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The science behind why travelling makes you happy

Travel. The great unknown… the open road. For many of us, travelling is a must – a necessity that stems from a desire to escape the humdrum of our daily routines and head off into the blue yonder.


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While travelling for some might constitute a trip to the coast with the family or an overnight stay in a luxurious hotel, for others it might be a round-the-world backpacking trip where you don’t know where your next stop will be. Either way, it can be a life-changing, soul-altering experience and one that leaves lasting, happy memories.

But what is it about travelling that makes us happy and that, as soon as we have unpacked our bags, leaves us wanting to repack and go again? 

Some reasons why travelling leaves your heart soaring and your soul smiling

You Find Out Who You Really Are

When you are traveling, unexpected situations sometimes crop up and take a different turn than originally planned — from a delayed or missed flight to a natural disaster. This is when you really find out who you are and how you deal with such situations is a true test of your character. This can lead to a huge boost in self-confidence and overall happiness.

You Appreciate What You Have Left Behind

“Distance makes the heart grow fonder” certainly rings true. Being away from things we might often take for granted, such as family, close friends, and a warm and welcoming home, makes us appreciate them more. Sharing your experiences with the people you love and showing them the appreciation they deserve will make you feel good and ultimately happier in yourself.

You Make New Friends

There is nothing better than finding someone you can share your experiences with while on the road. Making new friends is easier while you are travelling than it is at home, as fellow travellers tend to be more welcoming and open to adventure. Sharing your adventures with new and interesting friends is a sure-fire way to make you feel very happy.

You Get Some ‘You’ Time

On the other hand, travelling also allows you to grab some “you” time — a chance to reflect on yourself and your life, and think about your dreams. It offers an escape from the everyday routine of life and lets you enjoy your time without the stress and tension that might be present at home.

If you are travelling with a partner, it could be the perfect time to spend some quality time together.

Happiness From Others Rubs Off On You

Travelling teaches you to be tolerant of others and accept their cultures and their ways. In most countries, local people will be warm and welcoming to visitors, wanting them to enjoy their country and feel relaxed and happy. This smiling, friendly welcome should rub off on you and make you feel special and welcome — more often than not, the friendliest, happiest people are amongst the poorest, which is a lesson to be learned in itself.

You are Always Learning Something New

Travel is one of the best forms of education you can get. You are seeing and experiencing something new every day while you are on the road, whether it’s learning a new language, cooking Thai food, or trying scuba diving for the first time. Keeping your brain active increases your level of happiness, particularly if you are doing something you really enjoy. 

You Will Have Wonderful Long-Term Memories 

No matter where you go or what you do, travelling is all about having new experiences and creating new memories, which will last you a lifetime. They tend to sneak up on you when you least expect it – you will suddenly remember the time you watched the sun rise over Mount Sinai in Egypt as you are sitting at your desk, staring at your computer — what better way to put a smile on your face?

Plan Your Next Trip

Of course, one of the best parts of travelling is planning your next trip! Whether you are a travel-junkie and hit the road a few times a year, or are a once-a-year vacation type, the fun is in deciding, choosing and planning the next time you head off into the great blue yonder.

And that is why travel makes us happy!