What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you say the word “journey”? Buying a good plane ticket? Unforgettable Instagram’s sunsets? Mountain passages with heavy backpacks? Any trip can be exciting and adventurous – and it’s much more than just sipping a Margarita on a sunny beach.

It’s no news at all that travel is good for physical fitness, but what’s even more enjoyable, according to psychologists’ research, is that exploring new places is very beneficial for mental and emotional health. In other words, traveling makes us happier.

And here are nine reasons why:

1. We become more confident in ourselves

A business trip to New York, a family vacation in Morocco or a bold decision to give up (and sell) everything and live on wheels for months – we leave our usual comfort zone when we go on a long journey. In addition, even a very detailed plan does not cancel the surprises that happen all the time. When we immerse ourselves in a different culture and way of life, we learn to solve problems in an unfamiliar situation, which makes us more flexible, patient and emotionally strong, resulting in increased self-esteem.

2. Making friends

Agree that it’s easier to make new friends on the road than it is to travel along the usual route of work – home. A neighbor on a plane to London can become your husband, a companion on a tour of Macchu Picchu – your future employer, and a nice girl with whom you ordered the same cocktails at a Chicago bar – a friend for life. All these are real stories that can happen to you.

3. We get positive emotions

Sincere friendliness does not depend on the level of well-being and easily causes mutual feeling – seeing broad smiles on the faces of the Lao or Filipino villagers, makes it impossible not to smile back. It is wonderful if this habit becomes a true companion – the world deserves to see a positive epidemic spread.

4. Appreciate those with whom we are apart

When we leave our familiar surroundings and loved ones for a long time, we learn to appreciate them more. No one will listen to adventure stories in distant countries with such attention as friends and relatives, ready to tolerate the enthusiastic monologues about the wonders of the planet out of love for us. And then, the amazing moment of a meeting after separation always gives special emotions.

5. We learn new things

No matter what we do in our travels, it fills life with experience and knowledge, whether it’s Taiwanese cuisine, Spanish lessons in Colombia, diving practice in the Maldives or yoga in Goa. Brains work harder, adrenaline bursting in our blood, making us happier every day – according to psychologists, this is a natural process when we learn what we find pleasant.

6. Rest from online addiction

This chance isn’t used by everyone, but there are still some stunningly beautiful places on the planet where wi-fi and mobile communication don’t get to. Travel without network access is good because it allows you to enjoy the moment “here and now”, forgetting about annoying messages and distracting likes. Try it – it’s great sobering and helps you to listen to your true feelings and desires.

7. Enjoying time for ourselves

Although this clause is linked to the previous one, you do not need to disconnect from communication to restore internal harmony. Journeys give you the opportunity to restore balance, dispel the stress of the wind, get sunshine, find time to be alone with yourself – even if it’s a tour in a large company. For lovers, it is a good chance to test the relationship for durability or a real “fairy tale of wanderings”, full of romance and discovery.

8. We get impressions for the rest of our lives

We bring a lot of impressions from our travels, which remain forever in our memories, social networking sites, videos, and photos.

9. Raise the mood with memories

Most traveling enthusiasts plan their next trips continuously, but even they are happy to remember the pleasant moments they have already made. Such thoughts are calling again on the road for new impressions.

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