The Brain Benefits of Travel–Even if It’s Just a Staycation!

July 12, 2019 | The joys of Iowa summers Deborah Rinner, VP Chief Learning Officer, Tero International,

Work, travel, save for the next trip, repeat. Does this sound familiar to you?

If so you might be enhancing your creativity and expanding your ability to be inclusive through travel. Benefits which will serve you at work long after the trip.

According to an article in the Atlantic Magazine titled “For a More Creative Brain, Travel”, your summer trip could have quite an impact on your brain. Neuroscientists have found creative capacity is fostered through travel. Travel allows you to witness new sounds, smells, sensations and sights. It sparks synapses in the brain revitalizing creativity.

Travel also increases your ability to make important connections between diverse things. With an increasingly diverse workforce, your ability to make these kind of connections at work influences your ability to be inclusive and mentally flexible.

Is all travel created equal with regard to these benefits?

Researchers found travelling to places extremely different from home was associated with lower creativity gains than traveling to places with less cultural distance.

The researchers theorized an extremely different culture might present an intimidation factor, which could inhibit you from immersing in the culture.

Staying in a western-style chain hotel and eating at McDonald’s while visiting Japan is an example of travel without immersion.

If you have the chance to go somewhere completely different, don’t be intimidated. Immerse yourself in the unfamiliar. Otherwise you reduce the positive cognitive changes attributed to travel.

Do the brain benefits occur only if your travel takes you abroad? The good news is even a “staycation” where you simply take in a different cultural scene in your city or state will help you procure the mental and creative benefits travel provides.