Results for tag "travel-addiction"

Study Finds the Further People Travel from Home, the Happier They Become

Straight from the “well, DUH” files comes the findings of a study from scientists at the University of Vermont: The more miles you put between your home and job, the happier you become. Or, as researchers put it: “Expressed happiness increases logarithmically with distance from an individual’s average location.”

texting on the beach

Scientists reached this conclusion after analyzing 37 million tweets from 180,000 different Twitter users. The tweets, which were collected over the course of 2011 and included each Twitter user’s location, were ranked on a happiness scale scientists called the hedonometer.

People’s relative happiness levels were assessed based on how often they used common words like “great” or “hate”. Unsurprisingly, when people were far from their usual locations (I.e., when they were on the road or on vacation), they used words like “beach”, “love”, “rainbow”, “excellent” “restaurant”, “coffee”, and “new”,  whereas when they were closer to home (i.e, commuting to work, picking up the dry cleaning), they were more likely to use words like “bored”, “no”, “damn” and “hate”.

Of course, it’s hard to tell with these findings how many of those Twitter users are actually happy to be traveling and how many are just pretending or simply showing off. Then there’s the fact that while it’s very easy to complain on Twitter about having to, say, go to the dentist or get your tires rotated, people are going to be harder-pressed to find something negative to say while tanning on the beach in Bora Bora (even if they’re not particular happy while doing so).

Anyway, regardless, you can follow me on Twitter as I (happily!) tweet about my adventures from both the road and at home.

Photo courtesy of Palomaleca.

Wanna know more about the correlation between travel and happiness?

Here’s a post I wrote about how travel can slow time  and another one on how travelers are some of the happiest, healthiest and most well-adjusted people on the planet.

Yet Another Reason Why Travel is Awesome: It Will Help You Live Longer

As if you needed another reason to travel…but just in case you’re on the fence about whether or not to splurge on that vacation or long weekend getaway, here ya go:

According to this article in the Los Angeles Times, travel can:

  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Improve your immune system
  • Make you smarter
  • Help you live longer

We have some rats in Ohio to thank for this finding. Apparently travel helps you live longer because when done right, travel is FUN. And having fun is one key to longevity (the other is fish…so take a few vacas to Japan and you’ll probably live to be 100). They know this because the rats who had fun (nope, not by going on little rat vacations…but by regularly eating sugar) were less stressed and thus lived longer than those that didn’t.

Travel also helps regulate sleep patterns and lower glucose levels, according to a study conducted in the UK (the participants were human this time around). Tests were conducted before and after people went on vacation and the results found that 17% of participants saw their sleep quality improve and 6% saw a drop in their blood pressure.

Well. What do you think? Have you found that traveling has improved your overall well being?

Buy my travel gear and I’ll love you forever…

So. I opened my own store. Well, sorta. Okay, not really. What I DID do, however, was set up a virtual store on Zazzle.com, design a handful of travel-themed art, t-shirts and luggage tags and then make them available for purchase.

I know, I KNOW…I’m probably not going to make any money doing this, especially being that I only make 10 percent off every product sold (that roughly averages out to about a dollar a sale). I’d have to sell a few a dozen luggage tags just to make up for the time I spent just figuring out how to center align an image.

But…I had fun. And who knows? Maybe one of you fantabulous readers will take pity on me and buy something?

All of the luggage tags are customizable. You can have your name and address printed on the back.
They cost just $8.95!
This poster is “20 x 16″ and costs $12.75. You can also purchase it framed.
Okay, so at $59.95 this throw pillow is a little expensive…but keep in mind that only six of those dollars are going to me…
Now that I know what I’m doing, I’ll probably try to tackle some designs that are a little more intricate. Stay tuned, people! :)

Travel addiction is real! Introducing “Dromomania” and “Drapetomania” (Mad Travelers Disease!)

Do you suffer from either one of these travel compulsions? Read on to find out.

dromomania

The term Dromomania comes from the Greek “dromos” (running) and “mania” (insanity) and was considered a real mental disorder in the 1880s through to  the early 20th century in France. The illness, also known as “Mad Travellers Disease”, was attributed to a handful of people who were hospitalized after impulsively taking off on an extended trips abroad and then returning home weeks or months later with little recollection of what had occurred while they were away. Though today this would simply be referred to as “college Spring Break”, back then it was considered serious enough to warrant documentation in several scientific journals.

