Why Traveling is a Surefire Way to Happiness

Hello, my name is Anne-Sophie and I’m a travel junky.

I’m one of those people who upon returning from a trip envy the travelers at the airport who are just starting their journeys. I love to see the world, explore different cultures, speak foreign languages and experience new adventures. It thrills me, it fulfills me, it opens my heart and soul every single time and I just can’t get enough of it.

I’ve been privileged because my parents enabled me to follow my passion from early on and have always supported my ventures out into the world, whether I was alone or with a travel companion.

And so I traveled, sometimes for weeks, sometimes only for a few days, but I always had my eyes on a new adventure. The rewards of my trips have always been amazing: I came home rejuvenated, reenergized and always a tiny bit smarter and wiser than before.

Then, last winter, as I’ve started my own business and worked around the clock, I went cold turkey on my travels and the withdrawal symptoms didn’t wait long to appear. I felt restless, then less energized, less inspired and ultimately, void.

I loved what I was doing; I was more fulfilled than ever before. I didn’t mind the long workdays or the weekends spend behind the computer. I was following my passion, created meaningful work and was grateful for my new life, but something was missing.

I needed a fix.

And so, this summer I traveled all over France. France is one of my favorite countries in the world. From Paris to the Cote d’Azur, I’ve had it all. The trips were short, but the benefits were instant. I felt more energized again, more engaged, and more challenged than in months.I returned with a renewed sense of motivation, inspiration and drive and have been more prolific in my writing and in making radical business-related and personal decisions than before. It’s as if my mind suddenly went back into a super high functioning mode as a thank you for taking some time off.

This little anecdote shows how important it is to break your routine and give yourself time to play, no matter how busy you are.

Taking the time to get out of your city, leaving work behind, feeding your brain new information and treating it to new impressions is more important than we realize.

Travelling, experiencing novelty always challenges you; it opens your mind to new possibilities and generates often life-changing ideas and concepts.

It is one of the best ways to not only get out of a rut but also to stimulate your brain and find your way (back) to happiness and fulfillment.

Don’t believe me? Well, believe science then. It’s proven that your brain not only welcomes, but also seeks novelty and challenge. It yearns to learn, to explore, to expand and to engage (all of which traveling makes you do). By giving your brain challenges, forcing it to pay attention and figure new things out, it’ll release dopamine, the happiness hormone.

So, as Brendon Burchard suggests in his phenomenal book “The Charge”, treat yourself to getaways every 90 days.

You don’t have to travel around the world or even go to a different country. But simply getting away from the familiar will snap you out of your boredom and put some spark into your life (and brain) again.

Make it happen. The rewards will outweigh the initial investment.

And if you’re really serious about being energized, enthusiastic and functioning on a top level, then leave your agenda at home: follow your instinct, explore, go the unconventional routes and let your brain do what it’s designed to do: make you happy.

Anne-Sophie Reinhardt is an anorexia survivor, body image expert, self-love advocate and the owner of aMINDmedia. Join her newsletter and receive your free 3-part video series empowering you to madly fall in love with yourself. 

9 thoughts on “Why Traveling is a Surefire Way to Happiness”

  1. A break will always reenergise you, and travelling on your own forces you to have to do things that you wouldn’t at home, not necessarily due to any epiphanies you get from seeing new things, but because you leave everything behind and start from scratch. Ie; as a lone traveller in Japan, I’ve had to get into ‘nampa’ (picking up girls on the street) in order to make new friends. Rereading that, I realise it sounds quite sleazy, but my point was more that I’ve had to get over any shyness about just speaking to people that I see as I go about my day, otherwise I wouldn’t meet any people. Life has become much better for that.

    I do think the travel community over glamourises travelling though. I think what you point out here, about breaks, is fantastic. Though many people ask why wouldn’t you consistently live on the road? I think to people who love the cities they were born in, who have great families and lifelong friends there, there may be a better quality of life sitting still and laughing with them than constantly moving around, no matter the incredible sceneries. No-one on the road has ever made me laugh like my English friends at home. That’s not to be negative, there have been other things that have made up for this, and I’ve had an amazing time, just you have to wonder what you value in life, and sometimes I wonder if everything I value is there.

    Coming up to the 2/3rd point of my first year on the road, I feel like I’m planning to settle back into London life at the end of the year. I don’t feel like I could’ve achieved anymore in this year, I learnt two languages, cycled from the top of Italy to the very south, got invited to live inside Tuscan mansions… It’s not some failure that’s bringing me home, but perhaps a realisation of what I truly want.

    Though maybe like you as soon as I stop, I’ll get the urge to continue again pretty soon.

    The grass is always greener I suppose.

    1. You make some awesome points, Sam. I’m so thrilled you dove into this adventure, but I’m sure it wasn’t easy. Yes, traveling can be romanticized – as everything, I guess – but it still is amazing and teaches you so much. I’m sure you’ve grown tremendously since you’ve begun your travels. But I also understand you being a bit “homesick” and wanting to be with your friends. There are good and bad sides to everything, but if you never risk it, you will never see what suits you best, right?

  2. You are so right about the benefits of travel. It frees the mind and energizes the imagination and the body! It’s great to challenge the mind, but also to step out of one’s comfort zone and into the unknown and different. There’s so much to learn out there. Thanks for the inspirational post and the beautiful photos 🙂

    1. Absolutely! We need to challenge ourselves from time to time, otherwise, where’d be the fun in life, right? Traveling is a great way of getting to know yourself and working with your fears. Glad you enjoyed the post, Gayla. xoxo

  3. SO true! I’ve been home from a year abroad for only 4 months now, and in the routine of a new job and my hometown city for a month…and yet? i’m already thinking about life a few months down the road, and how to get a few weeks off to escape somewhere sunny & new! that just doesn’t seem to be the mentality in America–“take a break”–instead everyone focuses on work work work. I agree that you need to take a break!! great post

    1. Thanks, Shireen. Glad you enjoyed the post. Traveling is the best and it should definitely be a priority. It’s life-changing and it opens yourself up to so many revelations and personal discoveries. Where did you spend your year abroad?

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