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Travelling As A Too lAgainst Stress

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Dear extremely overstressed, overworked, and under-traveled person

You, yes you, need a vacation. Your stress levels have skyrocketed and we only have one explanation: you need to get away. Admit it, you haven’t gotten away since you don’t remember when. RED ALERT! RED ALERT! On average, forty-one percent of American workers let paid vacation days go to waste. Forty-one percent, that’s ridiculous! Do you really want to be part of that horrible statistic? Many Americans greatly suffer from stress to begin with, why wouldn’t they want to get a chance to relax and unwind?

Obviously, we need a change. But what? What can we possibly do to relieve stress, use vacation days, and make life more fun? TAKE A VACATION.

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Luckily, vacations come in all shapes and sizes. They range from a relaxing week at an all-inclusive beach-side resort, to a thrilling trip filled with riding ziplines, climbing rocks, and finding adventure. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! People can also take vacations to third-world countries to help the poor, or even stay in the United States and help out their fellow Americans. You can vacation to the mountains or to the beach, to the desert or to the forest. Any way you look at it, vacations help you experience the world around you and look at it in a different way. STAY TUNED to hear more about the positive effects of vacation!

Physically, mentally, and emotionally, vacations positively impact your health. Physically, taking a vacation to a big city that demands lots of walking, or a state park that requires much hiking, the exercise you do will help your health. Without even knowing it, you’ll burn off calories like it’s nobody’s business. Experiencing the outdoors also helps you take in more vitamin D, a natural vitamin crucial to you health. To add to it all, you’ll have tons fun! Your emotional health also benefits when you take a break from your usual duties. Whether you lead something as big as the United States, or you actively participate in the PTA, everyone needs to get away sometime. Time away also provides a good time for life-reflection. Away from all the hustle and bustle of work, chores, commitments, etc., you can focus on bettering yourself without any distractions. Mentally, vacations can positively impact your brain. New experiences trigger new neurological pathways, making your brain stronger and healthier. Scientifically, a healthier brain leads to a longer, happier life. And who doesn’t want that?

Vacations give you the chance to immerse yourself in a different culture. The best part, you ask? You don’t even have to leave the country! If you want to, I highly encourage it. Visiting different countries gives you a new perspective on life. It helps you to become more open-minded and accepting of other cultures. Besides, seeing how people live around the world can amaze you. In my own experience, I have seen the sun setting on the Pacific Ocean. I have participated in an Easter celebration in Central America, and I have eaten seafood on the coast of South Korea.

If you don’t have the time or money to splurge on an abroad vacation, consider venturing to a different part of your own country. Since the United States, known as the “melting pot,” has such a diverse culture, you don’t have to go far to find something you’ve never seen before. Big cities such as Chicago, New York, and New Orleans have sections dedicated to other countries. Chinatown, Little Italy, and the French Quarter can give you an out-of-country experience without even having to leave. We are so fortunate to live in a country with so many different cultures. We can find new experiences right outside our door. I encourage you to take advantage of these awesome opportunities and wander around our great country. Remember, not all those who wander are lost.

One of the best things about traveling? You’ll never run out of places to go! Currently, our world has roughly 195 countries. Granted, some we can’t access at the current time, and some propose lots of danger, but those only make up a few. Our own country buzzes with life with 50 states each different from the next. Some, like California, have dense populations, but others, like Wyoming and Alaska, hold state parks and wildlife. In places like these, you could go miles without seeing another human being. The United States has such a diverse culture which provides many opportunities for travelers like you and I.

With so many places to go, even planning vacations benefits your health. As the excitement builds, positive hormones run through your brain. After planning a vacation, you have something to look forward to as you go through your day-to-day life. As you pass through, you know that soon you’ll have a little bit more excitement. Nothing can match the sense of wonder someone feels when he or she waits for a vacation to arrive. Will I enjoy it? How will it differ from my own life? These questions contribute to the buzzing feeling the pre-vacation jitters give.

Vacations have also been proven to enhance good family life. No, it doesn’t just happen in the movies. Family vacations actually provide chances to become closer to your children. This gives you the opportunity to let your children know how much you care about them. Exposing them to the world keeps their minds open for the rest of their lives. Not to mention they’ll love the experiences you’ll give them. Keep in mind, toys break, clothes get too small, but a memory of a vacation will last forever.

Before I leave you to plan your ultimate vacation, legally I must share some of the fine print. DO NOT plan a vacation if you don’t enjoy any of the following: having fun, loving life, experiencing new things, meeting new people, living life to the fullest, and making memories to last you forever. CAUTION: Vacations might also come with a few of the following: brighter outlook on the world, healthier attitude and lifestyle, extreme relaxation and stress relief, and better knowledge of the world. SIDE EFFECTS INCLUDE: smiling, laughing, hugging, joy, wondering, amazement, increase of knowledge, and appreciation for the world around you. Be careful, these side effects have contagious behavior and may never go away. If they do begin to dwindle, another vacation may help.

If anything I’ve said interests you at all, stop whatever you’re doing and take action IMMEDIATELY. There is never a wrong time for a vacation. Just remember, always wear sunscreen, always remember your passport, and never stop wondering.


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