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5 Reasons Why Traveling Improves Your Mindset

Many of us crave the opportunity to travel and explore new places and cultures; I’m sure we all have a few places that we’d love to visit on our Bucket List. For me, I would want to go on a trip all throughout Europe and visit places like Rome, Barcelona, or Amsterdam. Of course, I would also want to stop at different castles and visit famous monuments or pieces of history I’ve only ever seen in Art History class. For now, though, I am completely content to travel around with my boyfriend in our camper van, staying at locations that are a little closer to home. Regardless of the destination, traveling always keeps you on your toes, whether it’s a quick weekend getaway to somewhere close or a week or two-long vacation to a far-away destination. Traveling allows you to step away from the daily grind and potentially gain a new perspective while also getting some time to relax, unwind, and enjoy yourself away from your usual responsibilities. This is why going on a vacation can actually enhance your creativity and mental resilience – and you might even learn a thing or two about yourself. So, today, let’s take a look at 5 reasons why traveling improves your mindset so that you can ultimately become your best self and love the life you live.

1. get away from the daily grind

One of the most obvious ways that traveling improves your mindset is by getting you away from the everyday hustle you’re used to. Wake up, shower, grab your coffee, get ready for the day, go to the office, work all day, then pick up the kids, take them to soccer… you see where this is going. As a society, we are so used to working our 9-5’s, doing our other responsibilities, and barely leaving any time for ourselves – maybe just enough to wash our faces or brush our teeth at the end of the day. In reality, the constant hustle can really begin to wear us down (it is called a ‘grind’ after all), which is why taking some time to relax away from your responsibilities is critical so that you can begin to mold into your best self. I remember when I quit my previous corporate job, I was so ready to move on to better things. My boyfriend and I went on a camping trip the weekend after my last day, and I remember feeling SO ready to get away from that job and the day-to-day life I had been living. At that point, I didn’t even know what was next in my career; I just knew I was prepared to get away from the daily grind and experience something new as soon as possible. To be honest, I think this is one of the main reasons people take vacations – to get away from work obligations, personal issues, or just life in general. By removing yourself from the daily grind, you can begin to truly relax and improve your mindset overall. Ultimately, booking that ticket or packing that camping gear is the first step in getting away from the everyday hustle and beginning to live your best life.

2. gain a fresh perspective

Stepping away from the daily grind and taking some vacation time allows us to gain a fresh perspective and improve our mindset regarding a certain situation or other things going on in our lives. Obviously, for me, driving away from the city after just quitting my job, I had a lot of perspectives that could be gained. It really felt like that cliché saying: “The world is your oyster.” For the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel that constant inner anxiety in the pit on my stomach – I truly felt free to just live my best life. This realization gave me a whole new perspective on how I could feel on a day-to-day basis; in other words, I didn’t have to feel like sh*t going to a job I hated. I wanted to somehow craft a life where I could feel this great every day, have the freedom to do things on my own terms, and ultimately fire my old self to become my new, best self. Going on this camping trip and gaining this perspective only solidified the fact that I made the right choice to leave my last job. And it was even sweeter when shortly after I found freelancing and could start implementing these positive changes to, in fact, start living my best life. However, it was critical for me to take this step away so that I could refresh and re-frame my mindset regarding my current situation while on the road. Ultimately, traveling allows us to gain fresh perspectives and improve our mindsets about what’s going on in our lives so that we can begin to analyze our situations, make choices that determine our future paths, and live our best lives.

3. relax and reset

Gaining a new perspective is great and all but have you ever just settled in for some deep R&R while on vacation? People often go traveling specifically so they can relax and reset before returning to reality. But, ultimately, this is going to look different for everyone. For some, relaxing and relieving stress might entail going to a spa and undergoing several relaxation treatments. Or, for someone like me, it might mean sitting by a campfire under the stars roasting cheese smokies, having a drink, and enjoying good company. Unfortunately, sometimes it can be challenging to feel like you’re actually relaxing or getting the rest you deserve when you’re traveling if you have a busy itinerary. That’s why you should follow the 60/40 rule when going on vacation; go for 60% relaxation and 40% activity to ensure you are getting enough relaxation time but also experiencing everything the location has to offer. This method helps you balance the new experiences you are sure to have on vacation while also safeguarding your time to recharge and reset. An example of the 60/40 method in action is how on our three-day camping trip, we relaxed and mainly stayed around the camp for two of them, and then on one of the days, we went out for a hike near our campsite with the dogs. It ended up being quite a long hike, so we were pretty happy to get back to our camper and chill out afterward (LOL). By following this technique, we had lots of time to relax, hang by the fire, maybe cook some food, and enjoy the time away without feeling like some larger vacation agenda needed to be accomplished. Ultimately, marking out some time for specific relaxation during your travel time can help you truly relax so that you can live your best life.  

