There is nothing that soothes me and leaves me feeling more revitalized than exploring the world. While detoxing from social media and journaling are smart ways to better connect with yourself, my favorite form of self-care is travel.
As we enter into the new decade, I’m sure you are with me in looking for ways to feel better and brighter. To make this your best year, I encourage you to go out and explore.
Traveling is one of the most enlightening and fun forms of self-care.
While solo travel isn’t everyone’s cup of tea—whatever opens up your mind and pushes your boundaries is just what the doctor ordered. Whether that means traveling with a friend, a significant other, or going alone, travel has so many psychological and emotional benefits.
Ready to make this your decade? Let’s dive in and get inspired!
You Learn About Others
Travel opens your eyes. It changes the way that you see the world as well as the way that you look at yourself.
The world is such a diverse and magical place. Exploring far-flung destinations allows you to see and experience other cultures.
For me, relating with people in different circumstances across the globe has made me more empathetic by giving me a better sense of what it’s like to live in someone else’s shoes.
Seeing the world through someone else’s eyes and understanding what is important to them puts things in perspective. Many times, it has pushed me to reflect on my own problems and realize that they aren’t as insurmountable as they might feel.
It is all too easy to live in a bubble, and traveling is sometimes just what you need to appreciate the things that you may take for granted back at home.
You Meet Others
I have learned so much through the people that I’ve met around the world. Staying in hostels, hanging out in restaurants and cafes, and simply getting around on local transport are fantastic ways to meet other people.
Open your mind to meeting all kinds of people. Ask about their lives. Hear what they have to say, where they’re from, and why they’re traveling. You can learn more than you might think.
Before you go, here are a few tips that’ll make it easier to meet people as you travel.
Hiking Mt. Huashan: World’s Most Dangerous Trail
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Travel physically pushes you to get out of your comfort zone and break from routine.
Looking to shake things up and really see how you can grow? Hop on a plane and explore new terrain! When you’re having to navigate a foreign country or communicate in a place that doesn’t speak your mother tongue, you really open yourself up to learning experiences and just seeing how much you are capable of.
That place up there? That’s Mt. Huashan in Xi’an, China—the world’s most dangerous trail.
While you don’t have to do that hike to get out of your comfort zone, the moment that you pack your bags, things start to change. Everything is new and, often, things don’t go according to plan.
Travel forces you to think on your toes.
Sure, it can be very challenging at times…and maybe downright frustrating with language barriers—but in the end, you learn so much about others and yourself.
Let this new self-awareness propel you to explore your goals and figure out what direction you want to head next (both literally and metaphorically).
First time abroad? Here is everything you need to know before your first trip overseas.
Detox from Your Device
The constant buzz and glow of your phone can be draining. Put your phone on silent and maybe even turn it over to airplane mode sometimes so that you aren’t always distracted.
While taking pictures is a must when you are visiting somewhere new, I prefer to share my snapshots after the trip. Staying off social media allows me to truly embrace the present moment.
Escape Your Bubble
Travel is the best way to escape your bubble. It’s easy to get caught up in the little problems of our daily lives, but once you take a step back you realize how small or insignificant those problems are in the grand scheme of themes. You get a break from FOMO and small-town drama.
The world is so much bigger than your neighborhood!
Come Back with Fresh Eyes
When I get back from a trip, I find myself appreciating the little things in life. My bed feels just a bit cozier, and simple conveniences are just a dream.
For instance, did you know that tampons are impossible to find in some places around the globe? Check out my post on traveling with Aunt Flo for more info!
Traveling shatters your routine, which is just what you need for a fresh perspective.
Getting into a rut is all too easy. We all go into autopilot sometimes. You know how it is—you go to and from work, sit in front of a screen at night, and then the days start to blur together.
If you are feeling burnt out, now is the time to book a ticket and switch things up!
Solo Travel as Self-Care
My personal form of “self-care” is specifically solo travel. Going it on your own means that you are literally spending all that time by yourself.
When you are exploring on your own, you are the maker of decisions and the problem solver. Whatever obstacles and hurdles come up, you have to navigate them by yourself. But it’s not all hard work! It’s also a chance to completely indulge yourself.
Traveling solo makes you realize that you can take yourself on dates anytime, without having to rely on the company of others.
While it’s fantastic to be surrounded by people you love—maybe your friends don’t necessarily want to see the same movie you do, go to a new art museum, or try a certain restaurant. Solo travel makes you realize you can do everything you want to do.
I dare you to take yourself on a date.
Never underestimate the psychological and emotional benefits of giving yourself “me time,” along with a much-needed digital detox. Considering solo travel but feeling intimidated? Here are a few places that I found very welcoming to women traveling alone.
Travel can be the best form of self-care. It can heal a broken heart. It can help you reignite your passion. It can help you grow and become a more understanding person.
How has travel helped you? Let me know in the comments below!