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Research Says People Who Travel Are Happier

By Sandy Schroeder

Considering the state of the world right now, most of us are not rushing out to travel, but for those who want to think about the future, researchers are finding people who love to travel are happier than homebodies.

Washington State University assistant professor, Chun-Chu Chen, surveyed 500 people on their travel experiences to see how travel affected their happiness and well-being. The results show people who traveled at least 75 miles from home were 7 percent happier than  those who rarely travel.

Family, friends and careers play the biggest part in most  lives, but Chen discovered travel may be that extra spice that adds "a small but noticeable" lift to life.

As we all move toward the future clutching our hopes and dreams, travel may be a healthy motivator.  Long before the  pandemic, I watched travel play out in my family. 

I watched my son go from a teen who discovered rock climbing to a seasoned traveler who moved around the globe, sampling many cultures. He was on Everest twice, and traveled in South America, Europe and Asia. Right now he is biking daily, taking hikes in the hills, and planning trips for the future.  

Another member of my family, a favorite uncle, raised his family with a focus on regular vacations.  He and his wife pursued careers and had a daughter who became an engineer and had three sons.  Through it all, my uncle always made room for those summer vacations around the country. He and his wife and daughter saw a lot of America. Later, he included his grandsons in their trips, broadening their horizons too. He is one of the funniest, happiest  people that I know.

Professor Chen said, "The more likely people talk about and plan vacations the more likely they are to take them."

What to Do Right Now

For starters, travel plans might begin with a big map on the wall, lots of evening family discussions,  and online research to see what day trips, weekend adventures, or longer vacations could  look like.

  • Pinpoint the destinations
  • Talk about things you want to do there
  • Outline research to be done
  • Get everybody to speak up

In the interim, travel might begin with short family car trips, low key hikes or bike runs. While you are at it, take note of family fitness and plug in 30-minute activities for everyone to stay in shape for all of the future fun.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Atlanta, Ga

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