Jutta Curatolo: The Health Benefits of Travel

Many people know what they want in their lives, and many people don’t. The gap between the two has two things in common: Everyone wants to travel and be happy.  But when it comes to traveling, a lot of people don’t know where to go, how to do it, or the cost, which brings them back to the theory that traveling isn’t important in life. There are many benefits when it comes to traveling that could add up to living a longer and happier life. Here are three reasons why everyone should travel.


A Change of Perception for the Mind

Ask any person living over the age of 80, and their answer will be that happiness is the key to life. But according to the American Psychological Association, one-third of adults feel extreme stress, which could lead to anxiety and depression.


Research has shown that traveling changes the way our brains think and allow us to become more at ease with our minds and content, (the same effect that yoga or a walk may have). When people vacation or simply go to a foreign site, they have less things to worry about. When you go to a foreign place, you get to see how others live and develop a sense of cultural and diversity understanding.


When traveling, you have no choice but to try and see new things.  As an outsider, you’re curious as to the different ways that people live, so you get involved or watch from a different perspective. This allows your mind to open a door and create new thoughts and ideas, rather than focusing on stress triggers. Through this process, people become more open to trying new things, and personalities may change for the better.


Once you see something in a new perspective, you’ll change your mind about it. You may see a glass as half empty, but someone else may see it as half full. Therefore, when you travel, you get to appreciate all the positive things of your life, rather than hold onto the negative ones.



Columbia business school professor, Adam, Galinksy focuses his studies on the connection between traveling and creativity. He mentions that “cognitive flexibility is the mind’s ability to jump from different ideas, which is a key component to creativity.”


Through different perspectives, and less focus on stress, your mind is able to think freely about new things, bringing on the process of creativity. Through this process, you may be able to find a new calling for yourself. Look at it this way: if you’re traveling to a place you’ve never been before, you’re already beginning your creative journey.


Traveling is a form of education, and you can only figure out the things you like and don’t like through doing them. Once you become peaceful with yourself and are focusing on your surroundings, you begin to decide what things are important to you. You may come home from vacation one day and decide you want a career change. You may learn about things you’ve never heard of, and decide you want to learn even more. Through traveling you may find your life calling and focus on things you’ve never thought about before.


Physical Health

Through this perception process, travelers may increase their physical health benefits. If you sit in an office all day at work, you probably don’t much exercise, but when you travel, you’re already increasing your daily physical activity. A study released by the Global Commission on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement studies found that “Women who vacationed every six years or less had a significantly higher risk of developing a heart attack or coronary death compared with women who vacationed at least twice a year.”


When you travel, you don’t have much of a choice but to be active. Walking through an airport, seeing tourist sites, and trying new activities can all lead to higher physical health amongst people.  You wouldn’t be able to survive without traveling from place A to place B. The farther you walk somewhere, the more benefit it is to your body. Traveling farther and farther away from your home requires more physical activity. Through physical activity, stress is relieved, your blood is flowing  and your mind is at peace.


Traveling is an essential part of everyone’s life. It’s more important to focus on a new experience rather than your day-to-day cycle.  The further you go, the more benefit it is to the mind, body, and spirit. Your life will change once you change your perception of everyday life. Don’t forget- you only have one life, so why not make the most of it now?