It’s Time for a Vacation: How Travel Helps You Grow
by: Angela S. Taylor MA, LPC-S
It’s that time of year where we’ve all been cold and stuck in doors for seemingly way too long. We’re longing for warmer days and some good outside fun. A lot of us dream of travelling to a great beach, exploring a new city, or taking a good road trip with numerous stops along the way, but many of us fail to put those dreams into action. We feel like we don’t have the time, money, and/or the tasks to plan a vacation are just too daunting. But, the rewards of a good vacation are immeasurable! Here a few reasons why you deserve to travel and take that vacation you’ve been talking about for years:
- You need (and deserve) rest.
You are constantly busy and moving. In fact, our culture celebrates business that can lead to unhealthiness. You’re juggling work, raising kids, being a partner, taking care of your home, being a friend, and the list goes on. I know it feels like the last thing you have time for is a trip, but trust me. You will feel more energized and able to accomplish so much more when you give yourself a break and take some time to rest. Your body and mind are exhausted, and you need time to regroup. You’ve worked hard for this and truly earned it!
- Travel increases happiness.
Not only are you stepping away from everyday tasks, routines, and obligations, you are probably also getting some much needed outside time. Hopefully, you won’t be doing as many chores and you’ve set aside work to focus on being present on your trip. You’re spending your days mostly away from social media, technology, and the mundanity that can feel suffocating. At the same time, you’re getting the additional benefits that activity and the sun provide. While you’re enjoying the outside, your body is being flooded with serotonin and dopamine (those feel good chemicals we all need). Those chemicals are essential and lasting if nourished.
- Travel shifts your perspective.
When we are moving about our lives and “getting stuff done,” our world can feel very small. The small things tend to feel bigger, and the big things feel overwhelming. Every once in awhile, it’s good to force ourselves to see that there’s a bigger world out there. It’s nice to see that other cultures have different areas of focus, and maybe that helps us really look at where we are expending our energy and if it’s placed in the areas that are truly significant to us. Are those priorities what we want to continue to spend time on, or do we want to shift or change a little to push towards what is really important to us? Travel can help us solidify our beliefs about what is meaningful, change our perspective, or be some combination of those things.
- Relationship Improvement
Whether you go by yourself, with family, or with your friends, your relationships can grow and improve when you travel. If you are by yourself, you will get to know who you are on a deeper level when you figure out what you’re interested and how you navigate a new environment. You will discover things you love about you and things you’d like to continue to build on. With friends and/or family, you will learn more about each other and have moments to talk and connect without outside factors tugging for your attention. Maybe you will explore or try something you wouldn’t have had the courage to do on your own, or maybe you’ll learn new things about someone you love by seeing new passions emerge for them. All of these experiences will help you feel more confident, fulfilled, and connected.
- It’s fun!
Vacations are fun! There’s a whole world out there to explore and new adventures to be experienced around every corner. Life can feel a little like groundhog’s day if we don’t stretch a little and get outside of our environments. Vacations can show us how to live a little broader, take care of ourselves a little better, and show us that life can be a whole lot of fun if we spread our wings a little. Trying new things that get your heart racing, seeing the beauty that is in our world, and meeting people with different perspectives only adds to our feelings of joy and fulfillment in life. I think we all could use a little of that!
So get out there! This is a great time of year to start thinking about where you will travel next. Will you go to the beach, explore a new country, go camping, or take a long road trip to a different state? Whatever you do, fully embrace it and take in each new moment. There’s so much out there left to see!