I had a rough January – in large part I think because I was stuck in Chicago for all of it. Chicago is great of course but I need regular vacation in order to keep me energized and so I put together a list of the biggest benefits I get from regular travel. It doesn’t have to be a long vacation or anything – just a quick change in scenery to break up the monotony of life.
1) Reduce Stress – Getting away gives you the chance to de-stress and relax. Even on business trips just being out of the office gives me a whole new (better) outlook on my job and why I appreciate and enjoy what I do. Sure a big meeting can be stressful as well but travel stress is often ‘good’ stress filled with anticipation of what is going to come rather than fretting about things in the past.
2) Avoiding Monotony – This combined with the stress reduction are why I need frequent travel. Without it I feel like Phil from Groundhog Day who lived the same day over and over and over again for 30 – 40 years.
3) Being Active – Instead of sitting behind a desk all day and trying find time to cram a gym visit into the day I actually feel like I move around more while traveling. Whether it is walking to see the sites or just going from place to place in business meetings. I definitely feel more productive at the end of the day and don’t feel like I a lazy slug if I didn’t make it to the gym.
4) Creating lasting Memories – Travel combined with photography is exhilarating because the memories are frozen in time and bring you back to that time/day. It’s a great hobby.
5) Fall back in love with your spouse/partner/etc.. – Travel has the ability to re-ignite that spark (see number 2 above). No matter how hard we try you can’t recreate the feeling you get when traveling and doing so with someone you love just makes it all the better. I’m fortunate to have found a compatible travel buddy and while she won’t be joining me much the next two years (grad school for her) I’ll be taking lots of pictures so she can hopefully find some enjoyment out of the lasting memories I’ve tried to capture for the both of us.
Photo of the Day – Brandenburg Gate
Our second trip through Europe and Germany was one of my most anticipated places. Ever since I was a kid I always wanted to go there. I left highly disappointed while my wife loved it. I think the weather put a damper on my visit because it rained almost constantly which meant we were indoors more and I couldn’t bounce from site to site. Come to think of it that’s probably why G liked it – we slowed down and focused on the largest attractions (like the Brandenburg Gate) without feeling like we were in a continuous race to see everything.