Although it was a longtime thought that travel soothes the soul, it was actually proven scientifically. A study done by Cornell University shows that if we spend our money on experiences rather than possessions, we get the most enjoyment out of it. In fact, the enjoyment and benefits we get from something like booking a new vacation begins long before we even go. Have you ever heard the expression, "You need something to look forward to?" When we have long distance goal, it actually lifts our mood and makes us happier. For your maximum well-being, use your hard-earned money for a new experience over a material item that will only satisfy you for a short moment.
Travel is so fulfilling to us because not only do we get to experience a new place, but we take photos and create memories that will last a lifetime. Travel forces you to fully be in the moment and makes you feel alive. It is so exciting to go to a new place and know that you're going to have an amazing time. Research actually showed that people purposefully held off on experiences so that they could savor the thought of having them eventually. Reasons for that choice are because people feel more socially connected to each other through experiences than through material possessions, which often incite jealousy and remorse. Possessions can also make people feel extremely competitive, leading to negative emotions, while experiences make people happier overall and often give an "emotional high" that lasts long after the experience ends.
The research also showed that with physical objects, people eventually adapt to them and they'll end up providing decreasing happiness and pleasure as time goes on. Although you may have once been excited to splurge on a fancy car or designer bag, eventually you will become used to that item and it will not affect you in the same way. Experiences provide a joy that will increase as time passes and provides a reflection of joy no matter how long ago it occurred. It doesn't have to be a two-week long vacation; even just a drive to the beach or a mid-day adventure can bring lifelong happiness.
Adventures provide emotional benefits that will last forever, even if it wasn't exactly a good experience. How many times have you told a story about the horrible meal that you had at a restaurant where you got food poisoning and were sick for days? Experiences provide memories that enrich your life and give stories to tell so that you're never bored. To sum it all up, science has proved that travel is the secret to happiness.
Studying abroad, I know all of these facts to be true. While traveling never works out exactly the way that you planned and you can never expect anything, life is never short of amazing moments and is always beyond entertaining. You experience something new every day, whether it is a new city or a new cup of coffee. The aforementioned study simply gives us the extra push we sometimes need in order to live life to the fullest.