Does Travel Really Broaden The Mind?


Katy Ratican
Freelance copywriter, editor, social media manager and blogger - Check out her blog Katy Said What?



There are so many reasons to pack a bag and go travelling. Whether it’s the opportunity to meet new people, to immerse yourself in new and unfamiliar cultures or to check out breathtaking sites of natural beauty, travelling can offer you a world of opportunity.

But does it really ‘broaden the mind’?

As we get older, we tend to face more complicated situations, which enable us to gain greater perspective of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ experiences. During this process, we secure greater perspective on life and as a result, our minds expand. Some say this is what happens when travelling, but at an advanced pace. You could gain more perspective on life in just two weeks abroad, compared with a year at home. By leaving behind your everyday life, even just for a short time, you have the opportunity to live by a different set of rules – in short, travel can be a hugely enriching experience.

When travelling, you should make the effort to cross paths with the local community and take in the culture. In doing so, you can learn to understand more about your own culture, including ways it could be improved. By observing others, you can learn to keep an open mind and be less judgemental. One of the greatest things you can take away from travelling is being able to see the world through somebody else’s eyes – that rarely happens at home, when you’re busy with your usual routine.

Research seems to support the case that travel broadens the mind. Professors at Columbia Business School found that those who have lived abroad are more creative than those who stay at home. According to a study commissioned by the U.S Travel Association, the new and unfamiliar situations we find ourselves in when travelling keep our mind sharp. The study goes on to say that challenging experiences when travelling can boost cognitive health, thereby growing the brain and keeping it active.

So, does travel really broaden the mind? While it does depend on your definition of ‘broadening’, there’s no getting away from the fact that travel can certainly enrich your experience of life if you make the most of your adventures. If you are thinking of taking a trip in the future, immerse yourself in it wholly and completely your mind will thank you for it.

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