If you’re like 99 percent of the population, chances are you enjoy traveling. Distant places, different cultures, beautiful scenery – what’s not to like?!
But it isn’t just about checking locations off our bucket list. Science is now showing that it literally changes our brain and outlook on life.
Here are 7 science-backed reasons your mind, body and soul desperately need a jet-setting experience.
1) It Boosts Your Creativity
A recent study from the Academy of Management Journal found that people who worked overseas were more creative and motivated than those who stayed in the U.S.
It’s all about experiencing new cultures.
The study says:
“People who integrate a new culture into their identities are more creative in the long run.”
The study concluded that experiencing new cultures forces you to think differently and consider new ideas, which increases your ‘cognitive flexibility’.
2) It Builds Your Trustworthiness
The lead researcher from the previous study also found that people who travel often have more “faith in humanity”,
“The more foreign countries people travel to, the more their sense of generalized trust increases.”
Because when you travel you realize that despite the many cultural differences, all humans really are the same.
All we really want is happiness and security.
3) It Boosts Your Problem-Solving Skills
A study from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that people who lived abroad were 20 percent more likely to solve complex problems than those who didn’t.
Simply seeing different cultures and new ideas expands your brain. As a famous quote says:
‘The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.’
4) It Makes You More Humble
The same journal found that it also makes you more humble. When you come across amazing landscapes and scenery like above, how could you not be humbled by such epicness?!
5) It Makes You More Open-Minded
The journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that people who traveled regularly were more open to new experiences.
This makes sense: The more open-minded you are, the more willing to experience different cultures and embrace new perspectives.
6) It Helps You Find Who You Really Are
Traveling to find yourself is HUGE.
When you’re at home, you get stuck in the same routines and don’t really experience anything new. Sometimes though, we need to pause and go somewhere different to understand who we really are.
As Psychologist Toby Israel says:
“Taking a break from business as usual enables us to pause, contemplate our lives, and potentially re-route the path we are taking on our journey.”
7) It Makes You Happy
Perhaps most important of all.
Several research studies have found that buying experiences instead of material objects makes you happier in the long run.
If this doesn’t convince you to travel, then what does?!
Originally published on Ideapod’s blog, The Power of Ideas.