Sidemen, the hidden gem of Bali

What about starting by saying that Sidemen was my favorite place in Bali. This picturesque village took my breath away and become my number one place on the island. Despite the overdevelopment elsewhere this unique region in east Bali still has the feeling as if not much has changed.

IMG_9831Just try to picture hills and valleys covered in lush jungle as far as the eye can see, morning mist, blooming flowers, and a place that emanates tranquility and beauty and puts you in close contact with nature at its best, this is Sidemen.

Here you can relax, contemplate the views and do some hiking trails and paths through some delicious green scenery.

In opposition to most of  Bali island, that have too many backpackers, too much traffic and way to much noise and pollution Sidemen is just a piece of heaven. The small villages are surrounded by rice fields and agricultural land, small traditional Hindu temples, and rivers.

Here they grow rice, corn, tapioca, coffee, salak (snake fruit), chilies, and flowers that are used in the canang sari offerings.

Sideman is found about 90 minutes’ drive northeast of Ubud and is a fairly easy ride by motorbike.

Sideman is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of other tourist areas in Bali. The perfect place to relax, hear and feel the sounds of nature.

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

🏍 find out more easy day trips from Ubud 🚌

Yeh Pulu temple _ Bali

Yeh Pulu is a small archaeological heritage site from the 14th century located in the middle of beautiful rice fields and freshwater springs. This archaeological site is located in the central Bali highland village of Bedulu.

The site is located close to Ubud so you can get there with your own wheels (~10 to 15 minutes) and it’s also possible to walk through the rice fields from Goa Gajah to Yeh Pulu (~45-55 minutes walk).

The temple is quite small but displays an impressive 25m-long array of carvings. The name Yeh Pulu means ‘water of the stone vessel’ in archaic Balinese.

How to get there: the best way is to rent a scooter (~Rp.60,000 $4 day) the traffic between Ubud and Bedulo is quite heavy but is a short distance.

Entrance Fee: Rp15,000/ adult ($1)

Dress Code: Sarong is required to enter the temple, and can be borrowed from the temple’s entrance for free.

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

🏍 find out more easy day trips from Ubud 🚌

Pura Besakih, The mother temple _ East Bali

The Besakih Temple is known as the “Mother Temple of Bali“, located 1000 metres high on the slopes of Mount Agung. It is the most important, the largest and holiest temple of Hindu religion in Bali, and unfortunately, it’s also a place where tourists are scammed and ripped off.

 

About Pura Besakih

Pura Besakih is a complex of 23 separate temples, the largest and central is the Pura Penataran Agung. The complex is located in the village of Besakih in eastern Bali, Indonesia.

The Pura Besakih complex hosts countless rituals and ceremonies every year, so it’s quite easy to step into one. Each temple has its own odalan (temple festival), based on the 210-day Pawukon calendar. They also celebrate the full moon each month as well as major holidays.

 

If you visit the complex during a ceremony expect large crowds dressed in traditional clothing.

 

What to expect

It’s possible to visit Pura Besakih on a day trip from Ubud, without being part of a tour, but be extra careful at this place since there are numerous stories of scams here. Because of this many people had a disappointing experience and wished they didn’t have visited the Pura Besakih complex.

I knew about this before, so I was aware of the scams beforehand. I didn’t have any problems but I saw many tourists being hassled. Visiting Pura Besakih can be definitely frustrating but for me was still worth the visit. Although its difficult for me to say, that you should visit the temples after all I read and saw.

