Vacationing for Well-being

In May I took an amazing two week vacation traveling around Europe. I ate pizza in Rome, wandered through tulip fields in Amsterdam, and got starry-eyed in a little town in Germany.  A few days after my trip, it occurred to me how important this vacation was for my well-being. The trip wasn’t just a fix for my ongoing wanderlust, it was a recharge for my health. People are busier than ever and we tend to guilt ourselves out of taking a vacation, or even a simple break, but time away is important. What many of us don’t realize is that being overworked and stressed out can lead to health issues in the future. Here are a few things that I found beneficial about taking a vacation that had me ready to book my next trip!

Big Ben (photo by Royce Bowman)                                                       English breakfast

Borough Market                                                                                               Terry's Cafe

Improve your physical and emotional health
Vacations can do wonders for your health, both physically and mentally. They give you a chance to relax and change up your daily routine. Vacations can help with decreasing stress, preventing heart disease, and even helping you sleep better. Taking a vacation can help you avoid burn-out and improve your immune system so you can live a longer, happier life. Taking time off allows you a mental break from being inundated with thoughts about work, errands and to-do lists.

Stuttgart, Germany (Rothenburg ob der Tauber)                                                   Scotch egg

Sunset in Dublin, Ireland(photo by Royce Bowman)                                                                   Stuttgart, Germany (Rothenburg ob der Tauber)        

Explore new places, foods, and activities
Discovering a new place not only allows you to explore all the fun, touristy things, but helps you become more culturally aware of how others live and to appreciate their way of life. This new perspective can increase creativity and  productivity. Getting out of your comfort zone allows you to try new activities or fall in love with new cuisines.

Roman Forum - Rome, Italy                                                                           Colosseum - Rome, Italy

Gelato                                                                                                                    Zucchini and mozarella pizza

Strengthening Relationships
Going on a trip with loved ones can provide much-needed quality time. Sometimes you have to problem-solve and work as a team to get to your next destination or learn to compromise when it comes to the daily itinerary. Going on vacation with family can help you build stronger bonds, bring you closer together, and create special memories. But hey, don’t rule out solo travel! Solo trips are great for strengthening your most important relationship — with yourself.

Amsterdam, Netherlands - Keukenhof Gardens and Tulip Fields                                     (photo by Royce Bowman)  

A Chance to Unplug
Vacations are the perfect time to take a digital detox. It’s great to share our experiences with our friends and family, but taking a vacation can show us the importance of being in the present. When we’re so fixated on our digital devices, we unintentionally give up time that could be spent on more important things like relationships, sleep, or productivity.  A chance to unplug not only lets you unwind, but it forces us to live in the moment and recognize beauty that we may not see otherwise.

Trevi Fountain - Rome. Italy (photo by Royce Bowman)  

Of course, it’s not always possible to take two weeks off. A staycation over the weekend or a few days to yourself might be just what you need. So if you haven’t taken some time to yourself in a while, now is the perfect time — take a vacation for your well-being without regrets.