While some research claims planning a holiday makes you much happier than going on the actual trip, I think this study has it all wrong.
Though my hubby and I always research the country and areas we want to visit, we have never been a fan of planning our whole trip. Yes, good planning might get the most out of your limited time but rushing from the one main tourist attraction to the other makes you miss out on all the small little wonders and adventures.
Unless you like to sit in front of your computer planning away or feel anxious not knowing what the day will bring or where you will be able to lunch, pee or sleep, going on an actual holiday makes you a happier person. Here’s why
1. Experiences bring more happiness than possessions
While many people search for happiness in possessions such as a fancy car, the newest apple phone or a Rolex, that brief buzz of excitement quickly wears off, leaving you with an empty hole to fill up with more fancy gadgets.
Research, however, has shown that experiences bring people significantly more happiness than possessions. They found that from the day you buy your ticket to long after you’ve got back home, the happiness you found and memories you’ve made can change your perspective and understanding of the world, making you in most cases a happier person.
2. Awesome things happen on a holiday
When you open yourself up to new cultures and experiences, new doors might open in your life. You might feel more confident or you might have learned a thing or two about yourself and the world. This might put things in a new perspective and you might feel more confident about yourself and how to go through life.
Through travel, my hubby and I discovered we didn’t belong in the West. Hence our relocation to SE-Asia, which we call home now. I always like to say “my home is where my cat is”, but that’s the crazy cat lady in me talking. But that brings me to my next point.
3. You’ll find more appreciation for the place you call home
I have always been an adventurer, got that from my dad. Thanks, dad for teaching me the importance of experiences rather than finding happiness in possessions. But we’ve already covered that above.
One of the things that made me fall in love with Cambodia, is the people. They are amongst the most friendly people I have ever met. Though there are a million other reasons why we call Cambodia our home – my cat is there lol – how much I love to go on an adventure the happiness of coming home is something I’ve learned to value.
Travel can be life-changing, but nothing beats the feeling of coming home. When I step off the plane and a random guy or girl at customs gives me their genuine smile, my heart melts again for this beautiful country I happily call home. And then there is the excitement of getting reunited with friends, furry and non-furry ones.
As far as I can tell, travel makes you appreciate your home and the people and animals you love even more. If coming home doesn’t put a smile on your face it might be the right time to think about relocating too 😉
4. Meeting new people
When we are at home we are often so occupied with life, work, family and friends that there is hardly time to meet new people. While traveling you will find that you won’t even have to do your best to make new friends and listen and learn from their past experiences.
You might even get a few not-to-be-found-in-any-guidebook tips and tricks. Though major tourist spots such as Petra in Jordan, Angkor Watt in Cambodia and the Taj Mahal in India are worth a visit, sometimes happiness can be found in the small experiences and wonders found off the track and beyond the guidebooks.
Furthermore, you get to know people from all over the world and one day you might open your home to them and show them your world or vice versa.
If our paths ever cross and you tell us “always welcome at our home”, you can be sure to expect us at some point. These days it is so easy to stay connected with people you meet through facebook, telegram, WhatsApp or any other messaging platform.
Scroll down to learn more about why traveling makes you a happier person.
5. Digital detox
While it is important to save the details of the people you’ve met, traveling takes you away from the obsessive behavior of checking social media, tv or blindly staring at any other screen. Traveling will force you to look away from these screens, and will enable you to get close to nature and other cultures to soak up their healing power and happiness.
Traveling is also a good medium to leave your work, stress, and issues you might have behind. Even though this might only be temporary, nothing beats the feeling of relaxation, which brings peace and happiness.
6. Discover yourself
When you leave the comfort of your home and the things you know you might wind up in tough, interesting or eye-opening situations. Maybe you’ll discover that you are not that shy after all or that you are amazing at learning new languages. You might also find out, just like me, that your orientation and finding your way back are NOT your strongest points.
Without distractions of work, your phone, friends, and family you might finally find some much deserved alone time to take time for yourself and what you love. If traveling with your partner you might get reminded why you fell in love. Traveling opens up doors to self-consciousness.
7. You’ll learn new things
SE-Asia has thought me to be resourceful with the things you find around you. You can’t even begin to think about how creative these people are in problem-solving. Not to say that everything is handled well but they taught me to make do with the things you have at hand.
They taught me to be happy with the things you have and look past what others have achieved and you didn’t. They taught me to never give up.
And traveling opened up a whole new world of flavors and cooking skills. One of my many passions in life.
Though there are a million other things travel has taught me over the years, I think you got the gist of this story. Unlike the short-lived pleasure, you get from buying the latest smartphone, going on an adventure creates long-lasting memories and induces happiness through stories and flashbacks that live on forever.
Thanks for reading. I hope this information was helpful. Until next time!
Crazy cat lady, life and food lover, certified biologist, and holistic health coach.