I am an avid believer of road trips. There are a million reasons why but here are three reasons why they are necessary for you to be a happy, functioning human being.
- Planning a road trip ups your endorphin levels .
It’s easy to feel that even before you step on the gas pedal. Dopamine,a hormone responsible for making you feel happy, is released when we are excited to do something new. The moment that I started researching Banff National Park in Canada, my mood definitely elevated just at the mere thought of one day seeing the gatorade colored lakes in person. When work was very stressful because of to the upcoming projects that were due, I did not let it get to me because in the back of my mind I was planning what states to drive through. When you get stressed at work, sometimes you forget about the amazing world that exists outside our cubicles.
2. New scenery changes your perspective.
In the summer of 2017 we drove more than 50 hours just to get to Moraine Lake. That drive consisted of many different kinds of scenery, depending on whetherppp’ we were in Canada or the US as well as if it was night or day. It’s easy to think that everyone in the world lives like you and is surrounded by the same kinds of sights and people. When you step out of your comfort zone though, you will see how others live and reevaluate your own beliefs and values. Your mind loves when you present it new things. Areas of the brain that allow you to pay attention are most activated when you try something new. As you become more familiar with a task, your mind will start to wander and even daydream.
3. Challenges on road trips boost your resilience.
Road trips consist of challenges. Those may come in the form of not finding an airbnb or motel to sleep in for the night(therefore sleeping at Motel Walmart parking lot), nearly running out of gas right when you reach a ghost town where the only sign of life is a bar with very creepy old men standing outside, or perhaps getting lost in the mountains when the wifi signal doesn’t reach you no matter how many times you refresh your GPS. Those challenges and how you decide to react to them can change you and make you become a stronger person. The obstacles you would once scream and or cry about are the ones you face with a calm breath and determination to overcome them.
So, maybe road trips are not the solution to everyone’s happiness levels to soar but it’s worth giving it a try. Even a two hour road trip can help you breathe some fresh air into your lungs.