Published By: Cindy Vondenkamp

Most of us don’t need a “study” to tell us that traveling is good for us. Travel encourages us to be more active, make new friends, and set aside time to explore, play, and refresh.  It can require us to problem solve and think on our feet when faced with surprising circumstances. Sometimes as adults, we’re too mired in everyday routines of “grown up life.” As we age, we may find we’re not as playful or as willing to explore as we were in younger years.  The health benefits of traveling across all ages and especially as seniors are exemplified in The Global Coalition on Aging white paper Destination Healthy Aging.

“Mental activity and cognitive stimulation, which can be achieved through various activities associated with travel, have been linked to brain health.  Novel and complex stimuli, such as new behaviors and new environments, promote brain health by building brain resilience at the cellular level, thus potentially delaying the onset of degenerative disease.”  According to Dr. Paul D. Nussbaum, Ph.D., ABPP, a clinical neuropsychologist and Adjunct Professor of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, “Travel is good medicine.  Because it challenges the brain with new and different experiences and environments, it is an important behavior that promotes brain health and builds brain resilience across the lifespan.”

Traveling with others can promote open mindedness to try unknown destinations.  I was recently reminded that each state has its own beauty to offer.  Every year we travel from Colorado to Nebraska to visit family.  My husband persistently insisted on carving out extra time to visit an area in the north central region. I was initially resistive to committing precious vacation time to this diversion thinking, it couldn’t really be so amazing.  After all, I live in Colorado where amazing is everywhere.  Imagine my surprise after observing hours of treeless high plains in the sand hills region, when suddenly the landscape gave way to an open expansive lush river valley known as Niobrara National Scenic River.

This 76-mile-long water way has recorded up to 237 water falls during heavy spring run-off.   An average season typically yields 90 or so falls with the tallest measuring in at 63ft.  Smith Falls can be found a short hike from the river within Smith Falls State Park.  Long lazy float trips, tubing, kayaking, canoeing, along with hiking and camping make for a delightful destination.  

No doubt there is beauty, cultural and geographical diversity within each of our 50 states!  Check out the best thing to do in every state in 2017, amazing natural wonders, and the one thing you must do in every state. If you had to pick one for your own state, what would it be?

Where ever your next adventure takes you, keep your loved ones engaged in your adventures.  At LifeShare we make sharing your photos and sending messages to your loved ones easy to do and easy for them to access.  Remember, every time you share a photo with others, you are sharing more than just an image.  You are including them in your life experiences and confirming whether near or far, they remain in your thoughts and close to your heart.