5 Reasons Why Traveling To A New Destination Makes You A Better Person

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

traveling

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Traveling is my obsession.

I developed the contagious travel bug in my late 20’s, when I took my first trip to Asia with my close girlfriends from Medical School. For our graduation, we decided to travel a bit, before the work load of residency and lack of sleep fell on to our plates. Before meeting the girls in Vietnam, I set out for a European adventure – a journey of self discovery. I first went to Poland, the motherland. I basked in the culture, brushed up on my Polish, ate my Grandmother’s cooking and laughed with my cousins over Vodka, respectable amounts, until the sun came up. From there, traveled to Stockholm, Copenhagen and Moscow before the trek to South East Asia for what will be known as the 1st annual Around the World Girl’s Trip.

3 girls, traveling in a group, from Vietnam to Laos to Thailand to Hing Kong where we met a 4th friend. We ate the local food, experienced the culture and explored many cities together. We took overnight trains and even picked up a few new words and phrases in several different languages. We traveled down dirt roads where there would be no civilization for miles. We breathed in the crisp fresh air. We made memories.

After returning from Asia, residency soon began. We realized that the only way we would ever see each other out of the trenches of residency was to take our vacation time off together, which is what we have done for the past several years. This year marked the 3rd annual Around the World Girl’s Trip. Destination – Dubai, United Arab Emirates. We choose a new location every year – an unique destination outside of our own country. And every single time I am fascinated that those that I meet along the journey do not have the same perception of reality that we do.

From my travel experience I can say that friends are excellent companions to travel with. You already know each others personalities. You have similar interests with each other – and if not – you care about your friends enough to also care about their interests. With friends, silence isn’t uncomfortable. After walking for hours, frequently in circles as you try to grasp at your surroundings of your new destination, you’re often exhausted. At this point, silence is a treasure. Generally speaking, you probably enjoy their company and when you’re sitting in a hotel room with a bottle of wine laughing about the days events, where you are doesn’t necessarily matter, it’s more who you’re with. But if you don’t have the opportunity to travel with friends – go alone. If you have the opportunity to pack your bags, go and do it.

And here’s why:

Improves Creative Thinking

There’s scientific evidence that traveling could help you with creative thinking. Immersing yourself in a different culture has this effect. Maybe you think there’s only one way of doing something, but in an unfamiliar place, there’s a whole other set of social norms and customs. Traveling abroad makes people have a more nuanced understanding of themselves, while at the same time they also have a better sense of who they are. It is not just being in different cultures, but being open to immersion: learning the language, adapting to an alternate way of life.

Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

 

Generate Mindfulness

Part of the essence of being mindful is noticing new things, which often happens on vacation. Often people get into a mindless routine at work and home, which is broken only when they travel. People set themselves up to see new things on vacation, which makes the trip exciting. In a new environment, you take note of new people, objects and events around you. And once you achieve a mindset of “everything is different and interesting,” it becomes a valuable souvenir to take home after the vacation. Bringing mindfulness back into your workday once you return from vacation will make you a better person.

Thailand

Your Brain needs a vacation

Detaching from a familiar environment can help get new perspectives on everyday life.Your brain needs to relax too. It needs to reboot and regenerate itself so that when it’s time to go back to work, you’re productivity will increase.

Grenada, West Indies

Finding Balance

Tons of people struggle with finding balance in their life. With the vast amount of responsibility we have at work and at home, it’s easy to lose the mind body connection. Travel can ignite a flame in people’s lives. It helps relationships, and can even spark passion.

Hong Kong

If you go alone, learn how to be alone

Have lunch with yourself. Sit with your thoughts and be okay with them, whatever they are. Love yourself whole-heartedly, especially in times of solitude. And when you think you can’t sit alone any longer, order coffee and a dessert. I absolutely love traveling with my friends, but trips when I travel alone are sometimes equally as enjoyable. To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.

Buddah. Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

 

 

 

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DanielleKrolMD
Dr. Danielle Krol, a native of the Philadelphia area, spent the majority of her early life growing up in New Jersey. With over 15 years’ experience in Dance and Theatrical Arts, Dr. Krol was pursuing a career as an actress until her mother was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. For the 3 years that followed, Dr. Krol placed her life on hold and took the responsibility of Caretaker for her terminally ill mother. Her passion for medicine came about during her mother’s illness, and her determination to become a doctor came about after her passing in 2002.