The day to day stresses and frustrations in most everybody’s daily lives can really start to build up and take their toll on us all. Whether you’re a student terrified of upcoming exams, or a high-flying business person who just no longer has any passion for their work, a short or, if possible, extended break could really be something that allows you to get things in perspective and help you approach life with some new found vigour.
A trip in and of itself might not necessarily do much to lift you up out of a rut, but if you approach it with some focus and as an opportunity to learn and explore not only the place you are going to visit but also yourself, your next journey could well end up completely changing your life.
1. Start A Photo Blog
A great way to get fuller appreciation out of a trip is for you to capture it in images that you can share with other people and then look back on yourself in the future. Taking the time out to be fully aware of your new environment by grabbing photos of the moment is a great way to hold onto that place or feeling forever and use that as an inspiration for wanting to find even more beautiful shots and experiences in the future.
2. Escape to Nature
Life wears us all down at some point. Whether you live in the big smoke of London, or a little town in the middle of nowhere, it can become very monotonous when all you see is the same places and faces every day. Getting out into nature is an excellent way to recharge your batteries and remember that there are amazing places out there other than those you have become so wearily accustomed to.
The beauty of nature is that it is almost always a lot closer than you think. If you have the time, brilliant, take off on a year’s trip hiking all over the mountains and rainforests of the world. If you only have the weekend, however, there is still almost certainly a wonderful spot of nature not much more than a hour or two away by train or car. Get out there and reconnect, even if only for an afternoon. You’ll be surprised just how much of a positive impact the experience will have on you.
3. Keep a Travel Diary
Many people find a travel blog or diary to be a really simple way to get at some of the deep-rooted things that have been building up inside without you even realising it. In its simple form you write to document the things you do, the people you meet, and the places you visit, but you will often also find that a travel diary becomes a way for you to get a better grasp of where you really are on your own much more personal journey.
4. Be Active
Travel by its very nature will impel you to get up and about and do more than you would if you were just sitting on the sofa at home on another empty weekend. If you go somewhere, however, you should try to make it about more than just lying on the beach under the sun. This is great, of course it is, but make an effort to discover the place you’ve gone to in a little bit more detail. Not only will this open your mind to a new culture, but you will have got off your backside and added a bit of physical activity to your trip too.
5. Make New Friends
A lot of people can sometimes feel wary about heading off onto a trip to a new place because they don’t know anyone there. This is pretty silly as this is one of the very reasons why you should go in the first place. Whether you are travelling alone or with your partner or a friend, there are few better ways to get to know new people than heading off to somewhere new.
Staying at home in the comfort zone with the friends and family you’ve had all of your life is fine, but studies show that having a wider circle of friends and more social interactions can have a positive impact on health and well-being, especially in late adulthood.
6. Challenge Your Plate
For some people travel often ends up being nothing more than the same old things in a different environment because they are too afraid to take risks. Unless you are really going off the beaten track you can almost always find the tried and trusted things that you eat at home. There is nothing wrong with this per se, but why not challenge yourself and make an effort to sample the local cuisine?
Not only will you get the chance to try something new and probably very tasty, but because you don’t know much about what it is that you’re going to eat, you’re more likely to ask questions about the choices on offer. When you start doing this, you’re beginning to learn new things about the culture you are in and broaden your own horizons without even realising it.
7. Have a Go at the Local Lingo
If you truly want to get the most out of a travel experience, you need to talk with the locals in their own language. This can be as simple as learning how to say “hello,” “please,” and “thank you.” Your hosts will appreciate little efforts like that a lot. But if you really want to get full value out of a new place, and improve your mental well-being while you’re at it, sign up for a language course and dive into what will literally be a whole new way of looking at the world.