Jump In: 10 Ways to Increase Consciousness and Mental Health through Travel

Can you think of a better way to open your mind than exploring new areas, meeting new people and trying new things? If you are one of the

Can you think of a better way to open your mind than exploring new areas, meeting new people and trying new things? If you are one of the more than 1 BILLION people who enjoy travel each year, you have probably experienced some exciting, fun and inspiring new places and you already have an idea that travel is really good for your mental health and encouraging a more conscious way of living.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love a long lazy day at home; but there is just something life expanding travel does for our well being.

A lot actually...here are the top 10 reasons why travel allows you to expand your mind and is good for your mental health:

10. Increases your Self-awareness. If you have ever been the new kid in town, you know that there can be some awkwardness as you brain tries soaking things in and fitting in all at the same time. Being aware of and observing others in this way can allow us to slow down a bit and look inward too which also helps expand our compassion.

9. Increases Your Empathy and Understanding Toward Others. Whether it’s a country, a new state or even another town, new places and new faces really require us to move past our comfort zone and often challenges our assumptions and stereotypes. When I broaden my perspectives enough to experience new things and see how others live (and not on a screen but live and in person), it’s easier to drop my biases and see goodness so I learn to appreciate fellow humans and empathize with them in a new way. When my connections are good, then my mental health is good too.

8. Increases Trust. If travel builds empathy, then maybe it can build trust too. We live in a world that is filled with stories of deception and conflict, but getting out and experiencing the world in a new way allows us to engage with strangers in a way that the internet just doesn’t. Asking for directions or suggestions about the area and getting help in return surely allows us to build a new sense of faith and trust in humanity.

7. Increases Flow. Travel is movement and movement is good for our physical bodies. Physically moving our bodies through travel allows new ideas and new energies to flow through us. Whether it’s in a literal sense like the breathing deeper, increased physical blood flow, or in a spiritual sense through inspirations and synchronicities, the flow that enters our experience through travel always shifts our consciousness.

6. Shifts Your Perspective. Speaking of shifting consciousness….consciousness is what we see, and travel definitely does shift what we see. If we stay in the same place or the same job or the same company all our life, then what we see never really seems to change. And while that’s not completely true, because everything is constantly changing, what this stagnancy can do is keep us stuck. Opening ourselves up to new experiences through travel allows us to shift our perspective so that we can build momentum to make the necessary intentional changes we need to live in a conscious, mentally healthy manner.

5. Shifts Your Behaviors. Practicing new experiences and new behaviors with practices like art making, yoga, meditation and dream work while traveling can help you develop new patterns to bring home with you. Bringing these new behaviors home leads to lasting benefits to your mental health because practicing these things when you are in vacation mode makes it a little easier to implement into your daily, sometimes stressful, life.

4. Increases Your Positive Emotions. Isn’t this the reason why we travel? Because we NEED a break, we look forward to these positive experiences so that we can have positive emotional experiences. And it’s important to create these experiences so that you can add them to your “emotional piggy bank” an important skill to buffer us from painful life experiences and daily stressors we all go through and essential for mental health and conscious living.

3. Become Conscious of the Journey. Life’s a journey, not a destination. We are constantly, often unconsciously, traveling from one space to another, whether it’s from room to room or our daily commutes to work; we travel all of the time. Going on a destination trip and being intentional in our travels allows us to become more conscious of the so-called journey of life.

2. Increases Your Mindfulness. And grounds you. Arriving in a new place forces you to rely on your five senses which helps bring you more into the moment. If you are in your head, not paying attention to the world in front of you, you’re probably going to be completely disoriented. So these new experiences force you to ground yourself and get into the moment.

1. Increases Your Creativity. Last, but definitely not least and I’ll have to say, my favorite. Creativity is required to navigate and understand new experiences. Trying new things requires us to be flexible and come up with new strategies and solutions. If you’ve ever missed a flight, or lost your wallet while traveling, you really know what I’m talking about!

Don't you feel like jumping in and joining us? If you would like to expand your awareness and focus on mental health through travel I have an amazing opportunity. Julie Mayson, RYT500 and I are offering a retreat in the Dominican Republic January 2024. The Embodied Conscious Living Retreat through Art, Yoga, Dreams will focus on combining art, yoga and dream work with travel to the Yoga Life Villa in the Dominican Republic. Please see the flyer below and reach out if you are interested in joining us. You can sign up online here

Happy trails to you!

Written by Mary How, MA, ATR-BC

Mary How, owner of Create MORE with Mary How is an artist, board certified art therapist, coach and author with over twenty years of experience working with survivors of trauma, mental illness and behavioral disorders. Mary uses a unique combination of cognitive restructuring, mindfulness and art in her personalized coaching and group classes, workshops and retreats

Categories: : art therapy, conscious living, create more, creativity, dominican republic, dream work, mental health, mindfulness, retreats, self-awareness, top ten reasons, travel, yoga, yoga life villa