20 Ways Travel Is Essential for Mental Health

Mental health is an important component of your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. In periods where your mental health is at its best, you’ll be at your most creative, happiest, and kindest. There are ways to take care of your mental health at home, but I’ve often found movement essential to a positive outlook.

Why? Let me count the ways…

Change of Scenery

Even if you live in the most idyllic of postcard-esque British villages, you will eventually get used to those rolling green hills and peaceful quiet. Visiting the coast or a city will wake you up to wonder.

The reverse is also true–if you live in a city, feasting your eyes on peaceful green places will help you check your pace and recharge. The tactile sense of change (like feeling sand between your toes or getting your fill of Vitamin D in the sunshine for once) will gently introduce a healthy alertness and contentment.

everst / Shutterstock.com

everst / Shutterstock.com

Sense of Independence

There is a certain satisfaction that comes when you successfully navigate public transport, or find groceries in a strange city, or go on a two-hour hike without being eaten by a bear. This sense of independence and control is important to remind us that we can do life. We can thrive at it, even in a strange new place.

Creativa Images / Shutterstock.com

Creativa Images / Shutterstock.com

Distance from “Real Life”

Turning off my phone and spending the day in an art museum is one of the most restorative activities I’ve ever done on a particularly bad day. You don’t even have to leave the country–just seek out the beauty nearby and cut off communication with social media. If you can go abroad, be grateful for the chance to exist without constant notifications.

Often times the huge troubles of real life will seem smaller when you’re away from it–or, at least, more manageable after the break.

hdsidesign / Shutterstock.com

hdsidesign / Shutterstock.com

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Cultured Palate: Dishes from South Africa

South Africa’s incredible biodiversity and rich cultural heritage has given it a unique cuisine unlike any other place on Earth. There are visible influences from the Dutch, German, French, and Cape Malay colonizers, as well as indigenous dishes that have been passed down for generations. If you’re spending your next holiday in South Africa, here are some amazing dishes you must try.

Culture Palate: Dishes from Ukraine

Typically, Ukrainian dishes are hearty, filling, and made with a variety of cooking techniques. In one dish, it’s not uncommon for cooks to have to boil or fry multiple ingredients before they’re finished together in the oven or in a bubbling stew. If you’re visiting Ukraine, make sure to check out some of these dishes. If you get a chance to taste them in their ideal form, you can easily recreate them at home.