Entrance fee: RP.60,000 ($3.95) (the most expensive temple I came across in Bali)

What you need to know before you go:
  • You do not need a guide, kindly say no and ignore them. You can visit the complex on your own even during ceremonies. Don’t believe if they say that there is a special prayer and it’s closed to tourists but the guide can help you visit the temple.
  • Don’t believe when they say the temple is closed for ceremonies, you can always walk among the temples and there’s no guide that can get you into a closed temple.
  • You can go anywhere you like, since you paid the ticket but not to the shrines.
  • Donations are not mandatory (you give money if you want to) that’s why they are called donations and not entrance fee.
  • If you want to give a donation do not believe the donation amounts that are in the guestbook. They are known to add a zero or two to entries, so you feel bad if you don’t give the same.
  • Bring your own sarong to avoid having to rent or buy one. The Sarong is not included in the ticket price.
  • At the parking lot, sellers will try to sell all sorts of stuff saying that you need it to enter the temple or ceremony you do not need anything except a ticket and a sarong.
  • Don’t accept the offer “come and pray with me” if you enter in a forbidden temple you can be fined.
  • Don’t allow anyone to keep your ticket, or you will need to buy another one.

Keep all the above in mind and you will be fine 🙂

Have you been to Pura Besakih or have you heard about other scams?

 

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

🏍 find out more easy day trips from Ubud 🚌

Tirta Empul, the temple of purification _ Bali

Tirta Empul is a temple complex and a holy mountain spring, located in the village of Manukaya in central Bali. It’s perfect to visit as a day out from Ubud. The village is a 30-minute drive from Ubud (approximately 15 Km~9 miles).

The temple was founded around a naturally occurring spring (Tirta Empul meaning Holy Spring) and is over a thousand years old. This temple is dedicated to Vishnu, who is the Hindu god of water.

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Tirta Empul was discovered in AD 962 and believed to have magical powers, the holy springs here bubble up into a large, crystal-clear pool. The spring feeds various purification baths, pools and fish ponds, which all flow to the Tukad Pakerisan River.

 

Hindu worshippers stand in the pools waiting to dip their heads under the water spouts in a purification ritual known as ‘melukat’. The water in the pools is believed to have magical powers and local Balinese come here to purify themselves.

 

Visitors are welcome to take part in this self-cleaning process. Just bring a towel and a change of clothes if you want to take part in the purification ceremony.

Behind the purification pools, is the ‘inner courtyard’ the place where people go to pray.

 

How to get there: the best way is the rent a scooter (~Rp.60,000 $4 day) the journey is very pleasant and beautiful through lush green rice fields and coconut trees.

Entrance Fee: Rp15,000/ adult ($1) and Rp.2,000 ($0.13) to park your scooter

Dress Code: Sarong is required to enter the temple as parts of the site are considered holy. Sarongs are available at the temple’s entrance to be and can be rented for a small donation.

Other information: 

There are lockers and a changing area available, and women should wear a shirt, preferably one that covers the shoulders.

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🏍 find out more easy day trips from Ubud 🚌

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

Gunung kawi Temple _ Bali

Pura Gunung Kawi is a beautiful archeological site, and a sacred place for Hindus located in the island of Bali, in the heart of the village of Tampak Siring, roughly 15KM from Ubud.

Is a gorgeous place full of art history, stunning views, and the environment in Gunung Kawi still is very natural and untouched, this temple is also known as the ‘Valley of The Kings’.

The temple is built into a steep valley overlooking the Pakserian River, a river that also snakes its way past the sacred Pura Tirta Empul.

It’s best to visit the temple early in the morning if you want to have a relaxing and peaceful experience, although you will not miss all the vendors.

There are more than 100 stairs to the temple, with great views over rice fields, the river and, jungle. Once you reach the temple you will find 10 candi (shrines) that are memorials cut out of the rock face in imitation of actual statues and alters dating back to the 11th century. The shrines are carved into some eight-meter high sheer cliff faces.

This temple is quite a unique archaeological sites in Bali due to its impressive carved rock structures.

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How to get there: the best way is the rent a scooter (~Rp.60,000 $4 day) the journey is very pleasant and beautiful through lush green rice fields and coconut trees.

Entrance Fee: Rp15,000/ adult ($1) and Rp.2,000 ($0.13) to park your scooter

Dress Code: Sarong is required to enter the temple as parts of the site are considered holy.

