One of the great benefits of traveling is the good it does your soul, since we're rarely as present as when we travel. Taking a break from your everyday routine (which is often dominated by what has happened or what may happen next) forces you to slow down and take pause. When we're feeling stressed out and exhausted, it's our soul that needs a rest. What does that actually mean? Everything about us that's not physical.
Leaving behind our daily stresses for the austere beauty of the extreme ends of the earth has a rejuvenating effect. And this isn't some pie-in-the-sky theory: travel to Antarctica or taking part in an arctic expedition can have a huge and tangible impact on your health and happiness. Here are 5 benefits of traveling to the Polar Regions.
1. Polar Travel Reduces Stress
Ask anyone who's booked an expedition: the excitement begins the minute you book it. Even the process of discovering destinations and considering different adventure travel options gives you something to look forward to! Once you get into the planning and preparation, the anticipation may lift your whole attitude.
Getting away from your daily routine clears the way for new experiences. A recent study from Scotland found that stress and brain fatigue are easily relieved by spending just a short time in nature. On an arctic adventure, the spectacular scenery, silence and gentle motion of the water can lull you into a completely serene state. And here's the best part: the stress reduction you enjoy while traveling will come home with you, and you'll be happier and more relaxed upon your return.
2. Polar Exploration Raises Your Awareness of Your Surroundings
More and more, we spend our days tethered to electronic devices that demand our constant attention. Travel to Antarctica or the Far North provides you with a welcome respite from the constant barrage of input and demands, allowing you to refocus.
Expedition travel gives you a break from those attention-seeking devices, since there is limited Internet connectivity and virtually no cell phone service. That's time and energy you can put into reconnecting with yourself and the natural world as you explore by Zodiac, hike polar locations amongst iconic wildlife, or simply enjoy the rugged and spectacular scenery.
3. Expeditions Reconnect Your Body & Mind
Too much time spent behind a desk is not healthy. Polar vacations are an excellent opportunity to be active, push your limits and focus on improving both your physical and your mental well-being. Each expedition includes Adventure Options to suit every activity level. Zodiac cruising, kayaking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are popular choices, but shore hikes are accessible at all activity levels. Stroll along the shore in Antarctica and visit a penguin colony, hike up a small mountain for amazing vistas, or take a polar plunge – just to say you did it!
Many of our expedition vessels have gyms, sauna facilities, hot tubs and massage therapists, and on board our Ocean Endeavour, the first health- and wellness-focused expedition ship in Antarctica, spa provider VOYA offers a complete spa experience. Polar travel has something for every interest and activity level, so do your soul a favor by letting your mind and body reconnect.
4. An Antarctic or Arctic Expedition Will Alter Your Perspective
Travel takes you outside of your comfort zone, broadening your perspective and building your self-confidence for dealing with unfamiliar situations. A lot of what you'll learn is gained through experience, but each Quark Expeditions® travel option includes top-quality educational programming for intentional self-betterment, too.
New experiences give us moments to remember, and when you travel to the Polar Regions, there are so many moments! In the Arctic, you may spot polar bears trekking across pack ice, muskoxen and reindeer grazing on the tundra, or whales breaching beside your Zodiac. When you travel to Antarctica, be prepared for chattering colonies of penguins numbering in the tens of thousands, vistas so magnificent they leave you breathless, or watching glaciers calve in spectacular Neko Harbour.
Don't be surprised if you're viewing your everyday life and routines from an altered perspective – one that is positive, self-confident and worldly – when you return home. No one leaves the Polar Regions unchanged.
5. You Just Might Fall in Love
The fresh polar air might be good for more than just your soul – it could help you find your soul mate.
A recent Australian study found that 1 in 10 Australians have fallen in love while traveling. That can be attributed in part to vacation excitement: another study found that increased levels of adrenaline increased attraction between people sharing an experience.
It's not hard to imagine that on an exciting, adrenaline-filled polar trip with Quark that you could find more than just peace and tranquillity! And while romance may not be the result for all, we predict there's an excellent chance you will fall in love with the Polar Regions as a whole – the most beautiful, pristine areas of the world will not leave you untouched.
To learn more, have a look at our new polar travel brochures. Then, when you're ready, contact one of our experienced Polar Travel Advisers for more information.