[It’s Becky here, at University I really enjoyed learning and writing about Mental Health and what better way to include Mental Health in our travel blog. It is something completely different to what we usually write, I hope you enjoy.]
What do you first think of when somebody tells you they are going travelling? Do you think ‘oh it’s a long holiday?’ ‘Its an exciting opportunity?’ ‘A chance to meet new people?’ ‘A way to learn about different cultures?’ or ‘Its a way to escape from reality?’.
It has been scientifically proven that travelling can provide various benefits to mental health. Whether it is a full blown year trip around the world or even just a couple of hours down the road. It is known to help change our outlook on life for the better (H.Jury 2017).
Benefits of travelling;
Creativity- A key to gaining a creativity boost is to submerge yourself in the place you are visiting and engage with the local culture. Doing this will open your mind, being mindful will encourage you to embrace the different ways of living in comparison to your own. When I visited Bali in 2016, I realised that the things people stress about and argue about back in the UK are just not even worth it. I mean I am guilty of having these stressful moments now and again. But when you visit somewhere and indulge in their culture you soon realise what you used to stress about were just first world problems compared to what other countries are going through.
Personality- Travelling abroad can often put people out of their comfort zone and in these cases, you have to adapt yourself to suit these changes. According to Zimmerman (2013) having these experiences will strengthen the openness of your personality. So basically they say this adaption makes us less emotionally reactive to day-to-day changes which will start to improve our emotional stability. I like to think of this one as ‘putting yourself in another’s shoes’ you start to react differently in situations and possibly handle them in a better manner.
Stress- I mentioned before ‘some people may think of travelling as an escape route’ but in most cases it is. It’s a great way to escape away from the stresses and commitments of our everyday lives. This is definitely not saying when we go away we will be free from all our stresses. Although we will be away from these particular every day to day stresses when we are abroad we will probably find ourselves stressing but hopefully not as much! We are 100% looking forward to waking up and thinking what fun activities can we do today? What sites can we see? Instead of panicking about leaving early enough to make it to work and having planning ready. We can only hope haha!
Happiness- We have been told that our happiness has already been affected before we even go on our trip. Having the anticipation of going away for a year has improved our mood. We have something to look forward to and something to occupy us. A study found that people who have a vacation planned are more positive about their health and general day to day life! I mean me and Ryan are very happy about our trip and we are positive about our health because we want to enjoy our trip!
Relationships- When I first read this one I thought aw were in for a good time Ryan! There is no doubt about it, your relationship can have a knock-on effect on mental well-being and self-esteem, whether travelling or not I think this is quite a general thing. A survey by the US Travel Association shows that not only does travel have long-term effects for couples it also helps maintain relationships. I do agree to be fair because not only do we get to travel the world with our other half and spend time together, experiencing new things, but hopefully we overcome the tougher elements of travelling. Such as, planning the trip and making compromises!
Mentally resilient- Going away and living somewhere new gives a variety of emotions as your excited to go there but you feel slightly worried at the same time, this could toughen anyone up mentally and emotionally. Being able to confront difficulties in an unfamiliar environment, amongst new people will push you out of your comfort zone. Therefore making you more flexible, resilient and emotionally strong. I’m sure we will gain more patience and learn to understand the uncontrollable situations, learn to deal with these situations.
Obviously, you could say that we have just read what we wanted to see. We are aware that everybody is unique and will deal with things in their own way. It could turn out that we might not deal with some situations in the best way possible. But hopefully we will learn from this and it will encourage us to react differently. It is however nice to read how we might grow and learn as human beings. I am excited for what the future holds. We cannot wait to go!
Until next time! X