Travel Changes You


Travel changes you in multiple ways: from how you interact with others to the way you think and make decisions. Travel might even make you healthier or more successful in business. Let’s examine the evidence…

A 2013 research study compared the personalities of college students who studied abroad for at least one semester with those who didn’t. Students were evaluated according to the Big Five personality traits (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism) both at the beginning of the research and after the study abroad ended. The students who travelled abroad increased their openness and agreeableness, and decreased their neuroticism. Being exposed to new cultures changed their personalities.

A 2014 research study examined the impact of multicultural engagement on empathy for others and success in the job market. Students who were more receptive to learning about new cultures and changing their own behaviors were more likely to acknowledge multiple viewpoints, even if they conflicted with their own. The traveling students who embraced other cultures and accepted conflicting viewpoints also received more job offers.

A 2010 research study showed living abroad increased creativity. Through a series of experiments, the researchers found multicultural learning experiences had the following impacts:
(a) more idea flexibility (e.g., the ability to solve problems in multiple ways),
(b) increased awareness of underlying connections and associations, and
(c) helped overcome functional fixedness (i.e., only using an object in the way it is traditionally used).

Clearly, multicultural travel changes you for the better.

But it doesn’t even have to be international travel. Almost any traveling has a benefit.

A 2005 study found that women who vacation at least twice a year are less likely to suffer from depression and chronic stress than women who vacation less than once every two years.

A 2013 study found that people who travel at least twice a year show a significantly lower risk of suffering a heart attack than those who only travel every six years or more.

A 2021 study found that people who regularly traveled at least 75 miles away from home reported being about 7% happier than those who traveled very rarely or not at all.

Science has shown that travel changes you for the better.

What are you waiting for?

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One Response to Travel Changes You

  1. Thomas April 21, 2024 at 10:59 pm #

    One is less afraid of things (people) he knows. In Germany and Austria, right wing populists are most successful in those region with the lowest per capita of immigrants.

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