Mental Health Benefits of Traveling

Mental Health Benefits of Traveling
Photo by Eva Darron / Unsplash

Humans are designed to be more, do more, and have more. It's in human nature to continually strive to learn and be challenged. Change is a constant part of our life that keeps the brain active and adaptable. Traveling can be hard, uncomfortable, and draining, but it can actually activate neuroplasticity- the ability of the brain’s pathways to form new neural connections to respond to new stimuli. Traveling takes the brain off autopilot and exposes it to new foods, landscapes, environments, and cultures, which causes us to step outside of our comfort zones and grow.

Benefits of Traveling

Travel has many benefits and is important for our health and personal growth. Travel sparks imagination, understanding of worldwide issues, and helps develop a global world view and awareness. Traveling abroad exposes us to new governments, environmental disaster effects, and unfamiliar populations.

Experiencing different art, cultures, and humanity can create feelings of empathy, connection, and gratitude; therefore, greatly impacting mental and physical health. Mental health benefits of travel include increases happiness, boosts neuroplasticity, gives a new perspective, and promotes personal growth.

Boosts Neuroplasticity + Creativity

Being in a new environment impacts how neural pathways respond to things and can make us more creative. Traveling abroad breaks up everyday routines that the brain is accustomed to and exposes it to unfamiliar tastes, scents, views, and cultures. This causes different synapses to fire off, which revitalizes and opens up the mind.

Seeing historical monuments, mountain views, white sand crystal clear turquoise beaches, skyscrapers, and artwork inspires new ideas and creativity. Traveling whether near or far, across the globe or in country, can promote new neural connections, take the brain off autopilot mode, and boost mental health.

Increases Happiness + Euphoria

Travel and just simply planning a vacation can increase happiness levels, improve mood, and give a sense of hope. The excitement of planning the trip, the anticipation of the unknown, and the preparation can give off an ecstatic feeling of having something to look forward to.

Research has shown that planning a cruise, a holiday trip, a world-wide tour, a family vacation, or a road trip can truly expand mood and happiness levels.  The build-up to the trip releases endorphins causing euphoria and excitement, which causes a ripple effect to other people around us.

Gives A Fresh Perspective

Traveling give us an entirely new perspective of the world and energizes us to think big; it helps to snap us out of our regular thought patterns. This can be very beneficial for individuals feeling stuck in a rut or suffering from depression. The change of scenery switches the brain off default mode and stops anxious or depressive thought patterns while on the trip. Traveling somewhere new is a gentle reminder that life has so much to offer and we are never stuck where we are at. A trip or vacation could be the catalyst to reset the brain to get out of a funk and gain a fresh worldwide view.

Promotes Personal Growth

This may seem obvious, but traveling forces us out of our comfort zones leading to personal growth and confidence. For introverted people or hermits who enjoy being at their own home, traveling can sound uncertain, stressful, and scary. Planning a trip and flying out for hours can sound intimidating enough, and the thought of being in another country 0r continent could sound paralyzing; however, making the choice to travel and experience new places and people can truly help us grow. Traveling presents us with new and unexpected opportunities, and exposes us to unique environments, landscapes, populations, and foods. Set aside time, plan the trip, buy the tickets, and travel to grow as a human being.

Final Thoughts

Humans are meant to explore the world and absorb all the beautiful, abundant things Mother Earth has to offer. The act of traveling can seem very stressful; but making the commitment has wonderful mental health benefits. Traveling stimulates neuroplasticity, boosts happiness levels, gives us a fresh perspective, and promotes personal growth.

Travel can be a very rewarding, eye-opening experience that helps us gain cultural awareness and overcome challenges. Having a better understanding of the world around us solidifies human connection and improves our perceptions. Get out there and travel.

Thank you for reading this article.


This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.