When one travels it often leads to a different perception of the world that we inhabit. When closed off without ever having the good fortune to experience how others live, we can find ourselves in a locked cage of naivety that simply doesn’t represent the way the rest of the world thinks. Frankly, I think travel could have a tremendous impact on reducing bigotry, racism, and judgmental ideologies. Of course, to implement any sort of program where everyone is forced to travel is a utopian fantasy that will never be accomplished. However, the rationale stands, or so I believe it does, and it is for that reason that hereafter I will extoll a few of the benefits I have personally encountered over the course of my own travels. Of course, all I say will be backed with scientific evidence from this academic study done at the University of Tennessee.
In regards to a group of students who studied in Japan, it was written that “the overseas group increased in flexibility and independence and became less conventional.” The students themselves then claimed more positive side effects including “personal growth, increased tolerance, improved self-understanding, greater openness…” (page two). It keeps going. With increased flexibility and independence came the ability to be less conventional. The students developed a stronger personality that will now impact the way they live the rest of their life. Rather than be frightened into societal normalizations that can all too-often force people to behave as someone else, these students have been exposed to the fact that there is an entire world out there that does not live the way they do, that does not hold the same judgements that they do, that does not fear the same things they do. With greater understanding comes greater acceptance, and greater understanding comes with greater exposure.
Even Nolan Bushnell, the founder of the Atari corporation, agrees and claims “a significant number of my big-money ideas have occurred to me while on vacation or on foreign travel. At work, you’re on automatic pilot…But you go to France…you have leisure” (Page 3) It this ability to get away from routine, that ruthless mind-numbing routine, that gives your brain the space it needs to formulate new ideas that it simply wouldn’t have otherwise. So it is not just acceptance that becomes more prevalent, but creativity as well. I strongly encourage you to take a look at the academic journal linked so that you can see for yourself the way the journal quantifies these seemingly abstract concepts that at first glance, are difficult to, for lack of a better word, quantify.
The authors mainly substantiate their claims by drawing upon previously done research and exploring the meaning of “culture shock” and what its true impact is upon individuals entering different regions or psychological arenas for the first time. Regardless, travel is good for the soul. It is good for the mind. It is good for the world.
Also, check out “StampAbout Jake and Chad’s” video regarding travel benefits: