Recent research has proven that one road to happiness is traveling. In 2016, the Happiness 360 Conference in partnership with the UN’s World Tourism Organization established that the happiest people on earth travel more. Happiness, defined as subjective well-being, is a really big deal in most circles. But why so? Well, the answer is simple. The happier you are, the healthier you are. And the healthier you are, the more creative and productive you can become. Wondering why traveling makes you happy? Experts say it boils down to the following factors.
7 Reasons Why Traveling Makes You Happy
Philosopher and professor A.C. Grayling feels that traveling is the key to expanding the mind and spirit. He believes we educate ourselves by traveling and exposing ourselves to new ideas and people. Here are 7 more reasons how traveling makes you happy:
1. Traveling Rewires Your Brain
According to neuroscientists, when we travel, we rewire our brains. This is because new experiences are the key to building new neural pathways in the brain. By rewiring your brain, you become more creative and accepting of new ideas. This is why travel makes you happy.
2. It Improves Relationships
The happiest people are the ones with the strongest connections to others, be it family, friends or the general community. One of the best ways to improve these relationships is by traveling together and experiencing new things together. You will find that it creates an opportunity to have some of the most important memories of your life, and this level of connection does wonders for relationships. Dr. Stefan Klein, the author of The Science of Happiness, believes that the pleasures of discovering new things and the joy that comes with meeting new people or the thrill of eating new foods all come together to create a feeling of happiness in any traveler.
3. It Builds Connections
Travel makes us happy, here’s why. Through trips, you get to meet new people, people that you otherwise would never have met. You get to establish new relationships and start forming connections with new people, which contributes to your overall happiness in life.
4. Experiences Are More Valuable Than Things
Studies have shown that we value our experiences more than any material possessions we may own. Spending money on a new experience is more important than buying something new because the experience stays with you forever and you can always take it with you wherever you go. This is why when people are reminded of the good experience they had before, they instantly become much happier. As we age, this phenomenon only increases. Our overall satisfaction with experiences increases while the joy and satisfaction we get from buying new things reduces.
5. Memories Play Tricks On Us
It is not uncommon to hear travel stories of people and imagine they had an amazing experience, with no downsides, even if it is logically impossible to have only highs and no lows in any experience. This is because when we share stories, we minimize the bad parts and make the good parts seem even better. The same happens when we remember something we experienced before. You might have fallen sick on your trip, but you will hardly remember that part in a few years. Instead, those memories will be replaced by the best parts of the trip. This is why traveling makes you happier.
6. Travel Experiences Make Good Stories
The irony is that this is especially true for really bad experiences. If you get stuck in an elevator with an old man with short-term memory loss and you had to go to the bathroom and a raccoon dropped in from the ceiling and attacked you and the old man and the old man knocked out the raccoon by punching it, while that would make for a horrifying thing to experience, it would definitely score some laughs if you told the story later on. Or take another example such as going on a camping trip. Just take your camping gear and hit the road. Having to spend some days with friends or close family and enjoy the long nights of talks and laughter by the fire or even having a picnic at a public park, will definitely remain in your memories for a long time. All traveling stories are great opportunities to share our experiences with others, which only builds even stronger connections.
7. It’s Hard To Compare Travel Experiences
Comparing yourself to others is a major cause of dissatisfaction and unhappiness in this day and age. However, when it comes to travel, it is hard to compare experiences, say a trip to the Caribbean and a trip to Asia. It is your experience that matters, and whether you were satisfied with it is all that matters. Comparing material things like the size of your TV is much more straightforward and breeds more unhappiness.
If you are still wondering why traveling makes you happy, consider visiting the city of Santiago. It is an amazing destination to enrich your life with some new experiences. Also, many locals offer free walking tours in Santiago. The local tour guides are readily available for helping you get the most out of this city. You can also pack your camping gear and enjoy a camping experience in Santiago. Book your trip to Chile and make sure to stop by Santiago to create some beautiful travel memories.
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