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

🏍 find out more easy day trips from Ubud 🚌

The Central Mountains _ Gunung Batur area _ Bali

Bali it’s not only beaches and temples it’s also mountains and volcanoes. The Gunung Batur area is located in the center of the island of Bali, and since 2012 was added to the Unesco list of geologic wonders. Central Bali is the most mountainous area of Bali, and also the more isolated and thus more traditional.

Mount Batur has a height of 1717m above sea level the higher elevation also means that the temperatures are much cooler than in other parts of Bali. This region is perfect for trekkers and nature lovers.

Mount Batur is an active volcano, that has erupted several times over the time and has produced ‘black lava‘ which you can still see today. The most recent was eruption was in 2000. 

The crater has stunning views and there are a couple of villages around to explore. Kintamani is the main one.

Kintamani has a network of traditional mountain villages resting along the rim of the Mount Batur caldera. Kintamani is also home to Pura Ulun Danu Batur, one of the holiest of the nine directional temples of Bali.

To the west of Kintamani lies Bedugul, situated at the shores of mountain lake Beratan.

To get the best views, get up before the sun rises to climb Mount Batur, its a relatively easy 2-hour trek. The hike is mostly off-road trails and rocky terrain.

If you are looking for something more challenging the Mount Agung is the right one for you located in the east side of Bali. You can do a trekking to watch a breathtaking sunrise at Mount Agung, the highest mountain in Bali. This climbing is rather a challenge and requires physical fitness, so for serious mountain climbers

Central Mountains Highlights

Munduk area (mountain and waterfall)

Besakih Temple (the largest and holiest Hindu in Bali)

Pura Luhur Batukua (Temple)

Ulun Danu Bratan (Temple in Bedugul)

Danau Tamblingan (volcanic lake) 

Gunung Batur (active volcano)

villages around Danau Batur (scenic views up the surrounding peaks)

Antosari Road (rural drives through rice terraces)

Jatiluwih (Unesco recognized rice terraces)

Botanical gardens (close to Candi Kuning)

🏍 find out more easy day trips from Ubud 🚌

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

Cambridge, where to go?

You have many reasons to visit this extraordinary university town. Cambridge has a unique vibe and will amaze you with its history, architecture, and natural beauty.

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When visiting Cambridge you can’t miss the colleges and it’s gardens, the riverside, all the green meadows surrounding the city and the Backs (gardens and parks line up beside the river behind the colleges).

Walking and cycling are the best ways to visit the city.

The town is full of cyclists, students and tourists, but still has a nice vibe and it’s far from being a big chaotic city.

The Colleges are truly amazing even if you only contemplate them from the outside.

Before your arrival, you should check on the internet if the King’s College Chapel or the Trinity College are hosting a concert during your visit. This is excellent way to visit both of this emblematic places (sometimes for free).

Most of the museums are free in Cambridge, if you have time you should visit them all, if not I recommend the fabulous Fitzwilliam Museum, the Kettle’s Yard and the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

If you are a fan of Sir Isaac Newton, stop at Trinity College to see the famed apple tree where it was said to be the inspiration for his theory of gravity after being bopped on the head by one of the fallen fruits. 2015-01-09 23.58.30.jpg

If the weather invites for a picnic the Botanic Gardens are a must or a punting session through the river Cam.

It is always something happening in Cambridge, so make sure you do your research and don’t miss what this city has to offer.

If you visit cambridge be prepared to fall in love with this town.

Cambridge is very accessible by bus or train from London.

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha 

🍜 More about vegan food in Cambridge 🍜

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Marseille, the French Port

Marseille is the second largest French city on the Mediterranean and capital of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. Unfortunately doesn’t have the best reputation, due to high crime rates and immigration.

From my travels around France, ALL the people I meet said to be very careful in Marseille or even not to go there.

I can’t say that Marseille is very safe, I could have been lucky because fortunately, I didn’t have any problems at all as a solo female traveller.

