“Not all those who wander are lost,” said J.R.R Tolkien, author of the epic Lord of the Rings series. This man who clearly knew about the joy of other places.
It seems Singaporeans agree; we are travelling abroad in ever increasing numbers. In 2012 we made over million trips abroad, that’s an increase of almost four percent from 2011 and a massive 85 percent leap from 2001.
So why should we invest our hard earned cash in going somewhere else? And are there real benefits to prioritizing new places over new things?
1. Money spent on travel makes you happier than money spent on material things
In their book Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending, authors Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton draw on years of quantitative and qualitative research to explain how experiences, like vacations or concerts, leave us far more content than simply shopping.
2. Taking a vacation can lower your risk of heart disease
In fact, in a nine-year study, men who took at least one vacation per year were almost 30% less likely to die from a heart-related cause compared with the men who stayed chained to their work.
3. The benefits of travel are almost immediate
After only a day or two, 89% of people experience significant drops in stress, even when researchers did account for factors such as lower income levels and pre-existing poor health.
4. Travel creates life long memories
We remember our holidays says Regina Corso of Harris Interactive, who conducted a poll of more than 2,500 adults and 1,100 young people -
“We assumed there would be a connection between memories and vacations, but it was surprising to learn that some of people's most vivid childhood memories are of family vacations that happened when they were as young as five."
5. Travel can make you smarter
Travel has long been associated with broadening the mind. Now new evidence proves that jumping on a plane will not only make you smarter, but more open-minded and creative.
6. Yes, travel can make you more creative
A ScientificAmerican.com article explains “even minimal cues of psychological distance can make us more creative.”
This echoes a study by INSEAD (France), which concluded -
“The experience of another culture endows the traveler with a valuable open-mindedness, making it easier for him or her to realize that a single thing can have multiple meanings.”
7. Travel can help improve your problem-solving skills
A change in perspective comes when we step out of our everyday world into the unfamiliar. According to a group of over 30 US psychologists -
“We see beyond where our minds normally allow us to go. We are no longer a slave to the familiar… Our brains are able to think outside the box, rather than be limited by the constraints of what is around us.”