Do you need a vacation? Other than just wanting a break, there are more reasons you should seriously consider taking some vacation time.

Personally, nature and travel are my escapes, my reboot, my most enjoyed way of rewiring my brain to new possibilities. I have spent time reflecting on the reasons I believe I am hooked on travel and how this directly leads to cultivating a person’s emotional health. I have traveled rustic, luxury, busy, quiet, with friends, with family and solo – and all the ways I traveled nurtured my wellbeing. Even when planning a vacation, I notice shifts in my mood. I love anticipating the unfamiliar and crossing new boundaries and discovering new growth.

So, I’m going to share some health benefits for taking time off. If you’re feeling any guilt about going on your next vacation – you know, that little voice that pops into your head saying, “I don’t have the money,” “I don’t have the time” …silence it and consider these points as you come to your decision.

  1. Traveling solo can remind you of your resilience, abilities and capabilities. We’re so often challenged with negative thoughts of not being “good enough” or “performing well enough” that it chips away at our self-confidence and fills us with feelings of doubt. But when you’re thrown into a situation where you have to rely on yourself, it reminds you of your strengths. Strengths which, at times, get thrown into the trunk of our everyday lives.
    When I decided to travel on my own to Madrid, I had to rely on my ability to organize, plan, make decisions and seek appropriate assistance. I trusted my intuition to leave there early and spontaneously travel to Portugal, which was amazing. I toured the country on bike and met amazing people and places. If I were filled with doubt, I would have remained in Spain as I originally planned.
  2. Travelling allows us to be grateful for what we have in our lives and makes us appreciate the challenges we have. Simply making it to a new part of the world is enough to be grateful for, as there are many who are not privileged to have such an experience (regardless of how “good” or “bad” you perceive the trip to be).
    I remember two distinct times during my travels: One situation was when I was exposed to a significant amount of poverty in rural Brazil. The other time was when I was surrounded by luxury in a more affluent part of the same country. Both instances made me feel immense gratitude and a deep sense of connection to a higher source, which could not be ignored.
  3. Being in a new environment fosters appreciation for our relationships. Appreciating and nurturing our relationships definitely feeds our emotional well-being. On the flipside, travel offers us the perspective we need to distance or remove a person from our lives, as they no longer serve us well. There is something about stepping back and taking stock of our relationships from a distance that allows us to recognize the finer details.
  4. Traveling abroad allows you to make new connections. I love meeting new people and observing how they receive me. I am very deliberate about engaging with new people – both locals and other travelers – when I go abroad. It stimulates the part of my mind that embraces new possibilities – specifically, the neurons in my brain that cultivate a sense of creativity and wonderment. It’s amazing to be able to think outside the box about how life “should be”.
    Wherever you decide to go, be mindful of these important elements. Actively removing ourselves from our daily stressors is essential. Many people who access my services describe feeling “stuck” in the everyday hustle. So, cultivating new experiences and expanding your social circles are all essential for your wellbeing.

Not sure where to go? Here are 4 suggestions:

The desert is underestimated in its beauty. You will never see a sky like it. Plus, being able to sit and only see sand dunes all around you creates a sense of feeling magnificently small, yet so important within the grand scheme of things.

New Zealand
Christchurch has amazing opportunities to go trekking among the icebergs. Even though I prefer the heat and beautiful beaches, there was something about participating in this activity which left me feeling refreshed and alive.

Try going during Carnival and dance in the street like nobody is watching. This offers a feeling of pure freedom and great physical exercise. I suggest experiencing both carnivals in San Paulo and Rio. Different experiences, great people.

Galapagos Islands
If you are an animal lover, it is a must-see. Each island is unique in its landscape and wild life. The feeling of being isolated yet connected on these small islands is a wonderful revelation.

Looking for more suggestions or have some of your own travel insights? Please drop me a line. I have other suggestions and would love to hear how travel is a part of your healthy toolkit.

Your time is N.O.W, so start planning and get going!