Its great to explore the city on foot, but I also recommend you to buy a bus card because the city is quite big.

Vieux-Port (Old Port)

The Old Port is located in the heart of the city and is a very popular place. The bay is packed with boats and yacht surrounded by cafes, restaurants, bars and hotels.

It is quite busy but still picturesque, with a mish-mash of styles and influences.

Notre-Dame de La Garde “La Bonne Mère”

The Notre-Dame de La Garde sits on the highest point in the city. The best part is to walk up the hill and the 360 panoramic views.

The basilica is ornamented with coloured marble, byzantine-style mosaics, and murals.

Chateau D’If Frioul

Is an incredible landmark because of The Count of Monte Cristo from Alexander Dumas. If the weather is good, you can go by boat to the island, from the Vieux Port (old port).

The fort is nice but to be honest not much to see, although the views are great.

La Major, Marseille Cathedral

It is a beautiful and at the same time  unusual roman catholic cathedral built in the nineteenth century in Romano-Byzantine style.

The Cathedral of Marseille stands on the western edge of the old town above the Quai de la Joliette.

MUCEM Museum (Museum of Civilization in Europe and the Mediterranean)

The MUCEM, is an iconic museum mostly because of the structure of the building. It’s really a magnificent place and a fantastic playground if you like photography! I strongly recommend a visit even if is just to contemplate the remarkable building.

You can access, to both the courtyard of J4 and the ramparts of the fort, for free. To visit the permanent and temporary exhibitions is 9,50€.

Vieille Charité

The Virile Charité, located in the heart of Marseille’s Le Panier quarter was built as an almshouse, although the beauty of the building doesn’t really give that impression with its neoclassical central chapel and elegant arcaded courtyard.

Today is home to a number of cultural institutions and museums.

Fort Saint-Jean

The Fort Saint-Jean, is for me one of the best places in Marseille. The fort lies at the northern mouth of Vieux Port and was recently restored.

Its perfect for scenic strolls through its gardens, and to enjoy the views of the Mediterranean coastline.

If you go to the top of the gardens near the footbridge to MuCEM, you can see Marseille’s Cathedral, and admired the amazing views of Marseille and of the Mediterranean.

Natural History Museum of Marseille

The museum is inside the astonishing Palais Longchamp, which is worth a visit just to contemplate the architecture and the gardens. Not really worth to visit inside.

 Les Docks Village

If you are into shopping Les Docks are a mid-19th century complex of shipping warehouses, that has been redeveloped and now includes shops, boutiques, galleries, cafes and restaurants.

The buildings are connected by creative courtyards. This alone can be good a reason to visit.

Street Art

The quartier of Cour Julien walls are extravagantly painted for everyone to decipher and enjoy. A wonderful area with loads of quirky stores, cafes, restaurants nice bars, and colourful street art and graffiti covering most of the facades. Make sure you have the time to explore it!

Farmers’ Market

A great place to buy fresh fruit and vegetables.IMG_7699

David’s Statue

For some reason, Marseille also has a copy of the famous David from Michelangelo, placed in the middle of a roundabout near the Prado beaches.

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photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

Have you ever been to Marseille? What other places would you include here?

 

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Relatos e dicas de uma esfomeada Vegana em viagem

(click here to read the📍english version )

Mais do que responder às mesmas perguntas vezes sem conta de familiares e amigos sobre o meu défice de proteínas e ferro, que as plantas também têm sentimentos, e se não tenho pena das alfaces, pretendo partilhar aqui contigo os desafios e os privilégios que os viajantes veganos, frequentemente, encontram em viagem.  

É indiscutível que é muito mais fácil ser vegana no conforto da minha casa e na minha cidade onde já conheço todos os mercados, supermercados e lojas, do que em viagem. Principalmente quando aterro num local onde nunca estive e com tempo limitado. Mas isso, por norma, até acaba por trazer excitação e é sempre uma oportunidade para descobrir novos sabores! O “desconhecido” faz parte do encanto e da experiência dos viajantes.

