From maximizing your brain's neuroplasticity to provoking your prehistoric, biological instincts to explore, there are many reasons to why travel improves your overall states of mental, physical and emotional health. Whether it's walking 30,000+ steps around London(like we did in May), boosting your creative abilities & experiences in your professional and personal life, or paying back your body's much earned sleep debt, discover below all the magical ways travel is good for your body, and therefore, your life!
1. Travel rewires your brain, so to speak
While the old school thinking was that brain development ended after childhood, scientists widely accept that neuroplasticity is real...aka, your brain changes and develops throughout your life. To ward off cognitive decay and further your brain's growth, scientists agree that experiencing new foods, learning different languages and traveling to foreign places will all fire up old neurons and make you think in new ways. Get out of your comfort zone and awake your brain!
2. Get all prehistoric on 'em
Traveling can be dangerous, right? Sometimes it can be impulsive, too? Well, those behaviors are natural to man since the time when our DRD4 gene triggered the specific dopamine receptor, 7R + allele, likely responsible for provoking exploration and survival instincts. With no need for survival nowadays, scientists believe this receptor might shoot off the chemicals responsible for gambling and addiction, and now, the urge to travel!! Whether you find travel exciting or terrifying is just how your brain views risk.
3. Because happy, happy, happy feelings
In the same vein as risk, dopamine rushes from traveling to new places can sprout wins & rewards in your emotional well-being: travel triggers higher levels happiness. Similar to how finding love with a new place is much like the dopamine rush you feel when you find love with your 'mate', discovering new places and then reconnecting to family, friends and your hometown can trigger all sorts of positive, happy emotions. While this is different than biting into say new, delicious chocolates or candies (these feelings are associated with spikes in opioids levels, think heroine addictions), traveling can trigger new curiosities about unknown and the all-so-familiar. Think about how reminiscing feels good. Beware though...scientists believe that once you've traveled and your 'high' from it wears off, the success from achieving that goal of travel can only be turned back on or triggered by planning the next trip.
4. Win back your much earned sleep
Sleep debt is real. Traveling, be it for work or pleasure, is a chance if nothing else to let your body recover its sleep patterns. Yes, patterns might be thrown off completely between long flights and multiple time zones, but there are tips out there for how to sleep better on a plane and science backing up the notion that travel truly improves your sleep (mostly because travel reduces your stress!!!), especially if you are vacationing. So once you arrive at your destination, allow time for sleep. You, your health, your work, and the community of people around you will thank you. It's called SIESTA, BABY!!
5. Enhance your personality
We all have the family member(s) or friend(s) who is ALWAYS open to trying new experiences. They say 'yes' at almost every opportunity with a sense of comfortability and lack of restriction that makes them seem so alive and courageous and insane all at once. Whether or not you want to be some version of that person, travel has been guaranteed to improve your personality in a myriad of ways, including increasing your openness to new experiences.
6. Travel means you can't skip leg day
Finally, travel whips you into shape and that's a good thing! Whether you're planning to take on Disney World with the family or considering a visit to any city in Europe, travel guarantees one thing: these shoes were made for walking. Before the summer, we traveled to Los Angeles, London and Istanbul, and each city shared its fair share of steps. In just one day in London, we logged 30,000+ steps!! Make sure you plan ahead and buy the most comfortable men's and women's shoes for walking around.
7. Boost your creativity
While the Res Ipsa brand is just one small example, studies in the past 5 years that looked at the world's top fashion houses. Judged by fashion journalists and independent buyers, they found the most creative designs correlated directly with the creative directors who had spent the most time living and working in multiple countries. If you want to find inspiration in your professional and personal life, explore the world and learn to master 'cognitive flexibility' -- the ability to switch your thinking and problem solve with new & creative solutions different from one's previous thoughts or beliefs.