There's more to jet setting than racking up all those frequent flier miles.
Most people agree that travel is a great way to see the world, right?
I know that I appreciate every opportunity I get to learn from other cultures. And I know firsthand how meeting different peoples can be life-changing. I don't just learn more about others. I also learn about myself during such visits.
And thanks to social media, we can get an up close and personal look at others on their adventures.
Facebook and Twitter feeds are full of Eiffel Tower selfies, beach pictures that look like screen savers, and snowcapped mountain treks. It can feel like everyone you know is traveling the world. But if you're anything like me, seeing that Instagram photo while at your desk can give you a serious case of FOMO ("Fear Of Missing Out").
I can't believe I made it to Africa. Let the adventure begin. #Vcation #SophieLyndon2015
A photo posted by Vanessa Hudgens (@vanessahudgens) on
But according to a recent study, we should probably chill before we become a green-eyed monster of jealousy.
Researchers from the University of Surrey and Lund University studied how the media does a really good job of making the jet-setting life look really glamorous. But thanks to the limited scope of what we are shown, we fail to see the full picture of what can happen after someone quits their job to travel the globe.
In this case, a picture might be worth a thousand words — but it also leaves out two thousand others.
The truth is that excessive travel isn't all it's cracked up be.
The next time you're scrolling through your Facebook friend's 10th vacation album, try to keep these findings in mind:
Traveling can take a toll on your body.
You probably don't see many travelers sharing a photo of the jet lag struggle. No matter how you look at it, adjusting to a new time zone is a real drag. Even with the best preparation, it can have an impact on the body. Jet lag can affect your gastrointestinal system, and it can affect you more than six days after you land. Other effects on the body include more exposure to germs and deep vein thrombosis. Yikes.
All that train- and plane-hopping can be stressful.
The pre-travel stress probably isn't being documented either. Prepping to travel to a faraway place (will I forget to pack something?!) and psyching yourself up for a TSA pat-down isn't exactly the most pleasant experience. I know I am not in the mood to take a selfie while I am waiting to get stared down by an immigration officer.
On the more extreme side of the spectrum, the researchers mentioned a study that found that World Bank staff who traveled for work had a 300% higher rate of psychological medical claims than their non-traveling counterparts. Traveling isn't always easy on the psyche.
There are friends and family back home.
Travelers may be having fun elsewhere, but they also are probably missing people back home — like you! Vacationing in a new land can expose you to great experiences, but sometimes it can be a bummer when you can't share them with all of your loved ones.
All that travel can take a toll on the environment too.
If you're an environmentalist, you probably know about the impact travel can have on our world. The study mentioned how hypermobility is probably not environmentally sustainable. A New York Times article states that just one round trip cross-country flight has the same effect on the atmosphere as two-three tons of carbon dioxide per person. That's a lot.
You can say your fewer vacations are your contribution to the world by slowing down the erosion of the ozone layer. You're welcome.
The truth is that every sort of lifestyle has its ups and downs, so don't be jealous if you can't quit your job and "Eat, Pray, Love" your way around the globe.