Why traveling means happiness

By Sergio González | 10:15

Traveling broadens our horizons and it makes us more cosmopolite which is a perfect feature to flash out in these times.

Surely owning cool things yells the world about you but when you do it too often, you are shopaholic. If you travel too much, they call you a jet-setter of the world

The University of Jena, in Germany, published in September 2013 a remarkable paper on the effect of traveling and living abroad in people’s personality. Measuring the Big Five dimensions of personality in a group of German college students (some studying at home, some abroad) the results obtained couldn’t have been more astounding.

Those who traveled turned out more extroverted, more capable of understanding rules and completing new tasks, and also performed better in ‘openness to experience’. They improved their own marks and they beat the students who stayed by far in personality development.

Being able to engage others in your social interests, outstanding in your duties or being an adventurous person won’t grant you happiness overnight but having these skills seems like a good starting point. And all because you had an amazing time traveling/living abroad.

Chinese have a saying: “one is smarter for traveling 10,000 miles than studying 10,000 scrolls”. They should update this piece of wisdom to have it saying that you also find happiness along the way.

We take pills and go to the therapist when we should be spending that money in life-changing experiences. One of those able to totally reset us and make room in our minds for what’s important. 

Traveling is an experience that begins before leaving home. The time spent looking up on every website and app for the best deal or the destination of our dreams is terribly exciting. And we don’t even need to know about the destination at all with stuff like Eurorail pass or apps like Skyscanner. Letting go is part of the fun.

The Comfort Zone is a behavioral condition in which we act freely without any stress or anxiety and it’s around everyday stuff we do and know by heart. Traveling or learning gets you out of your comfort zone, but before you decide never to fly or open a book again, it’s the only way to evolve and make your comfort zone larger and deeper.

Traveling makes us happy because it promises the ‘unknown’. We are a curious species and we like getting out of the forest to see what’s beyond; exploration and adventure is written deep down in our DNA. By turning your vacation into a traveling experience you immediately start dreaming and enjoying an exciting future ahead.

The ‘unknown’ is not scary, it’s the place where you can explore and become the ideal vision of yourself, promoting creativity and spontaneity. Two of the higher human need as told by the Maslow Pyramid, the closest non-religious guide to happiness for the modern human being. Maslow calls this the self-actualization.

Before picturing yourself wandering Asia and leaning forward under the weight of a backpack, a new traveling experience is a broad term that accepts every activity that you don’t do -but would love to- at home. From playing golf to trying surprising food, everything adds to your happiness experience.

In plain words: you see how bored you get sometimes? Stuck in everyday’s monotony. The only way out is by challenging yourself. Daring to join painting classes even you are not talented or traveling to a country whose language you don’t speak in seek of adventure. Let’s go live!

Photo credit: thienzeiyung

Photo credit: pedrosimoes7

 
  • By Feel good when you travel | NH Hotels Blogs on 15 November, 2013 at 9:41

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  • […] appena letto una libera rielaborazione dell’articolo originale “Why traveling means happiness”, presente nel blog internazionale di NH Hoteles. Comments commentsPowered by Facebook Comments […]

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