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7 benefits of traveling as a strategy not a luxury
I love a great vacation as much as the next guy. This post is about the superpowers that travel can provide way beyond basking in the sun, good food and ziplinning through the jungle.
I fell into travel, well actually, travel fell unto me as a 5 year old refugee fleeing from an oppressive regime who ended up living in 4 countries and 3 continents by age 7. I also learned 4 languages by age 9. Although my family didn’t choose the way it happened, and I don’t recommend being exiled as as the reason for it - cultural immersion, having to learn so much at an accelerated pace, and exposure to very different ways of looking at life became a super power for us that led to a whole slew of benefits and blessings.
Because of this, Deb and I (she has her version of early travel and cultural immersion) have never stopped being intentional about travel as a necessity that creates advantages in life beyond the self evident joy of vacationing and taking a break. We have also invested in our children frequently experiencing this since birth.
We’re spending a month in Europe combining vacation time, dropping off one of the girls at her student abroad location with doing some mission work and serving. France, Spain, Portugal and Georgia are on the menu this summer and we’re loving it.
As I said, this post is not about vacationing, it’s about how travel can accelerate human flourishing. Here’s a list of 7 game-changing benefits of travel as a strategy.
Before you say or think the classic self defeating words “It’s easy for you to say”, I want to offer this thought- you’ll be surprised at what you can do if you put your mind to it. Where you attention goes, your intention follows. Now back to the 7 top benefits of travel as a strategy.
Cognitive stimulation: Traveling to new places and immersing ourselves in different cultures exposes our brains to novel experiences, which stimulates cognitive processes like memory, attention, and problem-solving. This mental stimulation can enhance brain function and promote neuroplasticity.
Broadened perspective: Experiencing different cultures and ways of life expands our worldview and challenges our preconceived notions. This exposure fosters empathy, tolerance, and a more open-minded attitude, leading to a greater sense of happiness and connectedness with the world around us.
Language acquisition: Learning a new language engages various regions of the brain, including those responsible for memory, reasoning, and auditory processing. Research suggests that bilingual individuals may have enhanced cognitive abilities, such as improved attention and problem-solving skills, as well as a reduced risk of cognitive decline in later life.
Enhanced creativity: Experiencing diverse cultures and languages can fuel creativity by providing new perspectives, ideas, and inspiration. Exposure to different artistic expressions, traditions, and ways of thinking can unlock creative potential and encourage innovative thinking.
Personal growth: Traveling and cultural immersion push us out of our comfort zones, forcing us to adapt, problem-solve, and navigate unfamiliar situations. This process of self-discovery and personal growth can lead to increased confidence, resilience, and a greater sense of fulfillment.
Social connections: Engaging with people from different cultures and backgrounds while traveling or through language learning allows us to build meaningful connections and friendships. Positive social interactions are essential for our well-being, promoting happiness, a sense of belonging, and reduced feelings of isolation.
Increased happiness and life satisfaction: Traveling and cultural immersion provide opportunities for unique experiences, adventure, and exploration. The joy of discovering new places, learning about different cultures, and connecting with people can contribute to overall happiness and life satisfaction
How has this played out in your life? What would you add to the benefits of traveling as a strategy?