Wellness Culture

WWB’s Culture Wise: The ‘Life Enhancing’ Benefits of International Travel…

I have to begin this new blog department with a wise quote from an American author and adventurist Mark Twain. “Travel is fatal to prejudice,bigotry and narrow-mindedness.” I couldn’t agree with this more. I was fortunate as an International Sales Manager to travel abroad for many years and attend international conferences. I met people from all over the world and the more I traveled I found most human beings are generally good-natured. Maybe this is my personal world view, but when I read this quote “Traveling increased what’s called generalized trust, or general faith in humanity.” from an insightful article in The Atlantic, I realized my perspective was shared by many other ‘world wise’ people. To a certain degree, I think being born in New York City, gave me an ‘instant passport’ to the diverse cultures of the world. It certainly inspired me to want to see more, learn more and understand more with a worldly perspective…

The above mentioned article from the Atlantic is entitled ‘For A More Creative Brain, Travel’, How International Experiences Can Open the Mind to New Ways of Thinking. The writer explores how in recent years, psychologists and neuroscientists have begun examining more closely what many people have already learned anecdotally– that spending time abroad may have the potential to affect mental change. The researchers found through numerous studies a clear correlation between time spent abroad and creative output. For example, the brands whose creative directors had lived and worked in other countries produced more consistently creative fashion lines than those whose directors had not. See expanded data in article…

I hope you take the time to read this interesting piece, but just in case you can’t, here are WWB’s top 5 takeaways to get your creative brain thinking and perhaps you might even book a trip to your next destination on your bucket list!

~Truly Herself, Lauroly

1. New sounds, smells, language, tastes, sensations, and sights spark different synapses in the brain.

2. “Foreign experiences increase both cognitive flexibility and depth and integrativeness of thought, the ability to make deep connections between disparate forms,” says Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School and the author of numerous studies on the connection between creativity and international travel.

3. Traveling may have other brain benefits, too. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, an associate professor of education and psychology at the University of Southern California, says that cross-cultural experiences have the potential to strengthen a person’s sense of self.

4. What a lot of psychological research has shown now is that the ability to engage with people from different backgrounds than yourself, and the ability to get out of your own social comfort zone, is helping you to build a strong and acculturated sense of your own self.

5. Cross-cultural experiences have the potential to pull people out of their cultural bubbles, and in doing so, can increase their sense of connection with people from backgrounds different than their own.

Source: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/03/for-a-more-creative-brain-travel/388135/

For those not able to plan a big trip right now. You will love this other wise finding from the research…

Although a new country is an easy way to leave a “social comfort zone,”The cultural engagement associated with cognitive change doesn’t have to happen abroad. If a plane ticket isn’t an option, maybe try taking the subway to a new neighborhood. Sometimes, the research suggests, all that’s needed for a creative boost is a fresh cultural scene.

P.S  For my arm-chair traveling friends, you might enjoy WWB’s ‘Book Wise’ Club as we will always be reading books with a focus on world culture and wisdom. Subscribe to this blog to stay informed about our next reading selection.




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