I’m freshly home from a glorious vacation. Gone for just over two weeks, my travels took me to Rome, Florence, and finally Malta. The downtime and beauty were unparalleled. I had pizza for lunch (mulitple days in a row), indulged in decadent pasta and wines, and walked many miles viewing the magnificent architecture, scenery, and artwork.

Overall, there was a lot of indulgence involved. I shopped a ton, and cruised around by boat, train, and often my own energy. The agenda included an up-close viewing of Michelangelo’s David and other renowned masterpieces, a concert by highly talented and unforgettable opera singers, and several trips to palaces, vineyards, and castles. The breathtaking Blue Lagoon was one of my last stops. You have not seen such crystal blue water until you’ve seen it. I was even able to go for a swim there.

But, after all, what’s not to love about having a few weeks to wander around and take in the sights? Nothing in my book (although I did miss some things and people at home). Still, I can’t argue with the fact that taking a long vacation is like hitting the reset button on your life. It eases your stress and allows you to engage in activities that you would not otherwise partake in mid-week. A holiday also helps you establish a deeper connection with the ones who you are traveling with. And, it often gives you the opportunity to learn more about other cultures, people, and history.

Besides the fun and adventure, here are some of the other personal benefits that result from taking a holiday:

  • Mood improvement. You might just find yourself smiling from ear to ear for no reason at all.
  • Stress relief. Vacations are a much needed break from our everyday hustle and bustle.
  • Strengthening the immune system. Travel has many health benefits including boosting your immunity.
  • Elevating brain function. You are broadening your horizons and calling upon different areas of your brain when you travel to new places.
  • Increasing productivity. You’ll come back from these trips with a renewed vigor that fuels productivity.
  • Enhancing mental health and well-being. By taking time for yourself and pursuits of pleasure, you are boosting your overall well-being.
  • Building relationships. Quality time is vital for growing your relationships. Vacations offer it en masse.
  • Increasing happiness. You get to indulge in doing things that you enjoy which boosts your joy.
  • Boosting physical health. Chances are you’ll be engaging in more physical activity than normal when you are often cooped up in an office or sitting behind a desk.

Because of these many benefits, be sure to make the most of your vacation days. Get out there and explore, indulge, wander, boosting your physical and mental well-being in the process.