Creating a travel itinerary is the foundation of every great vacation, listing down all the must-goes, must-eats, and must-haves of your destination. However, after scouring through numerous articles of the top 10 best restaurants you can’t miss, your itinerary might become a bit repetitive – leave the hotel, eat, walk around, eat, shop, and go back to the hotel. It’s starting to look like a typical day back home just in a different setting. Add more spice and excitement to your trip by including outdoor activities such as hiking the Matterhorn, paddle boarding at one of Switzerland’s 7000 lakes, or cycling through vineyards. Here are a few reasons why you should swap that third bowl of cheese fondue to some durable outdoor shoes.
Improving mental health
We’re living in a fast-paced, connected world where escape from dreaded emails and over-the-top revisions seem futile. The vacation responder you’ve set up is mostly ignored due to the constant notifications from your phone. Numerous studies have already shown how being connected to technology 24/7 is bad for mental health. Outdoor activities can give your mind a much-needed break from the stresses and demands of daily life. You are forced to be present in the current moment, concentrating on every step you take and every breath you make. Worries about the past or the future are put on hold. After, all who has time to think about spreadsheets when you’re trying to balance on a paddleboard to avoid falling in the cold, refreshing lake?
Cultivating wanderlust and a sense for adventure
It is easy to be stuck in the routine of every day – going through the motions of sleeping, eating, and working. Most, if not all, have sedentary lifestyles brought about by the rise of white-collar work. One must be deliberate in including physical activity and spending time outside of concrete buildings. Cultivate your wanderlust and sense of adventure by exploring different activities to take you outside of your comfort zone. Being on a trip means experiencing something new that you can’t possibly get back home.
Building confidence and challenging boundaries
There’s a lot of “Can I do this?” and “I can’t believe I pulled that off” when an outdoor activity challenges what you are capable of. The great outdoors is a wise teacher, imparting wisdom to lead you to become a better version of yourself. Being a beginner will seem daunting and embarrassing at first, but the sense of accomplishment waiting at the end can be sweet and rewarding. Through difficult adventures, you’ll learn your limits, find the courage to overcome them and build confidence as you see yourself getting better.
Forging bonds with people
Hiking up the Matterhorn, camping, or doing a sport-related activity entails working with a team of other people – both new and familiar faces. Your social skills will be honed as you practice how to act in front of people with different quirks and personalities to achieve the same goal. You’ll be able to bond and develop a sense of community with your family, friends, and even strangers. As they say, adversity forges friendships.
Avoid the temptation to stick to a run-of-the-mill travel itinerary on your next trip. Your vacation should be more than following your usual routine outside of your home. Add outdoor activities and experience the fun and benefits they bring to your life.