“Travel broadens us because we learn by our successes. When you’re in a new place you are having all kinds of new and exciting experiences: communicating in a different language, ordering a meal, visiting museums – all stimulate intellectual interests and increases our confidence and sense of self-worth.
”Travel is believed to play an important role in creativity and problem solving, too. When researchers at the University of Indiana asked two groups of people to solve a series of practical and logistical puzzles, those who were told the task had been set by students from Greece – as opposed to students closer to home – found more creative solutions on account of the “psychological distance” introduced.
It’s one of the reasons why the co-author of the study, Lile Jia, who is now a professor at the National University of Singapore, believes Covid-19 could be responsible for a drop in our creativity levels. “Travelling can create psychological distance between the person and the problems he or she faces at work or in daily life. This allows them to view the same problems from a different perspective that is conducive to creating unusual creative associations,” he explains.
Exposure to diverse experiences and cultures can have a lasting effect, increasing creativity in the long run, he adds. “Hence, prolonged travel restriction limits people’s opportunity to sample novel life experiences and, subsequently, reduces potential to become a more creative person in general.”
Source: ‘Travel is good for the soul’ — how limitations on our movement affects us psychologically
Because I grew up with “Depression Era Values” (save, save, save, do not take on debt, repair, reuse, recycle), travel was never part of my life. I eventually realized this lack of travel experience hindered me on the job – literally, at one job, 7 of my 9 immediate team co-workers came from other countries (Sweden, several from Canada, Lebanon, China, UK, India). In the extended work group, if my coworkers did not grow up in another country, all had done extensive international travel or study abroad programs.
There’s a lesson in there for another post – how travel influences our ability to think globally.
2020 was to be the year I learned to travel. Of course, that has now been postponed by 18-24 months, at least.
Continue reading Some researchers say Yes: Is travel important to creativity?