Want to be happier? Pack your bags. Experts have found that logging travel miles can fuel happiness.
Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, agrees. Rubin’s extensive happiness research shows that people who engage in new and challenging pursuits are happier than those who stay home and stick with the same old routine.
The lesson? Venture out. Book that trip. Give yourself permission to travel, because it boosts happiness. Here’s how:
- It’s All About the Wait
“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” –Lao Tzu
The simple act of planning a trip can increase your happiness. That’s right. According to a study published in Applied Research in Quality of Life, the highest point of happiness occurs when you’re actually in the planning stage of a vacation.
- Find Your Get Up and Go
Among other benefits, exercise helps you relax and boosts brain power, according to Inc.com.
Exercise is a reset switch, a way to clear the head, and a stress fighter. The good news is that travel is jam-packed with endless ways to fit in some (fun) exercise.
In the VI: Take a Stand Up Paddle Board lesson, swim, carve out time for yoga, and play in the sand and surf.
- Travel with a Friend
“Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.” –Ernest Hemingway
We’re happier when we’re with friends, when we’re being sociable. Take a friend along to the Islands, and pick up some new ones along the way. Strike up a conversation with the person on the next barstool, boat, or beach blanket and unlock a world of exciting new possibilities.
- Learn Happy
We’re happy when we’re learning, when we’re actively engaged in meaningful, challenging activities, says psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. And finding solutions to unexpected situations on the journey (getting to the top of that hill, hopping over to the next island) is a confidence builder.
In the VI: Kick the leisure activities into high gear: Learn a new culture, a new food, a new pastime.
So go ahead and get that trip on the calendar. You owe it to yourself to choose happiness.