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Whether you’re hitting the road to see your favorite band via the online coupons on StubHub, or going across the globe to track your family roots, travel is good for not only your soul, but for your overall health as well. Many people don’t actually understand the benefits associated with travel, including the overall physical, mental, and spiritual benefits it provides.

According to NBC News, traveling helps with these 5 areas of health and happiness:

  1. TRAVEL MAKES YOU HEALTHIER
    According to a joint study from the Global Commission on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, in partnership with the U.S. Travel Association, traveling actually keeps you healthier. The study found that women who vacation at least twice a year show a significantly lower risk of suffering a heart attack than those who only travel every six years or so.
  2. TRAVEL RELIEVES STRESS
    Although missing a connecting flight or losing baggage in a foreign airport is sure to boost your anxiety, traveling has been scientifically proven to lower stress levels, and rather dramatically.
  3. TRAVEL ENHANCES YOUR CREATIVITY
    “Foreign experiences increase both cognitive flexibility and depth and integrativeness of thought, the ability to make deep connections between disparate forms,”explains Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School who has authored a number of studies that investigate the concrete links between creativity and international travel.
  4. TRAVEL BOOSTS HAPPINESS AND SATISFACTION
    Most people tend to be happier when they’re traveling and don’t have to worry about work, of course. However, one of the more interesting takeaways from a Cornell University study is that people also experience a direct increase in happiness from just planning a trip.
  5. TRAVEL LOWERS THE RISK OF DEPRESSION
    While people tend to avoid the subject in our society, depression is unfortunately a major problem. Millions of Americans struggle with depression on a regular basis and it’s not uncommon for doctors to overprescribe medication for depression.

While these are all great topics, we have to note that these are in no way suggesting to replace any sort of medication or therapy you may need. These are just examples of ways to change your life for the better in an alternative means. There are plenty of ways to work with depression, physical health, mental well-being and just overall happiness, but why not do it in a way that lets you see the world and meet incredible people? Why not experience life as it is meant to be experience by learning about new cultures, new people, all while growing yourself as an individual.