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Traveling Hobbies

On the benefits of traveling, and how hobbies can keep us well-traveled.

I want to travel more.

Common saying

We love to say we want to travel more

10% of Americans include traveling in their New Year’s resolutions. That might not sound like a lot, but traveling is actually the most-popular resolution that is an activity or an experience rather than a personal goal or a habit (such as improving physical health, saving more money and exercising more, that are at the top of the list, with about 20% each). It seems like we want to become our better selves – so we could travel more often.

Traveling is the most popular New Year’s resolution that isn’t a personal goal or a habit, but rather an activity or experience.

What are Americans’ New Year’s resolutions for 2023? | YouGov

And we really should travel more

Globe-trotting isn’t just fun and interesting – there’s adequate research to show that traveling can be highly beneficial for emotional, mental and physical health as well.

The Yale Tribune | Scientifically Proven Health Benefits of Traveling Abroad

Foreign experiences increase both cognitive flexibility and depth and integrativeness of thought, the ability to make deep connections between disparate forms.

For a More Creative Brain, Travel – The Atlantic

People who travel abroad are more open, emotionally stable, culturally aware, and experience an increase in cognitive flexibility.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (

[…] positive effects of travel experiences on perceived health and wellness have been demonstrated by multiple studies.

Health and Wellness Benefits of Travel Experiences: A Literature Review

While travling can make us more mentally resilient, it can also enhance our immune system:

Travel exposes you to different environments, which create stronger antibodies and boost your immune system significantly.

The Yale Tribune | Scientifically Proven Health Benefits of Traveling Abroad

In fact, even just anticipating a planned trip can do wonders:

It appears that those who are waiting to go on a holiday are much happier with their life as a whole, experience less negative or unpleasant feelings and thus enjoy an overall net positive effect or pleasant feelings.

A study of the impact of the expectation of a holiday on an individual’s sense of well-being

Hobbies can facilitate traveling

Only 22% of americans stick entirly to their New Year’s resolutions.

How many Americans are sticking to their New Year’s resolutions in 2023? | YouGov

Like in many other things, it is easier talking about wanting to travel more than actually doing it. Travel requires inspiration, motivation, decision-making, planning, time, and money. These don’t come easily.

Hobbies can help us with some of these, facilitating travel into our life as a by-product of pursuing a passion or interest, rather than it being a daunting task. Inspiration and motivation are built-in to an engaging leisure pursuit. Location and timing might be dictated by hobby-related opportunities and events – natural or man-made. Instead of adjusting travel to life, we’ll adjust life to travel. Hobbies can anchor traveling in our lives.

Hobbies can also enhance our travel experience and the benefits we derive from it, by promoting purposeful traveling, which is: “The key, critical process is multicultural engagement, immersion and adaptation”, rather than traveling as a tourist.

But as a psychologist, I believe that travel should routinely be used to achieve the opposite [of comfort, predictability, and relaxation]: to get out of your comfort zone, expose yourself to uncertainty, and eschew rest for exploration and learning. The result is personal growth — greater emotional agility, empathy, and creativity.

The Mental Benefits of Vacationing Somewhere New | Harvard Business Publishing

Find a hobby for traveling more

You probably want to travel more, because most of us do, and because otherwise you wouldn’t be visiting this page. Now, after we have established that you should be traveling more, as it is beneficial in many ways, and that hobbies can help you commit to traveling – what are you waiting for? Explore the traveling-related hobbies list, and integrate travel into your life.

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