How traveling changes us – Thot Cursus

Un voyageur avec son billet d'embarquement dans un aéroport

The ready-made formulas on the trip are numerous. It is said that the latter forms youth, that it teaches tolerance, that it is a return to the essentials and a Fulfouldé proverb even affirms: “If you haven’t studied, travel. »

There is therefore a whole myth around the fact of travelling. It would seem that getting out of his hometown would be extremely beneficial. Some even talk about life changes and share their story online. Many say that traveling is a cure for common problems. But is it?

Certainly, it has never been so easy to embark on a journey these days. This remains a significant expense, but the various online services make things easier and allow you to find bargains for transport, accommodation and catering. With the applications, anyone is able to build an itinerary in a region or a new city. Can we really talk about transformations? Do we really emerge transformed from such an adventure?

A change? An evolution!

As this blogger specializing in cycling excursions explains very well, the idea of ​​the journey that transforms us is a bit wobbly. It is not a magic trick that would transform the individual into another. She interprets it rather as an evolution of our personality.

From the moment we choose to travel, our mind goes into a different mode than usual. He steps out of the comfort zone and thinks not only about the formalities but about what he is looking for when he leaves. The adventure? The encounter with nature and people? Walk in places steeped in history?

Once on the road, observations will be made. Whether on the beauty of the world and its landscapes or on the differences but also the similarities with other peoples, the traveler will by force of circumstances perceive the vast world differently. It’s not always positive, especially if he analyzes people and customs through the grid of his daily life. Hence the importance of opening up, leaving without expectations and understanding how things work.

In fact, the trip would be a good way to counter the confirmation bias often encouraged on social networks, for example. The tourist will see that the notion of happiness or good manners differs greatly from one country to another. Unlike a mathematical equation, there is no “right answer”. Everyone deals with the environment in which they grow up. Hippolyte Taine said: “We travel to change, not places, but ideas. »

Our brain, fond of travel

In all of our being, one part in particular generally loves travel: the brain. Our gray matter benefits a lot from this experience according to studies. Contact with different landscapes, various languages ​​and orientation in an unfamiliar place would stimulate many brain areas. Other research would have shown that the anticipation of a trip would be more satisfying than that of a purchase or that the level of stress tolerance would be increased in the month following the return.

Neuroscientists attribute the benefits to novelty causing the brain to be more flexible. Moreover, the dopamine secreted by a new experience or a new place not only creates excitement but helps to develop lasting memories. This is why it is easier to remember in detail a meal abroad than what we ate the day before. This frequent secretion of dopamine explains why some additionally become obsessed with the idea of ​​traveling often.

Agreed but running the world is not without consequences. Especially in a context of climate change, the many plane trips greatly pollute the sky. Moreover, some companies specializing in tourism participate in programs to reforest natural environments. Otherwise no need to go to the end of the planet to get away from it all. Just go to places that are little known and accessible by less polluting transport (buses, trains, etc.).

In the age of metaverse, what will travel be like? Of course, it could partly replace the experience, to the delight of certain localities which would like to see fewer tourists. The travel industry is already working to use it and create virtual hotel experiences and tastes of tourist places. However, this type of journey will not have the same effects on the brain as actually moving to a new place. This need will always be there and will surely not disappear with a technological solution.

Picture : Joshua Woroniecki / Pixabay

References :

“How Travel Can Change Our Personality.” Travel in Beauty. Last update: January 17, 2023.

Mason, Zach. “The Seven Ways Travel Changes Your Life.” Projects Abroad. Last update: March 13, 2020.

“Research Shows Travel Changes You for the Better—Here’s How.” Worldpackers. Last updated: May 4, 2023.

“Reflection: Does Travel Really Change Us?” A World by Bike. Last update: April 27, 2023.

Stevenson, Tom. “5 Powerful Ways Traveling Changes Your Perspective.” The Traveling Tom. Last updated: April 6, 2023.

Street, Farnam. “A Wandering Mind: How Travel Can Change the Way You Think.” Farnam Street. Last updated: August 14, 2022.

Vaes, Jellis. “How Travel Can Change Your Life.” The Planet D: Adventure Travel Blog. Last updated: May 9, 2016.

Varniene, Milda. “Spark Your Brain Magic With Travel.” Last updated: July 17, 2019.

Neighbor, Julie. “Can Travel Really Change Your Life? Find Out A Sociologist’s Answer.” Female. Last update: March 16, 2023.

Williams, Andreane. “What Impacts Does Travel Have On Our Brain?” Last update: November 7, 2021.

“‘Metaverse Travel: How The Metaverse Will Change The Travel Industry’.” Last update: June 15, 2023.

“” We Travel To Change, Not Of Place, But Of Ideas.”.” Of Travel And Fresh Water. Last update: May 5, 2014.

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