People over 65 were asked their biggest regret about life

Picture: Aleksandar Nakic/istock
Picture: Aleksandar Nakic/istock

"If only..."

These two words haunt people of all ages, cultures and creeds, but they seem to sting more the older you get.

A survey of 2,000 older people conducted by Census wide shows that one of the biggest regrets is not travelling more.

The survey was commissioned by airline British Airways, which may throw up some suspicions, but in this case, there seems to be a lot of truth to the findings.

Research conducted by psychologist Thomas Gilovich suggests that the key to a happy life is new experiences, rather than adaptation.

He writes:

People’s lives can be enriched by redirecting expenditures from things that provide fleeting joy to those that provide more substantial and lasting contributions to well-being.

Spending money on experiences – art exhibitions, paintball, travelling – provides much greater satisfaction and happiness, than purchasing material goods.

Picture: Andreas Rentz/Getty

Digging into the psychology of travel brings up a wealth of information about how positively travelling affects your health.

Research claims there is a link between frequent travel and creativity, as well as emotional stability and a decrease in stress levels.

And while other regrets have also been cited in a number of lists– not keeping up friendships, not having children and focusing too much energy on one's career – not travelling more continues to be one of the most prominent ones.

So get to it, while you can!

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