Have you ever felt tired of the day-to-day grind? Is routine killing your joy for life? Yep, been there, done that… That’s why our guest blogger Elanya van Heerden and her family decided to take a year out on a road trip to “get away from it all”.
“I can honestly say it was the best thing we could do for our health, and our mental well-being.”
Downsizing from a large 4 bedroomed house, with multiple living areas, a big kitchen, outdoor entertainment area and pool didn’t come easy. Trust me when I say we were all well and truly pushed out of our habitual comfort zones.
Squeezing one’s life into a Paramount Duet to hit the road for an almost year-long journey taught us so much though. This greatly needed experience has taught us all not to care so much about material possessions, and we have learned how rewarding travelling is and how it helps us grow as people. In the long run, material goods don’t have anywhere near the same value as memories do.
The Adventure Begins
Not only has our family matured from having to live and travel in a smaller, confined space, but we have also experienced some amazing adventures together. From jet- skiing in Airlie Beach, to reaching the Northernmost tip of our continent, to have a hands-on experience with crocs and reptiles in Darwin, we’ve experienced things that would have otherwise taken us years and years to experience.
These epic adventures have brought us all closer and it’s a relishing notion.
Trips like these are not all rainbows and jellybeans though and can be quite difficult at times, but the resulting impact is great, especially for the kids. Our kids have become versatile and more resilient and I’m sure that in the long run they will understand how fortunate they are.
Positive Impact of Family Travel
The positive impact that travel has had on our combined health is telling. From having to sit in chairs all day at the office or school, to be able to incorporate a lot more walking on our trip has left our bodies feeling fitter and less stressed.
Unfortunately, our mid-lines have grown a little but that comes down to travelling in remote parts of the country and not being able to find fresh fruit and vegetables. As a qualified chef and Type 1 Diabetic (which isn’t a lifestyle condition like Type 2 Diabetes is, but rather an autoimmune
condition which I was diagnosed with at the age of 8 years old), getting comfortable with more processed foods in our diet was a bit of a challenge for me. The silver lining is that we realised how fortunate we are to truly be eating a diet made up of only the freshest ingredients when back home in Brisbane.
Travel truly does promote physical activity and we all know that physical movement lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.
According to the World Heart Federation, moderate exercise lowers your risk of heart attack by 30-50%. Studies have found that men who do not take a vacation for a few years are 30% more likely to have a heart attack. So what are you waiting for? Book your cabin or campsite now!
We sometimes walked up to 10 kilometres a day, checking out local attractions and exploring nearby towns. We also did quite a bit of bicycling and kayaking. Getting outdoors has had such a positive effect on, not only our physical health but also our mental health.
Exploring new activities has also led all of us to understand ourselves better by overcoming challenges and at the same time pushing through fears we never even knew we had – specifically me, and “gunning it” on a jet ski! Who knew I am an adrenaline junkie and would love going full throttle so much?!
Stress reduction is one of the biggest benefits of travelling. My husband and I found that we let go of stress and started to relax after 1-2 days into our trip. Leisurely activities lower levels of depression and improve psychological functioning.
Vacations can help to manage negative emotions by removing us from sources of stress. Once we started to relax and enjoy our travelling, I saw an increase in creativity in all of us. As Editor In Chief of Health Wisdom Magazine, I can honestly say this boost of mental energy and creativity has done wonders for my magazine career.
All the new environments that I came across and the new experiences that I took on, definitely inspired me to write more, and my husband’s creative initiative came in handy during emergencies – like when we got our Toyota Hilux well and truly stuck in the mud!
Final Thoughts of Family Travel
Travelling as a family has been hugely beneficial and I know that we will all have vivid and happy recollections of this family gap year and that our children will cherish these experiences.
Listen to the call of your soul within! It’s vital to stay in touch with your body and mind, and always encourage yourself to grow. Once we return from our travels, I’m sure that we will be refreshed and much more able to deal with the demands of life.
As our trip is nearing its end by now, we are all ready for routine and the daily grind again, because our souls have been recharged! This trip was truly an investment in our health and wellbeing, and I urge you to consider the same for your health too.
Many thanks to our guest blogger
Brisbane Holiday Village would like to thank Elanya van Heerden for her guest blog on the Positive Impact of Family Travel – A Traveller’s Journey.
A bit about Elanya
My family and I have been doing a half lap around Australia this year, and we started off in Brisbane, as that is our home base. We chose to be digital nomads for a year and to travel to see this beautiful country, while working on our online businesses. Our main businesses, that funded this year, are Titanium Living, a nutritional supplement company and Health Wisdom Magazine, a digital magazine for women aged 40 and over, which is FREE online.
Keep up-to-date and follow Elanya and her family HERE