Happy 2018 Everyone!! Where in the World will this year take you?
If you’ve ever found yourself justifying the need for a vacation or travel adventure to your friends, families or even yourself….then keep reading!
New Year’s is a great time for setting goals, making resolutions and generally deciding how and why to be better, accomplish more, and just feel better about yourself and your life.
If vacations and/or travel hasn’t been in your sights in past years, let me make a few arguments on why it should be from now on! Here goes my top 10 reasons why everyone needs a vacation at least once a year:
1. YOU FIND YOUR SELF-CONFIDENCE BY DEALING WITH UNEXPECTED SITUATIONS
On a road trip from New England down into NYC with our ‘Little Guy’ Trailer in tow, Eddie and I found ourselves at an impasse. I knew that we were going to be setting up camp in New Jersey and doing a day trip by subway into the City, so I was insisting that we stay to the west and drive straight into New Jersey. I was in conflict, however, with the GPS. Eddie has learned that my sense of direction leaves something to be desired, so despite all my navigation instructions, Eddie, behind the wheel of our giant truck (and tiny trailer), plowed right through Manhattan into the Lincoln Tunnel. I think that the streets of Midtown were actually narrower than our truck, but Eddie was not to be deterred! He quickly adapted to the NY refusal to ever yield, and how we avoided collision is still a mystery. It took me the rest of the day to recover and start talking to Eddie again, but he will probably never again fear an unknown driving route!
2. BEING AWAY MAKES YOU APPRECIATE FAMILY AND HOME
Let’s face it, folks, ‘absence really does make the heart grow fonder’! Besides, getting to focus on something new without the constant demands of home and family can do wonders to clear the brain!!! Being away also helps you appreciate what you have when you get home.
3. YOU MAKE NEW FRIENDS
Eddie tends to be more social that I am, and while I can tell you how many ships have sunk in Lake Superior or how the Dome in Florence was constructed, Eddie can visit with a stump. I cannot tell you how many people he has pulled us into conversation with or had spontaneous dinner or drinks with. What I can tell you is that we have stories of new friends from all over! There’s nothing like traveling to make us feel so interconnected. Strangers truly are just friends we haven’t met yet – or at least most are!
4. DETOX FROM SOCIAL MEDIA
Computer World has pointed out that social media is engineered to be as addictive as crack cocaine. Seriously, this is a real thing! When you first stop using social media, you can expect to feel withdrawal symptoms. Scientists say that this is due to the naturally ingrained fear of missing out. After all, you could miss something entertaining or important if you step away from your laptop or smartphone. Studies have also shown that the more time you spend on social media the more you are prone to depression and unhealthy competitiveness. But what are we missing when we are attached to a devise? Maybe it’s time to re-connect with the real world and the real people in it. Maybe it’s time to find out!
5. WE BECOME MORE OPEN-MINDED
Travel promotes patience by releasing our narrow, heavy expectations of the “one right way” mentality and allows life to flow more organically. With time and practice we can learn to have a ‘big-picture’ view of things, and a tolerance for what we don’t necessarily understand or have all the information about. There’s more than one way to ‘do’ life!
6. YOU’RE MORE INTERESTING
In the end, what we have that matters is not our possessions, but the quality of our characters and our stories. It’s in these things that we hand down what we know, what we’ve learned and who we have been to the next generation. Travel enhances everything, stokes curiosity and awakens our inner child by offering us new, “first-time” experiences.
7. GETTING SOME ‘YOU’ TIME
Traveling gives you time to rest and refresh. Time to heal, reduces stress and regain enthusiasm for life. Even traveling together can leave plenty of ‘alone time’ if you decide ahead of time to be good with that. Last year I found myself in the most beautiful turquoise colored water I’d ever seen. Just off the coast of Haiti in the Western Caribbean I was off to enjoy a swim and some music. I thought that Eddie would enjoy the ‘down time’ with me, but instead he decided to head back to our ship for a massage. “Fine!” I said as he left me dripping on my beach towel. I have to admit to a little initial confusion (and frustration!), but after enjoying the time to myself just lying in the sun (which I enjoy much more that he does anyway) and swimming in the lagoon, I was refreshed by the time I had to myself, and Eddie wouldn’t have given up his massage for anything!
8. EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION
“He who knows not his history is doomed to repeat it!”
The ability to learn is one of the greatest gifts given to mankind, and failure to enjoy that gift is a travesty! Learning can come in the form of history, current culture, or any form of art. How great is it to study about the First Colony while in Jamestown? Or the legislative process in Washington D.C.? How about discovering chocolate in Mexico or the origin of a nation at the Missions of San Antonio? History, Art, Current Culture and the Wonders of Nature all come to life when you can experience things first hand!
9. TRAVEL MAKES YOU HEALTHIER
Studies show that travel leads to a greater learning capacity, increased feeling of happiness and satisfaction, better family relationships, and even decreased risk of heart disease! Travel exposes you to different environments, which create stronger antibodies and boost your immune system significantly. Travel lowers stress levels, improves your brain health and helps keep you fit. To sum it up, travel helps you live longer and healthier! Need I say more?
10. TRAVEL HAPPINESS IS INFECTIOUS
Yep. It’s true. Travel addicts just enjoy life more. At least in our opinion!
So there you have my top 10 reasons to travel. No justification. No apologies. No excuses.
As 2018 was making its way into our lives, Eddie and I found ourselves making airline reservations for September. After years of planning we are finally taking that 32-day trek through Europe!
For me it’s a bit of a homecoming. For Eddie, it’s a trip completely out of his comfort zone full of excitement and anticipation.
But for both of us it’s a time to be together and experience the unknown.
Where will 2018 take you?