When my boys were younger, we used to love taking them on mini vacations. Although we went to some states that they had no desire to visit again, I thank God for blessing us to be able to take vacations because I genuinely believe it taught them at an early age not to be scared of experiencing new things. However, teaching teens about the benefits Of travel equips them with so many other skills.
Outside of a specific holiday weekend, summertime is the heaviest travel period in the United States. There are many reasons for this, from kids being out of school to warmer, longer days and a slower business cycle.
Travel has plenty of benefits that include much more than making memories and relaxing. In fact, traveling can boost moods, increase creativity, build empathy and understanding, and reduce stress.
Traveling as a family is a way for you to get to know one another differently and strengthen your bonds. In addition, teaching your kids about the benefits of traveling will give them a lifetime of mechanics to lead a happier, less-stressful life rich with memories and experiences.
In other words, traveling should be viewed as an opportunity to reinvent yourself, reduce stress, boost happiness, enhance creativity, and build mental resilience.
1) Reinvent Yourself
Traveling requires you to experience life in different ways than your average day. It causes a shift in learning about your work-life balance and rebalancing priorities. As a result, you begin to see a shift in priorities and that self-discovery allows you the chance to grow and change.
Traveling requires you to shift your perspective and paradigm, which can lead to significant personal growth and development with some introspection. In the case of overcoming a traumatic experience, travel can open the doorway to recovery and gaining confidence and independence lost in the previous mindset.
2) Reduce Stress
There are two types of stress we deal with in life. First, we misname all negative things as stress. Stress is challenging at the moment but strengthens after recovery. Exercise stresses the body but post-exercise is stronger.
When we discuss stress as a negative, what we’re talking about is distress. Distress is a negative detractor to our body and psyche. Distress can be a traumatic event or severe illness that, without guidance and treatment, may lead us down a negative path or be debilitating.
Traveling helps you to reduce the negatives associated with stress, whether it’s from work or relationships, and turn them into something strengthening.
For example, sitting quietly by the ocean, such as if you were to travel to Coronado, California, and sit along Ocean Boulevard watching the sunset over Point Loma, will do wonders to soothe the body and calm the mind.
By traveling, you’re removing yourself from the causes of stress, relaxing the body, and calming the mind. Eliminating the triggers of the daily grind replenishes our energy and boosts our moods as a result.
3) Boost Happiness
Teenagers struggle with a barrage of hormones as their bodies and brain develop. There’s the truth behind the “moody” teen, but it’s often out of their control. Instead, it’s hardwired into what their bodies are going through developmentally.
Traveling helps boost moods by exposing us to new stimuli and experiences that create positive memories. As time passes, reliving those journeys through pictures is another way to heighten positive thoughts and emit happy emotions.
Photographs are typically taken to commemorate a joyous, happy moment in our lives. However, when we review these pictures, studies show that we are more inclined to relive those positive feelings, heightening our moods.
Traveling creates positive moments in our lives that we can remember in our memories and relive through pictures, boosting moods long after we return.
4) Enhance Creativity
Immersing yourself in a new culture or experience that only can occur through travel increases cognitive flexibility making us more thoughtful and creative. Moreover, those new experiences cause our brains to create new internal connections and depth of thought, becoming more curious, all crucial aspects of creativity.
The benefits of enhanced creativity come only from immersing yourself in a new environment. Merely visiting a city or town won’t provide the same stimulus and benefits.
5) Build Mental Resilience
Having to become reliant on what you have with you, being able to be flexible and adaptive to new environments, and overcoming the fear of the unknown is significant in building self-confidence. As a person becomes more self-confident, they are better equipped to overcome challenges and stresses that occur in life. Therefore, teaching those life skills is vital to your teen’s development.
Sometimes, travel won’t help overcome more significant issues, and we could all use a little outside help.
In those cases, it may be good to seek professional care like those provided by traveling to out-of-area resource centers. Doing so can provide a clean break from those triggers that caused the behaviors of concern and provide a fresh start to overcoming those emotional issues.
To find out-of-area centers, you can conduct an online search with keywords and phrases such as:
- California behavioral health programs
- Los Angeles behavioral health centers
- Sonoma County behavioral health
- San Diego mental health clinics
If out-of-county is not an option for you, try a Google search for local assistance programs as well.
- Behavioral and mental health centers near me
- Local treatment centers
Taking some time this summer, or anytime really, to travel and leave behind the day-to-day drama that consumes us will do more for their development and growth than any book, tablet, or device will ever provide.
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