Getting out of your comfort zone and exploring a new place can have a remarkably positive impact on your emotional wellbeing.
1. It can help you stay fit and healthy
Physical exercise is known to improve mental wellbeing. Getting to know a new destination by embracing the great outdoors can boost energy levels and improve your mood.
Immersing yourself in nature is another key way to reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression so incorporate a little ecotherapy into your travels too.
2. It shakes up the status quo
Taking a break from your usual routines with a trip away from home can help break negative cycles, get you out of a rut and reveal a world of possibilities beyond your bubble.
"When I'm in a period of depression, getting out of the house and out of negative routines can help to clear my head," says David Owen, YA author and former travel editor.
"Going somewhere completely outside of my usual sphere, be that in the UK or abroad, can be an effective way of gaining both literal and metaphorical distance."
3. It gives you a different perspective
Experiencing different cultures can open your eyes to new ways of living. Travel can lead you to question and challenge the norms of everyday life, inspiring you to make positive changes.
When I feel my own stress levels rising, for example, I like to think back to my experiences riding in tuk tuks in Sri Lanka. Despite the chaos, everyone was calm.
After a few of these journeys my own worries dissipated. I try to apply this lesson to my life at home: you cannot control the actions of others – only the way you respond to them.
4. It increases creativity
It’s been scientifically proven that new experiences improve the neuroplasticity of your brain, increasing creativity in the process.
After a stint of grief-induced agoraphobia, Erica Buist travelled around the world to take part in seven festivals for the dead – and is writing a book about it.
"After all the experiences I’ve had, it’s hard to doubt my ability to get to the shops. Now when things go south it's almost like the travel I've done is a benchmark I know I can get back to."