Can travel really make you live longer?

Maybe you’ve experienced it while gazing up at a supermoon, or the rim of the Grand Canyon. Maybe you felt it when you listened to Mozart’s final symphony or before a feat of great courage. This feeling of incomprehensible admiration, indescribable sublimity, is known, most commonly, as awe. That’s awesome. You’re awestruck. And research from the brains at UC Berkeley says the experience isn’t just a mood booster, it’s also an immunity booster. Awe is, according to recent studies, associated with lower levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines – high levels of cytokines (which tell the immune system to go, go, go) being linked with type-2 diabetes, heart disease and even Alzheimer’s and depression.

Awe, inevitably, is helped by newness, making travel a perfect playground for its induction. After all, chances are you won’t experience the northern lights in your own backyard or catch the astrotourism bug in your light-polluted city. However, you might indulge in both in the Brecon Beacons, an International Dark Sky Reserve in Wales, at restored farmhouse retreat Celestia. Aptly named, this scenic homestay encourages guests to commune at the ‘stargazing bowl’ to gape at the Milky Way and track shooting stars. In Arizona, home to the first ever International Dark Sky City of Flagstaff, boutique motels (try Americana Motor Hotel or High Country Motor Lodge) let you borrow telescopes for connecting with the glittering chalkboard in the sky. Awe, after all, relies on a connection to something bigger than oneself.

Source: Can travel really make you live longer? | High Life Magazine

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