Contudo, em cima desse desconhecimento que se tem quando se viaja para um novo destino, acrescenta-se o facto de que muito poucos são os países que são conhecidos por terem muitas e boas opções veganas. Talvez nos venha logo à cabeça a Índia, mas provavelmente ficamos por aí.

Dito isto, tenho de acrescentar que viajo bastante e nunca passei fome. Viajar sendo vegana não só é possível como também muito interessante!

Conhecimento é poder

Certos países são mais amigos dos vegetarianos/veganos do que outros. Por isso, é sensato fazer uma pesquisa sobre a culinária local antes de partir.

Saber quais são os pratos e ingredientes típicos do país, é bastante importante para além de culturalmente enriquecedor. Em todo o lado há comidas que são naturalmente veganas, ou quase veganas. Tendo esse conhecimento em mãos, vamos saber que pratos pedir e quais os ingredientes que podemos acrescentar, retirar ou substituir.

A verdade é que a Internet e os guias de viagem tornam esta tarefa fácil e rápida.

Planear com antecedência

Quando viajamos de carro, autocarro ou comboio, o ideal é levar farnel para a viagem. Se a viagem for de avião, é importante pedir a refeição quando se compra o bilhete. Até hoje todas as companhias aéreas com quem voei ofereciam refeições veganas nos voos de longa duração sem custo adicional. 

É importante ainda referir que as refeições especiais são sempre servidas primeiro! Mesmo assim, como sou uma pessoa um pouco para o esfomeada, levo sempre comigo montes de lanches como frutos secos, chocolate, barrinhas, sandes, fruta fresca e bolinhas proteicas.

Quando a viagem é para países desenvolvidos, não pode ser mais fácil. A aplicação do HappyCow é espectacular! Basta dizer onde estamos e quantos quilómetros estamos disponíveis para andar e dá-nos uma lista dos restaurantes veganos/vegetarianos por perto. Depois, é só seguir o Google Maps. 

Aqui percebemos o quão sortudos somos por podermos fazer opções éticas até sobre o que comemos, sem grandes problemas.

Contudo, esta não é a realidade em todo o lado. Muitos lugares são bastante complicados, como é o caso de Cuba, um safari no Quénia, a Argentina ou nos desertos da Mongólia. Mas mesmo que à primeira vista pareça que é uma tarefa impossível encontrar algo vegano, é sempre possível.

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Vantagens 

Para quem viaja de mochila às costas, passando ao lado das estâncias, onde os cuidados de higiene são em princípio um pouco semelhantes aos que estamos habituados, existem sempre situações onde as opções são parcas e pouco apetecíveis.

Quando se viaja para países em vias de desenvolvimento e se saí da rota turística em busca de locais mais remotos, as opções onde comer podem ser muito escassas. E é um risco enorme comer uma carne que esteja abandonada às moscas na berma da estrada debaixo do sol ou um marisco num barracão sem electricidade. Parece-me sempre mais encorajador optar por vegetais cozinhados e frutas que podem ser descascadas.

Por outro lado, acabo por ir a sítios que de outra forma nunca iria, pois aquele restaurante turístico localizado na praça central não é opção. Assim, acabo por ser obrigada a falar com pessoas locais, e a explorar bem a culinária de cada país.

Conhecer novas pessoas enriquece qualquer viagem. Muitas já foram as vezes que locais me deram boleia para aquele que consideravam ser o melhor restaurante da sua terra a servir comida vegana ou caminharam comigo até ao local.

Se viajasse de outra forma e não fosse vegana nunca teria descoberto tantos sítios típicos longe das rotas turísticas. Teria perdido imensas oportunidades que me permitiram viver e experienciar cada local de forma mais autêntica.

