Mill Valley News

The mental relief from traveling is worth the trouble of leaving

Although traveling can cause stress, the benefits from it make the hassle worth it

Katya Gillig, Mill Valley News editor-in-chief

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The first thing most people told me after I said I was going to miss two weeks of school to go to Australia was “you must be so stressed out,” and I have to admit I was. The thought of missing two weeks worth of lessons and homework seemed daunting. I’ve been to 11 countries, so I have done my fair share of traveling, but I had never missed this much school before. But then I put my stress in perspective. I was going to miss two weeks to go on the trip of a lifetime.

Not only did I realize how lucky I was but I quickly learned that there are many other benefits to traveling abroad, such as better health. A study by the Global Commision on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies showed that those who travel twice a year have a significantly lower risk of having a heart attack.

Traveling also lowers stress. It didn’t take long for all of my worries about missing school to melt away. As I walked along the beach in Melbourne and through the mountains in New Zealand, I forgot all about the stress I dealt with at home. One study showed that it only takes three days of vacation to feel less anxious, more rested and in a better mood. And this stress relief lasts. Despite having a lot of work to get done when I got back, I was more relaxed after my vacation and was able to more easily deal with my workload.

Despite missing all of this school, I gained so many new experiences. I learned just as much during my two weeks abroad as I do in normal school weeks.

Even though I was super stressed about missing school for two weeks, it was entirely worth it. In the future, I will always jump at the chance to travel, despite the stress it can cause.

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