Are you busy planning your next trip when the international borders re-open? Like a gym junkie, travel is good for the body and the brain. As much as you may crave that endorphin brain-hit as you battle with weights, run for miles, or cycle cross-country—travel gives you the same highs. Endorphins allow you to push through pain and stress, while dopamine gives you a happy-high upon reaching your goals. Think of the excitement when boarding a flight, trekking to the top of that mountain in a far-off country, or lying on a stunning beach reading a good book under a palm tree. Travel makes you feel good, feeds your soul, and rejuvenates your mindset.

The destination you pick for your holiday will reflect your personality and mood at the time of booking. Whether you are naturally an introverted person or a newly formed COVID-introvert—you have had to deal with a sometimes horrible public during work hours—you will be inclined to drool over a holiday in the mountains where there are only goats to annoy you. While the extroverts and Covid-downtrodden party lovers will head for vibrant cities, sunny beaches flooded with seaside bars and island rave venues.

Here are six reasons why travel is actually a health-enhancing treatment, whether you are seeking a wild soirée or personal solace:

1. Everyone likes to have money in the bank, but the true meaning of being rich and happy, is to travel. It's not measured on your bank balance—playing Scrooge will have you sitting on your doorstep watching the world go past. Suppose you plan to travel 'when you are older' while counting your shekels when young. In that case, you may entirely miss out on seeing the world around you. A walking frame does not enhance the experience of exploring Machu Picchu, and you will need extra packing space for the necessary incontinent pads. When the brain goes foggy, you won't remember where you've been on that fabulous and expensive tour.

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2. Statistics show that travel will increase your lifespan. Everyone has hectic daily lives. If you don't take a vacation at least once a year, you probably won't live as long as the slacker named George in the next office cubicle, who always seems to be 'on holiday.' Stress is a killer that can be avoided even if it means regularly indulging in four-day escapes rather than four-week marathon vacations.

3. Do you take your work with you on holidays? Stop it! Workaholics, or those who believe that the workplace can't function without their input, will have fewer memories of their holiday than those who leave their laptops at home. If you are a laptop addict, you may as well stay at work on the stress-out treadmill. In all likelihood, it will culminate in a heart attack and a hospital-vacation; if you are not planted in the ground forever.

4. Travel will give you the 'smarts.' Travel offers you the opportunity to exercise the dusty attributes that you may not use in your everyday life. Get the wily, creative, and solution solving brain-waves happening trying to communicate in a different language or problem-solving when your flight-train connection is out of whack. Fire up the brain receptors when you experience new sounds, tastes and smells, which will increase your grey matter's plasticity.

5. By traveling, you will learn more about yourself. You get to shrug off mundane routines and embrace the unknown, discover new passions and make friends with strangers. Your mind opens up to unthought-of possibilities, and fear will take a backseat to realising how capable you are when challenged. Your previously held convictions may be tested, while new beliefs may be formed by experiences you have never had before. Travel broadens your horizons by opening your eyes to the people, cultures, and the world around you.

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6.  Put a bit of love back into your relationship—more intimacy happens when you escape the rat race of everyday life. Get that loving-mojo happening with indulgent couple spas, skinny dipping in a private pool, or playing footsies in an outdoor tub on a verandah. And for those seeking a relationship, one in fifty people meet their partner while traveling.

Apart from all of the buzzy benefits above, you will also have plenty of incredible, weird, and wonderful stories to gossip about when you return from your holiday. But, do remember, boasting about having wild naughty sex on a Moroccan rooftop might fall into the realms of oversharing.

Gail Palethorpe, a self proclaimed Australian gypsy, is a freelance writer, photographer and eternal traveller. Check out her website Gail Palethorpe Photography and her Shutterstock profile.