The diagnosis, however, is officially no longer recognized as a mental illness in France or elsewhere…as of right now, anyway. I’m thinking that perhaps it’s time we petitioned to bring it back?

Solitary figure on snow covered hill

Back in the 1850s, American slave owners sought to understand why their slaves’ seemed compelled to  run away from their owners homes on the plantations. Because people had to be crazy to want to flee captivity (wanting their freedom wasn’t a good enough of a reason, I guess) doctors attributed the slaves’ behavior to a mental disorder they called “Drapetomania”.

These days Drapetomania is considered an example of racist pseudoscience (and rightly so!) but wouldn’t it be nice if next time you’re packing your bags for a move to China or a backpacking trip to Chile and your friends ask you for the upteenth time “What is WRONG with you?!” you’d be able to explain their frustrations away with a simple “I can’t help it.  I have Drapetomania”?

30 Things to Do When You Can’t Travel (A List for Broke Travel Addicts)

can't travel

In between trips and in desperate need of a travel fix? Read this list.

1. Go for a hike

2. Wander around your city’s Chinatown

3. Visit a grocery store that caters towards foreigners (a hispanic or asian grocery store) and buy some strange-looking chips or candy you’ve never tried before

4. Get on a bus without knowing where it’s headed

5. Cook Indian food

6. Throw a travel-themed party and have everyone bring a dish or game from their favorite country

7. Join a foreign language Meetup Group and practice your French / Spanish / Chinese with other language lovers

8. Read The Geography of Bliss

9. Read I’m a Stranger Here Myself

10. Take a language course

11. Watch Slumdog Millionaire

12. Spritz your wrists with a travel-themed perfume

new zealand cologne

13. Do a mock vacation photo photo shoot with your friends like the characters in the movie Green Card. Grab your skis and pretend you’re on the Swiss Alps or throw on your bikini and a surfboard and make believe you’re in Hawaii.

movie montage scene from the movie Greencard

14. Hang out at the airport and play a people-watching game

15. Go Geocacheing

16. Make a postcard collage

17. Try a new food (like Ethiopian, Mongolian or Indonesian)

18. Host a couch surfer

19. See your city in a new light by traveling through it in a new – slower – way. Cruise through your town on a bicycle or roller blades.

20. Travel to a neighborhood you’ve never visited before and take artistic photos (even if it’s only pictures of the sidewalk or people’s front lawns).

21. Go on a long walk with a kid or a dog. Their curiosity and excitement for the world can be contagious.

22. Participate in a flash mob.

23. Go scuba diving (in the ocean or a lake) and see the world from a new perspective.

24. Go camping

25. Start a travel blog

26. Take a staycation and book a night or weekend at a hotel in your own town or city.

27. Go on a meditation retreat

28. Create a travel bucketlist on Pinterest

29. Read Into Thin Air

30. Create a playlist of your favorite travel songs and go for a long walk in a park or the woods.

What do you do to quench your thirst for travel when you’re in between trips?

Main photo by: Mitya Kuznetsov
 

What do all travelers have in common?

Whether you’re young or old, shy or outgoing, an optimist or a pessimist, if you’re a traveler, then chances are that you share this one quality with other travelers: open-mindedness.

The personality trait “openness to new experience” is one of the traits described in the Five Factor Model. People who score high in this personality trait are natural-born travelers and adventure seekers. They seek out new experiences and are drawn to creative pursuits and anything that’s novel or unique.

Open personality types are also more likely to:

* Have an active imagination

* Be in touch with their feelings

* Crave variety

* Posses a love for learning

* Have a willingness to engage in self-examination.

* Be able to make connections between two remote ideas

* Remember their dreams

Though not EVERYONE who travels scores high in the openness trait, I would assume that most who embrace travel as a lifestyle (I.e, the permanent nomads of the world) come pretty darn close.

What do you think? Would you say this true of you?