It’s easy for anyone to get stuck in a rut at any point in life. This could be due to the fact that you’re stagnating at your current job, struggling with maintaining a social life, or going through a personal loss or breakup. It might even be something as simple as the fact that you’ve lived your whole life without ever stepping foot outside of your hometown. Whatever the cause, it’s completely normal to feel that itch for a change from time to time.
If you’re feeling the urge to do something to help break up the monotony, you may want to consider traveling or even packing up your home and getting right out of Dodge.
Why Geographic Change Is Good for You
Both traveling and moving can be terrifying possibilities to consider. The mere thought of what can go wrong while in a different place can be an intimidating prospect — especially if you let that fear bully you around.
The truth is, though, the fear of the unknown shouldn’t keep you from experiencing the incredible benefits that a relocation can do for the body, mind, and soul. Here are a few of the top reasons you should consider looking for a shift in scenery, whether it’s for the short or the long term.
Healing the Body
The act of traveling abroad can have a marked impact on your physical health in multiple ways. First and foremost, there’s the obvious fact that travel gets you up and moving. Extra exercise is always a good thing. Naturally, it also follows that traveling and the exercise involved can also help with weight loss. But the positive physical effects go beyond the obvious.
Studies have shown that almost as soon as you arrive in a new place, there is a marked increase in the health of your immune system. In addition, other research has linked traveling to a possible reduction in the risk of a heart attack. The point is, when you find yourself up and moving in a new location, it does wonders for your body from top to bottom.
Healing the Mind
While a healthy body is excellent, the act of changing your location does a great deal for your mind as well. A splash of new scenery and a chance to disconnect from the routines of everyday life are powerful tools to help relieve anxiety, boost your mood, and keep the stresses and strains of life in perspective.
A hike into the mountains, for example, can provide a serene and inspiring escape from everyday life. In addition, the mere act of getting out into nature can increase your creativity by as much as 50%.
Moving to a location with more natural greenery can also have a measurable effect on your stress. One study from the UK’s University of Exeter found that those who moved to an area with more green space had a marked reduction in their overall stress levels.
To summarize, finding new places, especially when nature is a significant factor, can be a huge boon to your overall mental health.
Healing the Soul
Finally, there’s the simple fact that experiencing new places is good for your soul. The opportunity to try strange foods, make new connections, and observe other cultures can help foster a greater sense of appreciation for the world around you. It also can encourage you to get out of your shell and build real-world connections with others.
Don’t Jump to Conclusions
Before we go any further, it’s worth noting one important caveat: Changing your location via a trip or a move may sound alluring. However, it’s important to genuinely take the time to figure out if this is what you need before you make any expensive or potentially life-altering commitments.
If you’re struggling with feeling mentally or physically unhealthy, it’s wise to visit your doctor or other healthcare professionals first in order to get a proper diagnosis. You may find that other approaches, like behavioral therapy, can help with any unhealthy or maladaptive thought processes that you may be struggling with. From there, you can discuss if a trip or a move would be helpful in resolving them.
How to Pull It Off
If, after a diagnosis, you decide that a change of scenery is the answer, there are a few things you can do to set yourself up for success with your upcoming adventures.
Try to Tailor Your Work Situation
First off, try to see if you can set up a flexible or even remote work schedule. While it’s often connected to things like avoiding a nasty commute to work and flexible schedules, remote work can also be a great way to enable you to remain employed while away. This can either help you bring in some extra income while on a longer trip or even allow you to keep your job after a move.
Another option to pave the way, particularly for a move, is to embrace a minimalist lifestyle. In addition to a host of mental health benefits that the lifestyle offers, the act of consciously reducing what you need can make moving highly efficient.
Move Into a Tiny Home
If moving out of town isn’t an option, you may still want to consider downsizing your current abode into a tiny home. These efficient living spaces are extremely affordable. Moving into a tiny home can make trips abroad easier to take more often, even if you don’t have a lot of expendable income.
Shaking Things Up
Traveling or straight-up moving to a new place can go a long way in gaining a deeper understanding of life. Time spent in new places helps to develop character and deepen your knowledge of yourself. It can also teach you new ways to do things and challenge your thoughts, emotions, feelings, and philosophies about life.
In short, both traveling and moving help you become a better, more well-rounded person. So spin that globe, pop that finger down somewhere, and start playing with some ideas. After all, the world’s your oyster!