Scroll through any social media channel nowadays and you’re likely to see more than your fair share of the glorification of “getting away.” One could argue our infatuation with seeing the world has been cheapened by photo ops and the quest for likes, but according to science, travel can actually act as a catalyst for succeeding in many aspects of life. Many of the reasons may seem logical but the interesting thing about all of these statements is that they’ve all been backed by scientific research.
It Sparks Creativity
It’d be common sense to suggest creativity and curiosity are tied to one another. This is to say that a logical line could be drawn between people who are innately creative and also eager and curious to see the world. One study, however, found that travel actually increased a person’s creativity and productivity.
It Extends the Boundaries of Your Comfort Zone
“Do a bucket list adventure so you can challenge yourself. You’ll find more [internal] resources as you get comfortable with being challenged,” says David Osborn, author of “Wealth Can’t Wait.” [And you’ll find that] challenge actually gets easier.”
The idea here is that moving outside of your comfort zone supports risk-taking and handling stress better while doing so. Seeing new places and associating with new people from different parts of the world exercises those exact skills.
It Improves Adaptability
Flexibility and adaptability are critical to business success. Traveling forces you to be flexible because you’re physically putting yourself in unfamiliar places that you’re not in control of. Being in any unique or unfamiliar scenario or setting is the perfect way to build resilience.
Studies reveal traveling encourages you to open up to new ideas and new ways of doing new things, not only making you less likely to stand by old habits that might not serve you but also help you adopt new ones when needed.
You’ll Have a Greater Sense of Gratitude
“Seeing people who literally have a dollar a day if they’re lucky and are happier than me, I [realized] I’m kind of an asshole. It just changes everything,” said Osborn. “I kicked myself for not traveling when I was younger because it would have made me a better human being.”
The simple practice of gratitude — while it may not seem to have an obvious connection to “success” — is actually a great thing to take up. It rewires your brain to find the positives in life, which can either be a key in looking for opportunity when challenges arise or simply helping a person find fulfillment in what they do accomplish.
It Actually Helps You Focus More
This concept ties more closely to the idea of taking “vacation” but is not necessarily dependent on traveling. Studies show that down that deliberate downtime legitimately charges a person back up and allows them to focus when needed. According to productivity expert and Harvard psychiatrist Srini Pillay, Ph.D., letting go of focus boosts a greater range of happiness and yields success.