14 Scientific Effects Traveling Has On Your Mind, Body And Soul

by Ashley Fern

Traveling — the best way to escape life's problems and recharge your emotional batteries.

We only get roughly 15 vacation days per year, so we must be careful in our traveling decisions, regardless of the fact that we'd like four times that amount.

But as great as travel can be, it actually has some pretty crazy effects on your body, and no, they aren't all positive.

In fact, most of them are pretty negative, so you better make sure that trip you are planning makes up for it! Just kidding... well, kind of.

Your bathroom and sleeping schedule are probably the two biggest aspects that will take a hit whilst bopping around.

I mean if you think about it, have you ever noticed a halt in your bathroom tendencies when you crashed at a friend's house for the weekend?

Yup... we know.

So how else does your body take a toll when you start jet setting around the world?

1. Extended travel can actually affect your personality.

It's no surprise that traveling takes you outside of your comfort zone. In fact, this is perhaps why people crave traveling to the extent they do.

In psychology, there is this concept of the "Big Five," which refers to the five dominant characteristics that describe a person's personality.

These traits include neuroticism, openness, extraversion, conscientiousness and agreeableness.

The more travelers interact with new people and immerse themselves in a new culture, the more their goals are aligned with the openness personality trait.

2. Pimples will hit you on the first step of your journey.

You got up this morning and put on a fresh face of makeup. You headed to the airport without a care in the world — that is until you actually boarded the plane.

You really have to pee, so you head to the back of the plane, but what greets you in the mirror stops you dead in your tracks.

Your once blemish-free face now resembles the natural terrain of Mars.

Why? The low humidity that occurs in flight is enough to drive your skin (and you) crazy. Don't worry, we all become oilier as a defense mechanism and walk off the flight with a fresh face full of zits.

3. Your diet will abruptly change.

The second you go on vacation, so do your rigorous eating habits.

When you're traveling, you are much more likely to indulge in the local foods, regardless of the fact that you swore you wouldn't eat a carb.

But isn't the point of vacationing to eat whatever you want? This brings us to...

4. Your exercise habits will probably minimize.

Who has time for a gym routine when you're off sightseeing?

There are no SoulCycle classes when you're backpacking through a jungle, and there are no barre classes on a remote exotic island.

But that's just what happens when you're on vacation — your schedule is on vacation too.

5. It gives you a new perspective on life.

Observing how other cultures interact is the fastest way to make you more aware of the culture you came from.

Things you previously took for granted are now put into perspective, which just makes you more appreciative of your roots.

6. You're not pregnant; you're just irregular.

When you are putting yourself under extra stress, your body is thrown for a loop.

Not to mention the time shift will naturally f*ck up your biological clock, throwing your entire cycle out of whack.

7. Traveler's constipation is that voice you've been ignoring.

You thought this was a myth? Oh, how wrong you are. Most people can't regulate their bathroom tendencies while traveling because they are so consumed with anxiety.

There are a ton of factors that cause bathroom issues for travelers, and the first can be chalked up to the change in your diet.

Followed by that is the complete and utter deviation from your standard routine, as well as jet lag.

8. Nothing will suck your energy dry quite like jet lag.

Everyone who's experienced jet lag before knows exactly how big of a bitch it can be.

To put it in perspective, each time you cross a time zone where the clock moves an hour, it will take a full day for your body's natural groove to adjust accordingly.

9. Flying causes more fatigue and headaches than your crazy ex did.

If the time difference doesn't get you, then the air pressure sure will. Have you ever wondered why you get so tired and irritable on airplanes?

Well it's because the air pressure keeps people from completely absorbing the oxygen in flight. What does this result in? Altitude sickness — how lovely.

10. It increases your emotional stability.

Since traveling helps put life into perspective, it also has the beneficial byproduct of making you less anxious when it comes to changes in your day-to-day life.

Instead of coming at these changes with unease and angst, travelers are more open and willing to accept things that deviate from their standard routine.

11. You get a rush of adrenaline.

Hiking and skydiving are just two examples of creating an adrenaline rush while traveling.

This is a huge motivator of why people travel — they want that rush they can't get at home.

12. Your brain gets stronger and faster when you're speaking another language.

If you really think about it, it makes sense, but luckily science is here to back it up.

Sure, you may not always be using this second language, but think about it like muscle memory — your brain and your body remember what you are capable of, and it brings you back to your strong powerhouse.

13. You become more aware of everything.

When you are traveling, you really have no choice but to be hyper-aware of your surroundings.

Your adventures are new, fun and exciting, causing you to take notice of absolutely everything around you.

14. You're more likely to fall in love out of your comfort zone.

How much easier is it to fall in love when you are removed from your reality? You leave all of your worries and responsibilities at home while venturing off to new and exciting places.

Life just seems better when we're relaxed, so it would only make sense falling in love outside of your comfort zone is such a common occurrence.

I mean your dates are spent hiking mountains, exploring beaches and having romantic dinners filled with exotic cuisine — even the most heartless of individuals couldn't help falling in love under these circumstances.