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According to the travelhorizons™ travel research program, sightseeing, traveling to beaches and waterfronts, visiting zoos, aquariums, and science museums, touring national and state parks, going on a cruise, and visiting a mountain area were some of the activities with the greatest level of interest among adults in a 2009 survey.

All of these activities are part of leisure travel, and all provide numerous benefits to the traveler beyond simply going somewhere new. Below are just a few advantages of leisure travel.

Traveling gives you endless opportunities to discover new things about the world and about yourself.

If you’re open to broadening your horizons, you’ll learn something new every day you travel. From seeing the world from the top of a mountain in South America to learning to make Black Forest Cake in Germany to riding a zipline in Africa, you’ll try new things and stretch your limits. And you’ll love every minute of it, even if you’re frightened.

Travel gives you a mental break from stress.

If you have a high-stress job, or if you’re a caretaker, you need a mental break regularly—and travel gives you that break. It takes you out of your element and gives you something else to focus on. You’re able to leave the stress behind and take on a new role: world traveler, with all the perks and benefits that entails.

Traveling creates memories you’ll savor forever.

When you travel, you’ll see and experience the world, and you’ll be able to revisit that journey whenever you wish. You might make new friends that you continue to travel with, or you might fall in love with a new country that you return to repeatedly. Every travel experience is unique, and you’ll carry all those memories with you. Travel memories are a treasure chest that you can open at any time.

Travel heals through its own brand of magic.

If you’re dealing with loss in your life, travel shows you that there is life after loss and that you can move forward. You’ll see the beauty in the world, and it can help you heal. When you see the world, you see possibilities you hadn’t thought of before. It doesn’t mean the hurt goes away, but you can get past it for a little while.

If you need to heal a relationship and you travel with that person, you forge a new bond and create new memories that will last a lifetime. Your issues may still be there, but at least you have a new way of looking at that person, thanks to travel.

Most importantly, traveling allows you to live your life to the fullest.

When you travel, you literally come alive and have experiences you’ve never had before and may never have again. You’re filled with joy and ready to see the world. Travel takes you away from the mundane and opens your heart and soul.

What’s your favorite leisure travel benefit?