This is a question I have been asking myself a lot recently. So many of us spend our life dreaming of escaping to exotic places, sitting in the office scouring the internet for the perfect resort or place to cheer us up, and then counting down the months and days until our next holiday
for a break from our ‘real lives’. But do we really need regular holidays to remain happy in our everyday lives?
It is true – we all need a break from work and a change of scenery every once in a while, and sitting on a beach with a good book or camping in a secluded spot or wandering around a beautiful city – whatever your idea of relaxation is – is a great way to take your mind off the little things that we have to think about in our everyday lives. And it has been scientifically proven that a relaxing holiday “not only has the power to serve up delight while it’s underway, but thanks to eager anticipation, it can also boost vacationers’ happiness levels weeks and even months prior to its fruition”. But we’re not able to hang on to that pre or post-travel happiness forever.
But alongside the actual trip – the air miles, unfamiliar hotel rooms, indecipherable languages and alien landscapes – there’s a more personal journey. Thrust into an unfamiliar environment and circumstances, there is something about that new space, fresh air and natural beauty that makes it easier to take a step back and assess the situation from a different viewpoint, whether it’s making an important life decision, coming to terms with a difficult situation or maybe just appreciating what you have. Foreign cities, different cultures and liberating getaways are often where we discover things we never knew about ourselves, or do things we never knew we could, or would dare to, back in the comfort and routine of home.
And I think this is the essence of travel, how it somehow changes your perspective and awakens something within you that perhaps wouldn’t be possible without leaving home.