Na grande maioria das grandes cidade é geralmente muito fácil encontrar comida vegana. Em Los Angeles, New York, Portland, San Francisco, em Londres, Toronto, Tel Aviv, Bengaluru, Chennai, Singapura, Hong Kong, Berlim, e Taipei. Estes são alguns exemplos onde é extremamente fácil tropeçar num bom prato vegano.

O que não dispenso

Independentemente do país que visito, viajo sempre com uma pequena mala de cabine. Por isso, nunca posso levar um canivete ou uma faca comigo, mas é logo uma das primeiras compras que faço. É fundamental ter algo cortante para descascar e cortar frutas e vegetais, e uma colher para comer algumas frutas, como mamão, papaia, kiwi, maracujá… Eu tenho um kit da  To-Go Ware Utensil Set, que contem uma faca, garfo, colher e pauzinhos chineses tudo feito de bamboo, são espectaculares, duradouros, leves e muito práticos.  

Ter uma pequena mochila para quando se anda a passear é essencial. Carregar alguns lanches, não só é uma forma de poupar dinheiro e tempo, mas também de nos mantermos alimentados e saudáveis ao longo de toda a viagem. E claro que não dispenso  a minha garrafa da Vapur, é reutilizável evito as garrafas de plástico e quando está vazia dá para enrolar e não ocupa espaço nenhum, é mesmo excelente para viagens.

Shampoo em barra é outro item essencial. É leve, ocupa pouco espaço, não conta como liquido nos aeroportos e dura muitíssimo tempo.

Para lavar os dentes, levo uma escova e pasta mas também um pauzinhos de miswak. Apesar de não ser nada fã do sabor faço o ‘sacrifício’ quando estou em viagem. Eles são espectaculares, não precisam de água ou pasta dos dentes por isso dá para lavar os dentes em qualquer lado.

Já disse adeus aos pensos higiénicos e tampões à muitos anos, e quando estou em viagem não há excepções. O copo menstrual é muito prático, e leve,  e pode-se ter o copo colocado até a um máximo de 12 horas, por isso a questão da limpeza não é grande problema, pois pode ser sempre feita ao fim do dia quando estamos de volta ao alojamento. 

Ir aos mercados

A ida a mercados não é só um excelente meio de imersão cultural, mas é também um óptimo local para comprar e abastecer com fruta fresca, sandes, vegetais, manteigas de frutos secos, doces, frutos secos…

Aprender a comunicar os básicos

Da experiência que tenho existem sempre opções, umas melhores outras piores, nos restaurantes típicos das localidades. Em alguns países saber falar inglês chega, mas noutros, torna-se imperioso conhecer algumas palavras-chave na língua nativa. É importante memorizá-las ou tê-las escritas num papel para explicar o que queremos.

Regra geral os restaurantes satisfazem os nossos pedidos facilmente. “Quem tem boca vai a Roma”! É importante contudo ser paciente e cortês, pois nem toda a gente sabe o que significa vegano ou vegetariano.

Já perdi a conta dos pratos que vieram com camarões e frango… Por isso, é preciso ser específico e paciente.

Uma vez no Borneo, expliquei bem o que queria. A senhora, muito atenciosa e simpática, disse: “sim, sim sei perfeitamente o que quer, esteja descansada…”. Quando o prato chega, digo: “mas isto tem carne…”. Ao que ela responde, confusa: “isso não é carne.., é frango!” Aqui aprendi mais uma lição: é preciso ser muito específico. Sem carne, sem frango, sem porco, vaca, sem peixe ou marisco, nem camarões!

Outra opção é fazer o passaporte vegano, que contêm palavras e frases em cerca de 80 línguas diferentes. Este livrinho pode ser comprado na página The Vegan Society ou noutros sítios web.

Onde Dormir

Uma boa opção são os albergues/hostels e airbnb que permitem a utilização da cozinha. Ou ficar com locais veganos em couchsurfing. Outra opção, é procurar alojamento 100% vegano. Eles existem, mas são por norma um pouco mais caros.

