Why adventure is good for your wellbeing
Growing up, our parents always used to tell us to go outside and get some fresh air. While the main reason was probably to get some peace and quiet from our mayhem, the chance to explore the environment did wonders for our imagination, confidence and sense of fun.
Whether climbing trees, playing sports or just enjoying the sun, adventure starts as soon as you step out of your comfort zone. Of course, just because you aren’t 10 years old anymore doesn’t mean that getting out in that fresh air is any worse for you. In fact, it could be very beneficial for your wellbeing. Read on to find out how.
It keeps you young
While travelling can’t turn back the clock, exploring new destinations has been proven to make you feel younger – back to a time when life was simpler and you had no responsibilities.
Of course, this is all a mindset. According to David Eagleman, who studies time perception at Baylor College of Medicine, an adult’s and child’s sense of time is quite different. As we get older, our memories compress, making time seem much faster than when we were younger. However, through the power of travel to new and exotic destinations, Mr Eagleman understands this concept to equalise and allow you to lose track of days, times and calendars and just enjoy the environment – just like when your mum sent you outside as a child!
It keeps you healthy
The only health benefit to adventure is fresh air, right? Wrong! If you find yourself bored, tired and sick of the same old routine, escaping to a new environment could be the change that you need to move your life in the right direction.
One of the top advantages is reducing your stress levels. Away from the pile of paperwork, child dramas and morning traffic, you can recharge your batteries and enjoy nature with like-minded individuals. While everyone travels for different reasons, there is no doubt that you will return home refreshed, refocused and ‘ready’ to get into daily life.
The other obvious health advantage is fitness. Choosing to go on a holiday such as an expedition cruise to Antarctica, Alaska or the Arctic for example, usually involves exploring the environment on foot or kayak – promoting interaction with nature. If you spend all day in an office, even the slightest change to your daily fitness levels is significant – you could potentially lose weight or pick up the motivation to be more active at home.
It keeps you smart
The world is massive – full of information, experiences and sights that most people can only dream about. Sadly, many people don’t open themselves to these encounters, limiting themselves greatly in the process. However, what if we told you that exploring this planet could keep you smart and your brain developing?
Travelling forces your brain to think more creatively as it interprets new cultures, people, sights, sounds and events. According to a 2010 Indiana University psychological study, this supports self-aware thinking, making people more responsive to circumstances and allowing deeper consideration of situations. As such, in addition to learning new facts and enjoying other cultures, you can adapt your mind in different ways and essentially sharpen your brain through travel.
It keeps you social
Humans are social creatures, there is no doubt about this fact. Over the course of our lives, we often find that our social circle starts to narrow, as keeping in touch with old work mates and university friends becomes harder. If you find yourself wanting to make new friends, travel could just be the answer.
On an expedition cruise holiday, you are guaranteed to meet a whole host of new people – encompassing different ages, demographics, backgrounds and enjoyments. This said, you will all have a few elements in common – a passion for nature, the environment and culture. Whether you are watching penguins in Antarctica, admiring the birds in Raja Ampat or the sheer beauty of Patagonia, these shared experiences create strong social bonds, widening your social circle in the process.
It keeps you appreciative
Our lives are busy and while we might enjoy this, it can isolate us from all the great things that are going on around the world and at home. At the end of the day, the globe is much bigger than our lives or problems, and sometimes, it can take travel to make someone truly realise this.
Travel gives you the space and time to appreciate the little things you have and the elements of your life that are great. Removing yourself from situations creates a sense of clarity and reason, allowing you to develop a deeper perspective on our life goals and direction. Consider travel that breath of fresh air that your parents wanted you to have when you were a child!
Craig Upshall is the Sales Director – UK & Europe at Aurora Expeditions. Aurora Expeditions is an Australian-owned adventure company and leader in small-group, expedition-style travel to polar regions and other wild, remote places including Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands, the Arctic (European and Canadian), Alaska, the Russian Far East, Costa Rica, Baja California and West Papua.