And how it challenges the way we think
Waking up in a bed which is not your own, walking the streets of a place you do not know, listening to a language you do not understand. Like the eyes of a child, seeing things for the very first time. Observing. Learning. Reliving.
There are just a few things in life that will impact us as much as traveling does. And nowadays travel, more than ever, brings a sense of release. New experiences and memorable moments are the things that take you out of your normal behavior. Everyday life. We become someone else while we travel. Or simply the person we should have been all along?
But really. How could just one trip change you? And how does travel affect your mind?
Let’s plan a trip when you are done reading.
1. Gives you a wake-up call
New sensations – smells, tastes, and sounds. A foreign language and new sights. If you are looking for a creative boost, a fresh cultural scene every once in a while might be all you need. Our mind is highly influenced by our environment, the habits we build, the comfort zone we cherish. At the same time, this entails a sensitivity to change. Change can be the wake-up call for our minds and often has a revitalizing effect. Not without reason was the time Ernest Hemingway spent abroad in France and Spain one of his biggest inspirations.
Yet, it is not as easy as simply changing your physical location. To really bring out that creative genius within (almost) all of us, actually engaging, immersing, and adapting to a new culture is key. Ideally for a longer period of time. Have you tried Slow Travel?
2. Your belongings become less important
That memorable feeling of seeing a place for the very first time. Once it has captured you, this sensation outvalues anything tangible you could ever purchase. Did you ever anticipate the arrival of your latest online shopping spree as much as the start of a trip?
3. Everyday annoyances seem trivial
When traveling we not only put a distance between us and our normal lives but also between our thoughts, worries, and problems. This is not to be confused with running away or creating a careless version of yourself. Seeing how others live can be like observing the world through somebody else’s eyes. Suddenly your problems seem to be less important and we realize that certain things are not worth worrying about. In other words…everything is relative. This not only reduces stress but also challenges your own views and perceptions. Seeing other cultures and their way of living broadens your mind and puts your own life in perspective.
4. Sharpens your mind
Travel opens up a pool of unlimited possibilities. New countries, new cultures, new people, new experiences. When we are used to a certain way of living every day, our minds stop being challenged and close off to the many choices and possibilities life has to offer. Starting that new job, changing your life, moving to a new city, a new area, or even trying that new Japanese place during pizza night (sorry Sheldon!). Just small things can keep the mind sharp.
While traveling, the brain is (extensively) exposed to new experiences, which means an increase in cognitive stimulation keeping the mind sharp and ultimately resetting mind & body. You see the world around you in new ways and are more aware of your direct surrounding and what else is out there. So whatever you do, try something new!
5. Makes you more fearless
There is nothing like stepping off a plane knowing you are about to dive into an entirely new experience. Your troubles seem to fade and problems may lose their significance. There is no time to worry about an incoming text or the count of Instagram likes when you are sitting on the back of a scooter, dusty face, and wind in your hair. You enter into a fearless mindset, ready to discover. And the only thing you ask yourself is, how come I am not doing this more often?
Travel is an enriching experience, and only one single trip can hold the experiences of an entire year in life. Yet, in the end, it all boils down to changing up your environments, leaving the routine to free your mind and let new cultures change your perspectives – no matter where you are.
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