Wanderlust; 5 Reason’s to Act on the Impulse

Wan – der – lust,
            A strong desire or impulse to travel.


It seems as though over the past several years majority of us have caught the wanderlust bug. The airline and travel industry has seen substantial growth, of which market analysts project to remain steady. Travel can come in many shapes and sizes; be it Beijing for work, up north to Michigan with the family, or a destination vacation for one.


Regardless of the reason or destination, traveling the world and exploring new places can have a direct positive impact on your life. Exposing yourself to new experiences, cultures, and people can help shape your mindset.


Of course, there can be downsides to travel – weight gain, spending too much money, or missing family and friends. Traveling is not all about the parties, souvenirs, or food tours. It can actually influence you towards a healthier version of yourself! 


For those who find traveling the opposite of relaxing; perhaps uncomfortable and stressful, it is time to make yourself aware of the possible benefits. And for those of you who have already caught the wanderlust bug, below are 5 more reasons to continue on your many journeys.



1. New perspective; At times it feels as though life’s daily stresses will never end. With work deadlines, projects to finish, and the never ending to do list sometimes things just seem out of control. We all have a tendency to get consumed by our every day stressors, losing perspective of the bigger picture. Traveling provides one with the opportunity to get outside of their day to day routine. Witnessing new religions, beliefs, ways of living, or even others anguish first hand can expand our mind. Ultimately, this may help us take a step back from our busy lives and regain focus on what really matters.


2.  Tolerance to uncertainty; There’s no shortage of uncertainty in life; therefore, you can expect to stumble upon this feeling while traveling. Changes, detours, language barriers, missed flights, things don’t always go as planned. Placing yourself in such situations can influence your ability to not only find more patience and understanding, but how to cope better overall.


3.  Improved problem solving; Traveling interrupts your everyday assumptions, routines, and habitual patterns. If we’re traveling to an unfamiliar destination, it is likely we will be forced to problem solve at one point. Through experiencing different cultures, or simply being witness to them we open ourselves up to the idea of doing things differently. In addition, by distancing oneself from our own stressors, we’re more likely to see new ways of dealing with problems at home.


4. More open to new things; At home we become comfortable with our environment. Often times we have set standards for what I will do and things I would absolutely never do. Traveling often times ignites newfound confidence and adventure in individuals. For example, you find yourself cliff jumping even though you are scared of heights. When we try new things while traveling we become more accustomed to doing new and unfamiliar things. This fearless mindset reduces the likelihood of us avoiding feared situations, even back at home. 


5. Increased self-confidence; As routine takes over day to day life may begin to get in the way of our own discovery process. Immersing ourselves into unknown territory or simply stepping out from our daily routine stimulates our thinking process. Exposing yourself to new people, places, and experiences all foster growth and help one learn more about themselves. This process alone can lead to a stronger healthier sense of self. 


It’s incredibly easy to get comfortable or stuck in our every day lives. Stress, anxiety, guilt and pressure can lead to a fear of taking time off to travel. It’s not uncommon to hear of employees cashing in their vacation days rather than taking them. However, it may just be that time off that brings us back ready to take charge. In fact, many CEO’s are beginning to encourage and insist employees take time off work due to the benefits.


In conclusion, perhaps all of those who have caught the wanderlust bug are on to something. So, I encourage all who are reading … Take the time off, make the most of your work trip, explore the next state over, go see the world. Travel just may be the answer!


“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience,”
      Eleanor Roosevelt



Author: Stephanie Ballard, LPC, CADC – Clarity Clinic

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