­son, he or she only has third-party in­for­ma­tion to form opin­ions. Vis­it­ing a city or coun­try for the first time can of­fer a more com­plete per­spec­tive. Travel gives peo­ple the chance to rest, ex­plore, meet new friends, and make last­ing mem­o­ries.

See­ing new things and meet­ing new peo­ple are just some of the many ben­e­fits of trav­el­ing.

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