4 reasons to travel more
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.