I recently read an article highlighting eight tips from leading researchers, doctors and thinkers suggesting common sense ways to stay mentally sharp as we age. While none of their ideas were onerous, I quickly realized that you can accomplish all of their suggestions through travel.
Leisure travel enhances your brain power wherever you go.
Whether traveling for cultural enrichment, adventure and exploration, or a relaxing get-away vacation, leisure travel embodies the essence of life-long learning experiences. A Caribbean cruise, for example, exposes guests to the culture and history of several island destinations, while providing numerous opportunities to meet new friends, get plenty of exercise and enjoy healthy eating.
On land-based vacations, it’s almost like having your personal time machine allowing you to journey back 5,000 years to explore Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, move forward in time to walk in the steps of Martin Luther and the Reformation, or discover the Maoris, indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. Be sure to meet the locals, savor exotic foods and learn the history of the region. And, save plenty of time to smell the roses or simply take a nap.
Adventure travel must be defined by the individual knowing his or her limits. Such travel might involve hiking in Italy’s Dolomites, a catamaran gliding over Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, trekking along the Inca Trail in Peru to discover the lost city of Machu Piccu, or scouting for wild animals across an African savanna. These are just a few examples of travel that stretches your brain and expands your imagination.
Along the way, you will find various ways to challenge yourself – such as learning a slow tango near the Rio de la Plata in Argentina, painting a landscape in southern France, exploring Ireland’s many castles or enjoying a hot spring Onsen bath in Japan – to name only a few.
Leisure travel is all about discovery – learning new cultures, meeting new people and, most importantly, gaining deeper insights about yourself. I can’t think of a better way to keep your brain fully charged!