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Frequent travel isn't all it's cracked up to be. This study shows why.

There's more to jet setting than racking up all those frequent flier miles.

Frequent travel isn't all it's cracked up to be. This study shows why.

Most people agree that travel is a great way to see the world, right?

Photo by Unsplash/Pixabay.


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

Thanks a lot, Instagram.

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.

I feel your pain. I've so been there, Jake. GIF from "Adventure Time."

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.

Not all of us can live like Don Draper. GIF from "Mad Men."

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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