Segue blogs de viagens veganos

Esta é uma das melhores formas de encontrar informação. É dada por pessoas que estiveram no local para onde vais e, como tu, têm uma dieta vegetal.

Espero que este artigo te deixe um pouco mais relaxado/a se em breve fores embarcar na tua primeira aventura vegana. A realidade é que nada é impossível, muito longe disso. Tudo o que é preciso é um simples processo de preparação, seguir as dicas que aqui dei e as de outros viajantes que já estiveram no país para onde vais.

Resumindo, na prática, verduras, frutas, cereais e leguminosas estão em todo o lado com mais ou menos abundância, diversidade ou acessibilidade. 

Boas viagens e bom apetite 💚🌿🚌 deixa um comentário se tiveres alguma, questão ou se quiseres partilhar algo comentário ou dica.

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha 

📍english version📍

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Take That Vacation: Travel is Good for Your Mental Health

You ever notice that when you come back to work after a nice vacation you are calmer, more focused and even happier? There is a reason for that – travel is good for your mental health. While you may think that putting off your use of those vacation days may help you look good at work, chances are you would be better off using them and reaping the benefits of a better work performance spurred by your good mood.

Travel Gets You Out of Your Head

One of the ways travel helps with mental health is through its endless distractions. When you get too caught up in the one or more of the many traps of negative thinking, the result is often disappointment or anxiety. We aren’t supposed to constantly ponder ourselves, our choices and our status in the world. Learning to let these thoughts and judgments go as soon as they appear is a cornerstone of meditation. However, it can be helpful to just live your life to avoid overthinking and travel is just that – life lived at its fullest!

Travel Boosts Your Confidence

When we get stuck in a rut, it is easy to start doubting yourself. You lose your enthusiasm for the things you do throughout the day and things can start to feel hopeless. Shaking things up by going on a vacation can help give your confidence the boost it needs if you’re feeling weighed down by your routine. Traveling allows you to get to know yourself again in an unfamiliar environment.

You can celebrate your small victories while on vacation, whether they are making your flight on time or effectively communicating your needs in another language. Travel is a great way to remind yourself about the limitless potential of the world and yourself. This can be especially helpful for people who are in recovery for addiction. As a supplement to clinical treatment, a journey of self-discovery can be a great way to start out a new, sober life.

Travel Improves Your Communication Skills

So much of the conflict we have to deal with in life is a direct result of poor communication. People tend to be bad communicators when they are unable to see past their own point of view and speak beyond their own personal language. Traveling helps you to see the world from several points of view. Furthermore, breaking out of your comfort zone and having to communicate with strangers when you are on vacation is a great way to reduce anxiety when it comes to dealing with people at home and work. Travel more and watch your relationships in all areas of life improve thanks to your well-rounded communication skills.

Travel Makes You Adaptable

Adaptability may be the key to happiness missing from your life. When we fail to adapt, we fail to live in the present. When we don’t live in the present, we get bogged down by the “shoulds” and “coulds” and fail to appreciate what is happening right in front of us. Traveling instills adaptability at every twist and turn of the journey. From rolling with a departure time change to having to figure out what to do when a plan in the itinerary falls through, you have to take those setbacks and work to not let them ruin your entire trip. When you know that things don’t always go as planned and sometimes a complication can lead to something better, you are less likely to unnecessarily stress out and stew in negative feelings. Instead, you learn to live in the moment and appreciate what you have for increased overall happiness.

Don’t hoard your vacation days. Taking the time to travel can be seriously beneficial for your mental health. Hitting the road helps get you out of your own head and boosts your confidence. Being in a different environment and trying new things can also improve your overall communication skills. Most importantly, travel teaches you to be more adaptable – a key component for a happier life.

Henry Moore is passionate about travel and health, and he writes about how to get the most out of both on his website FitWellTraveler.

Have a look at his page and find more articles with tips and exciting destinations.

Henry believes travel can change you, and good health preserves you.

If you are planning to travel as a vegan / vegetarian follow this link for some great practical tips.