The Magic Of Travel
Travelling feels good. Seeing new places and gaining new experiences makes us feel happy. Feelings of contentment and wellbeing are, according to psychologists including Cornell professor Thomas Gilovich, more likely to be elicited by new experiences and positive anticipation than material possessions. When we acquire new possessions, we quickly become accustomed to owning them and as a result they soon fail to give us the same sense of satisfaction as they did previously.
Travel, on the other hand, is an experience that not only feels good in the moment but also provides us with something to look forward to, something we can reminisce over, and a set of experiences that can bond us with others who have been to similar destinations.
Travelling can also make us feel inspired. Have you ever taken a trip away and come back with some new ideas, or even a whole new perspective on life? Being in a ‘holiday mood’ makes us more likely to devise new concepts. Why is this? Dopamine, a neurotransmitter known to induce feelings of pleasure in the brain, triggers feelings of relaxation, which in turn encourage creativity.
Distraction is also a great way of facilitating creativity – when you are distracted, your subconscious mind can get to work, triggering conscious insights. Travelling can definitely provide you with distractions, which may be why a change of scenery can help you develop some new ideas.
Unfortunately, not many of us can afford the time or money required to travel on a regular basis. However, once you understand the reasons behind ‘travellers’ high,’ you can take steps to recreate that feeling on a regular basis.
How To Get That Travelling Feeling Every Day
Now that you know exactly why travelling feels so good, you can make some adjustments to your daily life that will help you get that feeling even when you’re stuck in your hometown. You don’t have to live a tedious life waiting for your annual trip away or vacation. Start making every day count with a few adjustments!
Stimulate your five senses on a regular basis
Make a point of trying out any new restaurant that opens near you, or cook at least one new recipe every week. Go out of your way to experience new sights – even if you have walked around your local area hundreds of times before, there will be a few back roads and pathways you’ve never explored before. If nothing else, at least get off at a train or bus stop. This will help you feel a similar sense of novelty that you would experience when taking a trip away.
Try and learn a new hobby or skill often
This will replicate that creative, inspired feeling that comes with travelling. Sign up for an evening course or check out events at your local community college. Along with the intellectual stimulation of the new activity, you will also get to meet new people, who in themselves can provide you with new ways of looking at the world.
Appreciate what you usually take for granted
This is another way by which you can gain a new appreciation of what you usually take for granted and it will give you that feeling of having encountered something new and special that is usually reserved for vacations and trips to new places. Why not combine a daily gratitude or ‘giving thanks’ session with a period of meditation? Relaxing your mind and body on a regular basis, just as you do when away on vacation, increases your dopamine levels and in turn your happiness and creativity.
Remember that travelling isn’t just about your physical location – it’s a state of mind. Follow the above tips and you can get that travel buzz every day.