We all need to escape everyday life once in a while. But sometimes you need to convince your family, friends, boss – or even yourself – that’s it’s really worth booking that flight. Here are eight reasons why you should start re-packing your suitcase or rucksack.
1. Travel is an excellent way to destress and unwind
Although it’s hardly a shocker that travel has extensive health benefits, it seems that few of us manage to make the most of it. A third of British workers don’t take all their annual leave, while only four in ten Americans use their paid vacation days.
From reducing stress – yes, there is an argument for a day of cocktails and nap time on a Caribbean beach – to invigorating your mood, travel has so many wholesome benefits that it should really be bottled and sold in health food stores.
2. It could boost your career
Opportunities to test your transferable skills can arise more often than you change your underwear while you’re abroad. Need to evidence your problem-solving capacity for a job interview? Just whip out that story of your last trip to China, where you got from A to B relying solely on pointing, a few choice words of Mandarin and the lingua-franca of the travel world: charades.
3. You’ll meet a kaleidoscope of new people
Travelling gives you the opportunity to meet inspirational, impassioned and eccentric souls from around the globe. While not everyone may be your cup of tea, those with whom you share a few too many terremotos in a Santiaguino bar or trek into the rugged mountains of northern Laos stick around as friends long beyond your trip – and come with the added bonus of giving you free places to stay on your next holiday.
Going the extra mile and learning to chatter away in multiple new languages can also prove beneficial; bilingual people have reportedly been proven to seem more attractive.
4. It’s an excuse for a digital detox
We’ve all got a love-hate with technology, and travelling is one of the few chances we get to disconnect. Luckily, if you’re feeling up to your eyeballs in emojis, a digital detox is the perfect justification for that tour into the heart of the Amazon jungle or a cruise to the remotest stretches of Antarctica.
5. It’s an education like no other
Not only is travel a superb lesson in geography, it’s also a first-class education in cultural competency. Sure, reading about other countries can give you an introduction, but nothing beats exploring them on your own two feet.
It doesn’t take long to realise that your interactions with local people, as your learn about their way of life, are far more valuable than any class you could ever take.
6. It costs less than you think
Despite the oft-cited assertion that travel is expensive, budget flights, trains and car rental can provide affordable means of getting away.
7. It’s a chance to get active
If you’re feeling like you’ve been cooped up in your office for too long, travel is the obvious antidote. Cycle between vineyards on a self-guided wine tour in the Wachau Valley in Austria or lace up your boots and trek the epic “Circuit” around Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia.
Active holidays leave you feeling refreshed, fitter and reeling from the incredible landscapes you’ve visited. The exercise-induced endorphins will also have you committing – momentarily at least – to a new fitness regime when you’re back home.
8. You can’t fight the urge to travel
The existence of one “wanderlust” gene might have been discredited, but it remains true that some of us have a greater natural tendency towards travel. Fighting it may only work for so long…