Travelling you can often find yourself sick, maybe from something you ate, or from the many other travellers you encounter so it may not feel logical that travelling can improve our health. But maybe it can?
Travel Exposes you to different environments, which boost your immune system
Some research shows that exposure to some dirt and minor illnesses actually keep your body and gut stronger. This isn't to say you should start rolling in the dirt and stop washing your hands to embrace it, use a little hand sanitizer here and there and be smart about your basic hygiene on the road. When you travel from place to place, your body adapts to thousands of new bacteria, which in turn makes it much stronger.
Travel Lowers Stress Levels
This one may not come as a surprise to you, but it has been scientifically proven that travel will increase your happiness, decrease your depression and make you chill out. And even when you come home this better mood carries on and lasts for weeks afterwards.
Travel improves your brain health
Travel expands your mind with all the different cultures and people you meet as well as the different situations you have to adapt to. This is all good for your health as new experiences increase cognitive flexibility, keeping your mind sharp. Studies have also shown a connection between travel and an increase in creativity as you have to figure out and solve problems and unique situations. And according to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, those who travel and study abroad tend to be more open and emotionally stable.
Travel will decrease you risk of Heart Disease
This is because people who travel away from their homes for a little vacation are generally less stressed and anxious. Because of this the long-running Framingham Heart Study found that men and women who travelled annually were less likely to suffer a heart attack or develop heart disease.
Travel keeps you Fit
A lot of travel is sitting for hours in transport to get from A to B, but once you reach your destination there are lots of opportunities to force yourself to be active. We walk the city streets much more than we would back home, or hike to get the best views of our surroundings. Even if you plan to stay all day at the beach, walking on sand will force your muscles to work twice as hard.
When travelling around the world we can encounter some incredible sights and meet some wonderful cultures, full of some of the happiest people who survive on so little. While back home many of us may be more concerned about having the latest smart phone and the top brands these humble people are more focused on their everyday survival. Though we are only tourists we can still make a difference and impact people lives and environments as responsible travellers.
Responsible Travel means looking at our impact on the environment and local cultures and economies while travelling and acting to make that impact as positive as possible.
Some Ideas on how you can become more of a Responsible Traveller:
VOLUNTEER SOME OF YOUR TIME
Whether you're travelling for a year or a couple of weeks you may find offering even a small amount of time to a worthwhile cause can make a world of difference.
When it comes to spending your money overseas it can have a massive impact on the community. Though when we are at home we think about supporting our local shops this can still be true when overseas, look at having dinner at the small local restaurant instead of the Hotel, or purchasing a trinket from a street vendor over a souvenir store.
THINK BEFORE YOU ACT WITH WILDLIFE ACTIVITIES
Though whenever we think about Thailand we often imagine riding an elephant but wildlife tourism like this are often more harmful than we realise. Make sure that if you are looking at visiting a place where there is wildlife that they are a reputable organisation and they practice animal protection and safe practices. Next time you travel look at visiting an elephant rescue park over riding one.
RESPECT THE LOCAL CULTURE
One of the greatest experiences when travelling is the local cultures and religions but we need to make sure we are respectful when travelling. Many countries dress more conservatively than we are used to, so it may mean covering up more to practice their local customs and traditions. Even learning a greeting or a few common phrases can be a great way to show respect when you are travelling.
MINIMISE YOUR WASTE
In many developing countries awareness of waste management may not be as widely educated as back home, and on holiday we can become more slack with our good practices. But when overseas we should be more respectful of retaining the beautiful environment, so eat at a local cafe rather than going for takeaway, and use a reusable water bottle when you can to reduce your waste.
CHOOSE SUSTAINABLE ACCOMMODATION AND TOUR OPERATORS
It's possible when looking at accommodation and tour operators to find businesses that work actively within their local communities or have practices that help protect the environment. Do some research and pick the local tours that pay their staff well and donate to charities
LOWER YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
To minimise your carbon foot-print look at alternative transport methods, use the local trains or buses when getting around cities over taxis. Or even look at walking over taking the buses those few stops down the road. Or maybe if the area offers it, look at renting a bicycle to enjoy the local landscape as well as getting from A to B.
LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE WHEN BARGAINING
In some regions of the world, bargaining is common practice and part of the culture when you have to buy off street stalls and vendors. But it's important to thing about the bigger picture when bargaining the price down, though it may not seem like a lot of money to you, for the local people those extra $2 dollars can go a long way. So just be aware when you fighting over a price, that this is their source of income, while for you it may just be a trinket or tee shirt.
DON'T GIVE TO BEGGARS
Now this one can be especially hard, and may seem like it goes against your ethic to not give to people less fortunate than yourself, but of lot of times you are just encouraging local people to pretend they are worst off than they are in order to get money off tourists. Especially when the local children are sometimes pulled out of schools to beg on the streets, and in worst cases are part of a larger network run by adults who take all the 'profits' of the begging.
EDUCATE OTHERS TO BE RESPONSIBLE TRAVELLERS
Though a lot of these ideas may seem natural to some, others may need to be better educated or just don't have general knowledge of the impact that their actions are taking while they are travelling. Talk to people you meet, start conversations and spread the word about being responsible when you travel.
We hear the words "Luxury Travel" a lot and we tend to jump to the same conclusions, but really "Luxury" means different things to different people.
Many travellers look not to conventional luxury but to 'exclusivity.' People relish the thought of being where few others venture, but in utter comfort and style, such as offered at the unique and remote Tierra Patagonia lodge.
For some travellers on the luxury lookout 'authenticity' is the key. For example, the architecture and estancia settings of the Haciendas of the Yucatan in Mexico offer a truly authentic feel.
The location, the local guides and the hosting are now more important than the gold taps and the marble bath, as are the 'little unexpected touches.' For example World Journeys Exotic Marigold India Journey you can find yourself sharing dinner with the owner of the actual Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and hear what impact the movie has had on his small community.
And lastly, you can't talk about luxury without talking about 'time.' For many, time is a true luxury, and to be made the most of! A great example is World Journeys Gorillas & Wildlife tour, flying from a gorilla trek to the wilderness hotspots of the Masai Mara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater - more time on safari, less time on the road!
All in all, luxury is about what you want out of your holiday. What do you crave to make to make your next adventure a luxury experience for you. Talk to us about creating that tailor-made experience that is completely unique and created just for you.