According to a 2010 study published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life, just planning or anticipating your trip can make you happier than actually taking it.
The study, as reported in the Huffington Post, found that vacationers experienced a significant boost in happiness during the planning stages of the trip because, as the researchers suggest, the vacationers were looking forward to the good times ahead.
This certainly sounds like our wish kids. No one is looking forward to good times ahead more than kids and families locked in a battle with a critical illness. So many families have told us that the anticipation of a trip kept their kids fighting and hopeful for the future. As the mom of wish kid Andrew, who wished to go to Atlantis, said, "It gave us ALL something to look forward to, most of all Andrew. I know it helped him get through some very tough times where he was feeling sicker than most people will ever feel. We would lie together in his bed and talk about how warm the water would be, and what the ocean would taste like, and how the dolphins would feel to the touch. It gave us a fun place to go in our minds."
Wishes give kids the chance to imagine life beyond their illness and encourage them to fight to get there. That’s the true power of a wish.