Traveling has always been part of my life since a child. Having been to over forty-eight countries and one state left to travel to off my bucket list, I have found that it has developed me into the person I am today. Finding time to explore new places and travel in our fast-paced world may seem a luxury. However, tapping into the beauty of what is in our backyards, neighborhoods, or next-door states can bring tremendous health benefits. One of the many benefits includes reducing stress while improving our overall well-being and personal growth.
The times I spent since the pandemic every week going out into nature and connecting with nature, from road trips to camping, improved my mind-body connection. Throughout the years, I also started to enjoy the time I spent traveling solo, as the experience was incredible. Being present in my thoughts, not having to entertain but enjoying what I wanted to do and when I wanted to do it, improved my confidence in decision-making while genuinely enjoying my own company to the fullest. Throughout my practice in Ayurveda, exposing others to get out of their “comfort zone” has provided tremendous benefits to my clients.
1) Escaping from the daily norm and immersing yourself in a new beautiful environment can do wonders for the mind. When I decide to hit the road to break up the norm, stopping near lakes or trees (to do some slow deep breathing) and taking in all the new surroundings, I immediately sense peace. Leaving behind familiar surroundings can be a healthy distraction regardless of where you go. Our continued same-old routine needs a break to rejuvenate the mind and the body, which can be found in a change of scenery. Reduction of stress and new exploration of our senses can create happiness.
2) Our days of sitting on our couches watching Netflix must be shifted to experiencing in-person wonders, not wonders on our screens. Traveling and exploring destinations on foot or taking breaks through stops on a road trip is part of the creative experience. Whether hiking through nature trails or simply wandering through markets and neighborhoods, we start to listen to what our body needs. Working with others, I started creating accountability for them to explore more on foot ( providing a goal they feel excited about achieving). Health indications such as cholesterol, blood pressure, and digestive health improved. Personal fitness becomes a focus when you start seeing changes in improved mood and vice versa. Therefore, nature and travel can provide endless physical benefits.
3) Our minds need to experience new curiosity. When we travel, we experience different cultures, languages, and perceptions, and it encourages a sense of curiosity. There are times when you can have conversations with complete strangers and learn more in 1 hour than you can from a year of scrolling on social media. The direct connection that humans need can increase stimulation in our minds and cognitive flexibility. When we are in direct visual and connection with another human being, we are able to foster empathy and deep compassion. The more we can break away from our “comfort zone” and embrace the new, the more we can boost confidence, growth, and resilience.
4) Over the past year, I picked a country and was fortunate to spend more than half the year exploring it. The way the culture influences happiness and how food or what type of food is consumed opened up another world I didn’t even know existed. Leaving local areas and even your land leads to a transformative experience and a once-in-a-lifetime healing journey. Thinking on the spot, investigating, and not necessarily having everything right in front of you to access creates a deep sense of gratitude. You pick your journey and learn from others their stories. Being in the present moment, looking at the sunset in a state of gratitude, can evoke bliss.
Overall, travel and exploration navigating to new destinations, even on the fly, can offer tremendous health benefits. Mental Health, physical fitness, connection, and compassion all is positively impacted. It’s time to make this part of your daily life, even if it is a quick two-hour trip away from your home for a day.
This is a healthy distraction to get out of your mind and into the moment. Recharge, unwind, and for more information on how I help others make this part of their new way of living, please get in touch with Amani Mind. It starts with you.