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Why Travel is Good for You, Especially Now

Most streams of information these days are filled with bad news – the possibility of nuclear war, mass gun shootings, deadly natural disasters, terrorism, ideological extremism, political divisiveness, and the list goes on.

It can be overwhelming and make us want to close off. Multiple times this month, I’ve wanted to go home and turn off my phone, the lights, and just sit alone in silence in the dark. Instead, I go for a walk or a run, and clear my mind, if only momentarily.

Encouraging others to travel in such a momentous time may seem trivial and out of touch. But it’s precisely because of all the nastiness that surrounds that we should get out and open up to the world.

Travel is medicine for stress, fear, intolerance, and close-mindedness. Not only must we confront our insecurities and fears when we travel, we must also challenge our perspectives and assumptions. It sounds lofty, but this happens naturally without our noticing. By being exposed to different people, languages, places and ideas, each trip has the potential to leave us more malleable and open than before, more fascinated with the world and connected to those in it.

Traveling abroad and across the United States is perhaps our best hope for countering the negativity, fear, isolationism, and hate that threatens to consume us. Plus, it’s a lot of fun, and we could all use a little more adventure!

Every travel junkie knows this. It’s partly why once started, we keep going back for more, each travel experience building on the last one, transforming us into better versions of ourselves. More experienced, adaptable, compassionate, tolerant, resourceful, enriched, and interesting human beings.

So go where you’ve never been, go where you’re afraid to venture, go where you don’t speak the language, go where your wonder takes you. Just make sure you GO.

For women and solo travelers, check out these 10 tips before planning your next adventure.