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6 Mind-Blowing Reasons Why Travel Helps your Mental State:

Travel, for me, is everything. Some people live to work. Others work to live. I work to travel. It was on a trip to Paris at 28 years old that I realized if I had to wait for other people to start living my life, I would be waiting a DAMN LONG TIME. So, I made a pact to myself that I would go to one new country every year. By prioritizing this goal, I have been all over the world: Hong Kong, Trinidad + Tobago, Turkey, Tulum, Croatia, Costa Rica, Italy, the UK, Portugal, Spain, Panama, Nicaragua, and a few other places in-between. It has been the greatest accomplishment of my life to give myself this gift.

Travel has helped my mental state in more ways than I can express. It has changed my outlook on life, the trajectory of my life, how I perceive others, and has helped me form new values and dreams. Here are just a few ways that travel can completely transform your mental state:

· As soon as you book a trip, and you have something new and fun to look forward to, a surge of Dopamine is released instantly and starts activating the reward and pleasure centers of the brain. Dopamine is not only connected to sex, but also with tasty food, music, gambling and taking drugs. So, if you can be addicted to anything, travel is probably the least-damaging one to go after.

· If you travel solo (like I have done lots of times), you realize you are legitimately capable of ANYTHING. Major POWER TRIP vibes. You will gain tons of self-awareness and confidence on a journey like this. It leads to feeling more fearless and empathetic, and much more open and accepting of people with differences.

· With regards to using travel as an escape from your work, the time and physical space away from the office and those stressors give your mind the freedom it needs to relax, replenish, and recover. Walking away from unresolved problems at the office can help us produce new ideas, answers, solutions, and insights.

· On top of that, the exposure you will get to new people, places, culture, and foods results in increased creativity and relieves stress.

· Travel brings you out of your comfort zone which leads to massive personal growth. Even being in a place with new streets and architecture creates new neural pathways in the brain, literally expanding your capacity.

· And finally, travel improves your overall outlook on life. The best way to end a trip is to start planning the next one. So, bring on the future-tripping!

Travel has a funny way of opening us up to possibilities. It is impossible to travel without getting curious; you will find pure joy in the tiniest things.

I vividly remember having to escape the halls of the hectic Istanbul Grand Bazaar to get some air and space. Upon exiting through a sketchy alleyway, I turned a corner only to see the grand Nuruosmaniye Mosque rise up before me seemingly from nowhere. It was a majestic moment that brought chills. Travel has provided me with a huge bank of the most incredible memories, and I am not finished yet. There were midnight ocean swims in Croatia, cooking a meal with a Nonna in Positano, and I’ll never forget falling in love in Turkey. I also learned to surf on an untouched beach in Nicaragua, sunbathed topless all over Europe, and shook all of the maracas in Mexico. The most impactful memory was a beachside meditation in Ibiza that led me to changing everything, reinventing my life, and healing myself so I can heal others. If you do one thing this year to change your trajectory, it should be to buy that plane ticket.


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