4. enhance creativity and mental resilience

Besides being a prime opportunity to relax and reset, traveling is also great to enhance your creativity and mental resilience. This is because you are constantly being presented with new experiences or situations that you must be flexible with and adapt to. Adapting to new scenarios helps you build your mental resilience and stay confident in all different types of situations no matter what happens or where you are. Furthermore, knowing that you have strong mental resilience can help you retain a positive mindset since you know that you can keep yourself safe, nourished, and happy even while in unfamiliar situations. Therefore, traveling helps you gain confidence and mental resilience through successful experiences – and even through the less successful ventures. Like when the airline loses your bag on your international flight, or you have an extended layover in a foreign country – traveling experiences are always increasing our mental resiliency in some way. On the other hand, thanks to these experiences (positive or negative), you may become creatively inspired or be able to bring these situations into your work – just like I am here, by relating my camping stories to you. Some further examples could be if a motivational speaker brought something that happened to them on vacation into their lecture to make a meaningful argument. Or if an artist became inspired by the new, visually intriguing landscape of their surroundings and instilled their upcoming art installation with these experiences. Honestly, you never know where you might catch your next inspiration while on vacation since you will constantly have new experiences in fresh situations. Ultimately, these fresh situations keep you on your toes, increase your mental resiliency, and can incite creativity, so it is crucial to take advantage of everything your vacation has to offer so that you can begin to mold yourself into your best self and truly love the life you live.

5. maybe reinvent yourself?

After you have released yourself from the daily grind, potentially gained a new perspective, or been creativity inspired, and started to relax and reset while on vacation, then what? Well, on that trip home from camping, all I could think of was how I was ushering in a new era of what it meant to be ‘me,’ and that I was fully ready and prepared to face it. Maybe reinventing yourself isn’t so bad? Perhaps the small choices we make each day build up over time, meaning we are really reinventing ourselves all the time? That’s how I think about it now, at least. But pulling away from the campsite after that weekend, all I knew was that I felt refreshed, reinvigorated, and ready to face the next step – whatever that next step might be. In this way, traveling can help you begin to reinvent yourself or at least gain a deeper knowledge of who you are as a person. Getting to know yourself better is a crucial step so that you may fire your old self to make way for your new, best self and truly start living life to its fullest potential. When you remove the steady but tedious job, the constant errands, the never-ending bills, the relationships, and the stress – who is the true person under all of this? You can begin to explore these unknown corners of yourself while on vacation (what better time?), and this can help you instill a more positive attitude in your life in general. That’s because when you learn more about yourself and begin to take steps to reinvent yourself, you can begin to see positive changes in your everyday routines that keep you motivated to become your best self and live your best life.

final thoughts

When asked what our goals are for the future, many of us reply that we would love to travel the world and experience new places and cultures. This is partly because traveling is one of the best ways to hit that ‘reset’ button in your life, especially if you have some things to figure out, like I did when I quit my job and then went on this camping trip. But, taking some time for a vacation is crucial and allows you to remove yourself from the daily grind that’s been wearing you down, gain new perspectives, and truly engage in some R&R. I don’t think I would have felt the same readiness for my unknown future if I did not take that weekend to relax and reset in the wilderness. Traveling or going on vacation also gives you the opportunity to increase your mental resilience, become creativity inspired, and learn more about who you are as a person underneath the daily expectations of life. Furthermore, becoming more in tune with yourself while on vacation is essential so you can safeguard your positive mindset and begin to make better choices for your future. Ultimately, taking some time to travel and enjoy a vacation is crucial so that we may learn to fire our old self to create our new self while remembering Life’s Short, Love the Life You Live!

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Dani VanDusen

Dani VanDusen is a freelance writer and editor located in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada. She holds a BA in English from the University of Alberta where she graduated with distinction, and has been freelancing since the middle of the pandemic. An avid mental health enthusiast, rollerblade extraordinaire, dog mama, and pizza lover, she is a self-proclaimed ‘weirdo’ and says that this helps her be relatable and open in her writing. Dani has been a writer for the Fire Yourself movement since August 2021 and is an integral part of our content team.
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