As the holidays draw nearer, you’ll want to get further away from your office desk. — Pictures courtesy of Pixabay
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 — With the year-end holidays just around the corner, there’s no better time to start planning a well-deserved holiday.
If you’re thinking of going backpacking on your own, it’s likely you’ll run into similar travellers on your adventures.
A new survey by Agoda shows that many jet-setters today are choosing to fly solo to seek respite from the stresses of work and city living.
And why wouldn’t they? According to a joint study by the Global Commission on Ageing Transamerica Centre for Retirement Studies, women who vacation twice a year show a markedly lower risk of suffering from a heart attack compared to those who only go on holiday once every six years or so.
The same study observed similar results in men; men who forego an annual vacation display a 30 per cent higher risk of contracting heart disease.
With so many people caught up in a frenzied working climate, here are six reasons why you should be planning your next dream holiday.
Breaking the monotony of routine
Sometimes the daily grind can eat away at our physical and mental wellbeing.
It’s no surprise that we’re living in a world where work pressure is becoming more intense and personal responsibilities are getting heavier.
Agoda’s “Solo Travel Trends Survey 2018” found that relaxation and time to unwind were prime motivators for solo leisure travel globally (61 per cent).
The fact that we’re plugged into the world wide web 24/7 through our mobile devices also means that we’re constantly speeding through life in the digital lane.
Hence, an escape to a tropical oasis or the quiet countryside is the ideal way to unplug from the demands of modern living.
Experience new cultures and food
Trying out the local food is a must for many tourists visiting foreign lands.
One of the greatest perks of travelling to a new place is taking in the local culture and cuisine.
Enjoying a scenic boat ride through the Venetian canals or taking refuge in a ramen bar on a cold winter’s night in Tokyo are just a few examples of the simple joys you can experience while on holiday.
By cultivating these experiences, we get a sense of just how diverse our world is and how much is out there for us to see.
Make new friends from around the globe
Your solo trip may just turn into a romantic getaway for two.
Travelling solo is a great opportunity to form friendships with other independent backpackers, and maybe even spark a holiday romance.
The novelty and excitement of an overseas trip create the perfect conditions for falling in love according to Arthur Aron, a research professor from New York’s Stony Brook University.
“Many years ago, we did a study that showed if you were to meet someone on a scary suspension bridge, you were more likely to have an attraction to that person than if you were to meet that same person on a safer, less scary bridge,” Aron told the Telegraph.
The physical sensation induced by being on the scary suspension bridge is similar to the feelings we experience while on holiday due to the new environment we have to contend with.
So who knows, you might just meet The One on your next getaway to a foreign land!
Shop ’til you drop
There’s no harm in a little retail therapy.
Shopaholics are bound to have a good time traveling especially in cities known for their vibrant shopping scene.
From flea markets to high-end retail, travelling offers people a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pick up something truly unique as a souvenir of their trip.
Many holiday destinations will be able to cater to photography buffs and Instagram darlings alike.
Instagram-crazy folks won’t find a shortage of awesome locations for pictures as many overseas destinations offer themselves up as a photographer’s dream.
An idyllic sunset in Koh Samui or the bright lights of the city buildings in Seoul would make an amazing backdrop for your next social media post.
Furthermore, studies have shown that experiencing a new culture helps kickstart the flow of creative juices, so you could not only be snapping awesome shots during your trip but cooking up other cool ideas as well.
“Foreign experiences increase both cognitive flexibility and depth and integrativeness of thought, the ability to make deep connections between disparate forms,” said Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School who has observed concrete links between creativity and international travel.
Learn a new language
Try learning a new language the next time you go abroad for a richer travelling experience.
Travelling is a great opportunity to brush up on your skills if you’re looking to add another language to your repertoire.
Simple tasks like ordering food in a foreign language or learning to read signs in a different alphabet allow you to get to grips with a new language quickly.
Moreover, communicating with locals allows you to get an authentic experience of what it’s like to speak the language like a real pro.