Traveling benefits overall well-being

George DeSpain, Staff Writer

Shown above is junior Milan Gracanin, who traveled with his family for a week to Barcelona and Toledo in Spain. Gracanin is currently on the boys volleyball team. (Photo courtesy of Milan Gracanin)

Movement is truly a form of escapism for many, and it’s natural for students and teachers alike to feel as if their lives are monotonous. Yet, getting out and exploring is a change from the everyday. Mental health has a chance to recharge after a long period of fun and even  increased motivation once travelers return to their daily responsibilities.
Brandy Milet is a vacation specialist with Milet Group Dream Vacations in the Plainfield area. She has helped several clients pursue their dreams of traveling to the Caribbean and Mexico.
“We all need to hit that pause button sometimes, especially with the heavy demands that life nowadays seems to put on us all,” said Milet. “It’s like filling up the tank!”
Milet reinforces the idea that it can surely be nice to step away from not only harrowing tasks and artificial forms of gratification like social media.
Students at Plainfield South feel the same way. Milan Gracanin, junior, spent a week in Spain with his family a couple of semesters ago.
“I usually feel pretty relaxed but also sad that my vacation is over,” said Gracanin.
Gracanin and his family explored Barcelona and Toledo, two of the most notable cities in Spain. There, they navigated through old ruins, dined on the local cuisine, and saw two football stadiums.
According to Milet, the best way to heal post-vacation blues is to start planning the next adventure. This provides something for individuals to look forward to and gather excitement from. After all, these feelings of joy and amusement could be shared with loved ones.

Time Off Improves Quality Time with Others

While traveling, most times people are in a group of friends or family. Since vacationers are typically in a better mood while abroad, memories are created with the people close to them very easily.
According to an article published this year by Jersey Island Holidays, 52% of people reported that after they come back from traveling, they feel more connected to their loved one.
Away from home, both couples and family are able to partake in new activities. Rather than simply watching television, groups are bonded closer with each other through different forms of recreation outside.
Every year, Nicholas Rayola (math teacher) and his family take trips to different places like the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, providing the local children with school supplies.
“My wife teaches Spanish in Naperville, so we like to take our kids to spanish-speaking countries and let them be immersed with the language,” said Rayola. “[We] show them that there’s something else besides the Plainfield/Shorewood area, that there’s another world out there.”
According to an article by The Tourism Academy, 35% of American families plan a vacation fifty miles or more away from home each year. The most common travel destination is Orlando, Florida, with Disney World in the area.
There certainly is more to the world of teachers and students than Plainfield, Illinois. It is crucial for them to experience the elements of different countries and cultivate themselves as people.

Traveling Improves our Knowledge of Culture

When traveling, individuals spend time away from their element. During this time, they’re able to see different historical objects, hear different languages, taste different food, and even live an entirely different lifestyle.
Joe Bunn teaches physics at South and has been on numerous trips around the world.
“Meeting the local people is as interesting as seeing the sights in different places,” said Bunn.
On his most recent trip, Bunn and his wife spent a few nights in Tokyo. There, they met a young couple that helped them order their meal at a local restaurant.
“We’ll remember them forever,” Bunn said.
Witnessing the way different parts of our world operate is something that cannot be learned from textbooks. Oftentimes, it takes physical journeys and experiences to truly understand other ways of life.
In an article by Travel Agent Central, it was determined that 53 percent of U.S adults feel that it is essential to learn about new cultures and lifestyles while traveling.
According to Rayola, children from different countries not only tend to behave like those in America but also dress similarly to them as well.
“The kids out there were all speaking Spanish, but they were wearing all American stuff. One kid had a Chicago Bulls hat on!”
Whether one plans to stay local or travel abroad, a faraway trip is something that students and teachers should pursue to expand their horizons.

Breaks Improve our Goal-Setting Abilities

While absent from responsibilities back at home, Plainfield natives gain a different perspective on concepts that they hold close to them. For example, in a new city or country, people tend to enjoy the area so much that they look into colleges in the vicinity, cottages, or another trip.
According to an article by Cabin Zero, a luggage company, dopamine is created with the act of stepping out of comfort zones through trying new things and exploring new places. This contributes to how one focuses and finds interest in life.
One might find that they are more positive and willing to consider their plans for the future while abroad. According to Bunn, he and his wife plan to spend several months in different parts of the U.S with his wife, sharing a camper.
“We just want to travel to the northeast to see the leaves {in the fall},” said Bunn.

From cruises and exotic adventures to simple road trips, vacationing is revitalizing for the mind and soul. Students and teachers have the opportunity to travel with the school with various trips to different countries directed by the foreign language department.
If that’s not quite in the cards, simply going outside to explore a new local place like Hammel Woods can have similar profits. Either way, it is essential for students and teachers to be active and pursue different hobbies. Summer break is soon to come, bringing times of thrill and excitement away from Plainfield.