Turns out, adventure was the answer all along. It’s just now we’ve got some science to back it up. Do you want to live longer? Improve your career? Get fit and healthy? The results are in: your holidays aren’t you taking a break from all that – it’s one of the integral ways to achieve your goals.
You’ll lead a longer, more interesting life
It’s official: travel makes you live longer. It’s been proved by science, people: a study from the Global Coalition on Aging suggests that regular travellers (people travelling twice a year or more) live for longer and are at significantly less risk of a coronary death than those who travel infrequently. Which works well if you ask us – if you’re living longer you might as well have a life full of adventure.
Stimulates your brain
Travel sends the senses into overdrive – sending sparks off in your brain as you observe and learn. Whether you’re wandering the streets of a new city, chatting to a local or changing your perspective at thought-provoking museums, it’s all making your brain work to process the new information. Plus, surrounding yourself with nature is believed to improve your mental agility and clarity of thought, sharpening your senses.
Outdoor adventures make you smarter
The great outdoors actually makes your brain work better. A 2015 study published in a peer reviewed journal suggests that just looking at natural imagery for 40 seconds improves focus and performance on problem-solving tasks compared to viewing urban imagery, or no imagery at all. And that’s just a photo, nothing compared to the real thing. So it’s not a placebo – coming home from your travels feeling refreshed really is true.
Improves your career prospects
So what’s the knock-on effect when you’re home from your adventure? Well, according to the US Travel Association’s Project Time Off, it’s huge. They reckon you’re over 6% more likely to receive a promotion if you use all of your vacation days than employees who don’t take advantage of their paid time off, because you come back more energized, creative and ultimately more productive in the workplace. It reasons that travel helps you seek new challenges, find inspiration and reduce burnout. Well, who are we to argue…
Broadens your perspectives
It’s hardly a new idea, that travel broadens your perspectives and challenges your ideas, but it remains one of the most valuable. Learning about different cultures and people, tasting new flavour combinations, or simply the thrill of being out of your comfort zone and trying something new – these make us more rounded, interesting people. It can be intense, but it undoubtedly pushes us to use our senses more actively and accurately when we’re travelling strange new places, and not the same routine we know too well.
The endorphin rush
Craving a little kick? Adventure travel is undoubtedly the most exciting way to chase that endorphin rush, and infinitely preferable to sweating it out in the gym. The outside world marks your achievements – the thrill of making it to the top of the pass, calves aching and bike wobbling, the elation of posing for your summit photo at sun rise, the nerve-tingling thrill of taking off on your tandem paraglide flight, stepping off the zip wire platform, leaping into the canyon.
Improves your physical health
Being active whilst travelling is good for you, whether you’re zig-zagging between stalls at an outdoor food market or the final switchback to the summit of Kilimanjaro. Rather than just loafing about, being active abroad keeps you strong and healthy, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure to name but two. If nothing else, burning those calories provides the ideal excuse to dive into a second helping of local cooking, absolutely guilt free.
Improves your mental health
It’s not just your cardio that benefits. The evidence that spending time in the great outdoors is good for you mentally as well as physically is overwhelming. An active lifestyle can prevent onset of depression and anxiety disorders, and in many cases has helped reduce symptoms in already unwell patients, according to the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Report. Active, adventurous holidays that stimulate the body and mind in equal measure and contribute to your overall good health? Sign us up.
You learn about your own skills – and surprise yourself
Travelling develops skills you hardly knew you had. From proving to yourself you can do it – whether it’s dealing with culture shock, finding a way to communicate across the language barriers with a local seller or pushing yourself on the final stretch towards the summit – you realise your body and mind are capable of perhaps more than you give them credit.
Your adventure begins here!