The benefits of travelling are not only for the body; it can also be for your brain. In recent times, Science has shown that there is actually a direct effect of travelling on your brain. Below are a few:
- Increased IQ– Your IQ is your brain’s ability to interpret information, memorise concepts and provide solutions or results to similar problems. When you engage your mind by travelling, you learn a lot and by being active; you improve your memory and kiss Alzheimer’s goodbye. Science has shown that memory loss is due to the shrinking of the hippocampus. With an increase in hippocampi size from frequent walks or hikes (e.g. for 40 minutes, three times a week for a year), we can improve the brain’s retention ability. So don’t be afraid to book a trip to Ibadan and hike up Idanre hills or visit the zoo in your city and walk around just watching the animals there even if you have done it before. Travelling also makes you think and thinking increases the activities in the frontal cortex of your brain. When you adapt to the lifestyles of other cultures, it forces the brain’s cognitive functions to be flexible because travelling exposes you to new things or ways of doing things.
- It stimulates your brain– Since a large part of our daily life is spent indoors, travelling gets you moving outdoors and forces the brain to function differently than it’s used to. According to Tanner Christensen, creativity is the ability to come up with new ideas through a mental process of connecting existing concepts. When you get into situations while on an adventure travel, you become more imaginative. Remember the 13 teenagers who were trapped in a cave in Thailand and how they had to climb on rocks to get away from the water flooding the cave from the daily rains? They had to eat the birthday snacks they went into the cave with for over a week before rescuers found them. Being in tough situations will make you a better problem solver because you know there are different ways to get results. So you can also say travelling enhances your creative mental ability.
- Improves your mental health– The act of planning a travel trip takes up mental energy because of the number of issues you must consider. For instance, if you travelled to Adamawa State and didn’t like the last hotel you stayed at, the next time you intend to go there, you will have to recall why your previous experience was bad and what you can do to prevent a repeat. This draws on your ability to reflect, imagine and critically analyse the situation; all of which are mental activities necessary to stay sound. Also, people who take vacations often, are less likely to experience depression and chronic stress as those who seldom do. The anticipation of going somewhere new or doing something different can fill you with life and excitement. The happiness that comes from travelling makes it hard to think negative thoughts.
All these just goes to prove that the great outdoors is good for you. So make time out in your busy schedule to either travel or engage in some outdoor adventures within your locality.