I don’t know about you, but when I travel, an indescribable feeling awakens in me. I will try to describe that feeling to you.
It starts with my senses…
As my eyes drink the beauty, my ears fill with sounds and melodies, my nose inhales new scents, my tongue explores amazing flavors and my hands touch new textures, channels of light draw inside me, connecting each of my senses to a place in the pit of my stomach where a feeling of space is born, a bit like a breath of condensed fresh air, which, like the universe, takes on expanding until it bathes every cell in my body and make my head evaporate.
After analyzing these senses, I actually believe that it is happiness! No wonder I became addicted to them!
The most interesting thing is that all that is not by chance. Several writings in the scientific literature confirm that traveling makes us happy, by releasing a cocktail of hormones in our body (dopamine, oxytocin, endorphin, serotonin) that promote positive feelings, such as happiness.
I may not be a scientist, but I’ve traveled enough in my life to share with you my 5 reasons why traveling makes you happy.
Break the routine
Paulo Coelho says: “ If you think adventure is dangerous, I suggest you try routine… It’s deadly!” “. Of course, routine has its good sides, especially with children, but it becomes rigid and suffocating when it persists. Traveling breaks the routine and nurtures the part of us that craves flexibility, freedom and doing things differently.
I won’t teach you anything by telling you that moving has an influence on our level of happiness, because physical activity releases the same cocktail of hormones that I mentioned above. Travel forces us to be active, if only by walking to visit places. Personally, I love to walk and feel the landscapes by my feet. In addition, the trip allows you to discover new ways to moved, like diving, climbing, hiking, etc. and by trying these activities you will discover the country you are visiting in the same time.
As I sat quietly in the sun on a beach in Canggu, Bali, I was witnessing the first surfing experience of a young woman in her 30s or less. After the instructor showed her the basics, she stepped uncertainly into the water, her large board under her arm. Her first attempt to stand on her board, you guessed it, were not successful. However, she chose to persevere and after an hour, she could ride a wave for a few seconds, standing on her board. Her smile and excitement were contagious.
: “ I never thought I would go surfing one day! she told the instructor.
This short story shows how much travel is the perfect setting for surpassing oneself. New activities, new language, new culture. Everything in the trip invites you to broaden your horizons and discover unsuspected abilities, like surfing.
Maintain brain health
Is traveling keeps the brain healthy? Yes ! Traveling stimulates your neurons, which are responsible for maintaining the cognitive functions of our brain. The stimulation of neurons creates synaptic connections between parts of our brain in addition to having the power to create new neurons. This is why it is said that traveling helps to fight against the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
That’s not all. Since human relationships increase the secretion of oxytocin, you understand that traveling presents a host of opportunities to create human relationships, therefore to release the hormone that makes our brain happy.
Develop your openness to others
To find ourselves in a new country is to immerse ourselves in a different culture from ours. To see the world through different glasses, to rub shoulders with differences. All this develops empathy, this ability to put oneself in the other person’s shoes, to open up to the other. The more I travel, the more my hasty judgments tend to disappear in favor of more enlightened and nuanced points of view. The differences, I no longer perceive them as obstacles, but as riches.
So here are my 5 reasons why traveling makes me so happy and when, in the living room, I pass in front of the map of the world that I drew and personalized for my family, I remember all my happiness experienced thanks to the thumbtacks that remind me of every destinations I have visited. I invite you to do the same by getting one of my world maps that I can personalized for your family.