How travel changes us Share on email Print this article Share on Facebook How travel changes us story by: Anna Sarjeant Time and time again we are told that travel promotes personal growth. But what is it about global exploration that makes it so fruitful? And in turn, so phenomenal it changes people? 1. Increased happiness On the most simplistic level, a cocktail from the poolside bar is going to release more feel-good endorphins than a coffee slurped at your desk. Why? Because when we escape from the place we spend most of our time, the mind relaxes. We don’t necessarily forget about bills, school runs and bad TV, but by putting some distance between ourselves and our everyday routine, we remove the immediacy of mundane tasks. 2. Greater learning From world history to language, customs, culture and cuisine, many of us possess an insatiable curiosity about our planet and its people. In a world where everything is accessible, why read the book when you have the opportunity to physically experience it? Education abounds, and you don’t have to live in a Tibetan hilltop monastery to get learned; sit next to a local on your next flight to anywhere and you’ll probably arrive more knowledgeable than the guide book. Travel more, learn more. Plus you’ll absolutely nail the pub quiz. 3. Lifestyle changes Why is it so many people return from Asia wearing elephant printed harem pants? We doubt it’s because they’re super flattering on the thighs. It’s because we all get wrapped up in the cultures we experience. Elephant pants look mighty fine amidst dusty streets, Hindu temples and a choking smog, and you embrace it all, because when something is different and exotic, or even abnormal, it’s also appealing. You don’t simply want to witness it as a bystander, you want to live it; eat, sleep and breathe it. 4. Discomfort Fight or flight, it’s human nature. Ever booked that bucket-list trip and once imminent, had an overwhelming desire to cancel and go to the beach instead? Anything unfamiliar is unbelievably scary. Whether you’re travelling solo for the first time, changing the annual family holiday or flying from the first world into the third, stepping out of your comfort zone is daunting. The good news is, it’s when we are uncomfortable that we grow the most. Think of it like this, the unfamiliar is only unfamiliar until you face it, so seek the bigger risks and you’ll reap the biggest rewards. 5. The mind grows Writer Jonah Lehrer argues that “distance and difference are the secret tonic of creativity.” If you’ve ever noticed how head-restless you get on holiday, you’ll know exactly what he means. Ordinarily, the everyday banality of life suppresses our creativity, but one week into your trip (relaxed and stress-free) your noggin reboots and your creative spark explodes like a proverbial brain bomb. Which is why we all come home with exciting to-do lists for the future; nothing seems impossible. And what’s more refreshing than that? Enquire Now First name* Last name* Email* Phone How can we help? My preferred House of Travel Store* Select Outlet Auckland Albany: Auckland North Botany Junction: Auckland South Browns Bay: Auckland North Devonport: Auckland North Ellerslie: Auckland Central Hobsonville: Auckland West Howick: Auckland East Milford: Auckland North New Lynn: LynnMall Auckland West Newmarket: Auckland Central Orewa: Auckland North Parnell: Auckland Central Ponsonby: Auckland Central Remuera: Auckland Central St Heliers: Auckland East Takanini: Auckland South Takapuna: Auckland North Whangaparaoa: Auckland North Bay of Plenty Mt Maunganui Papamoa Rotorua Taupo Tauranga CBD the Crossing Canterbury Ashburton Barrington: Christchurch South Christchurch City: Christchurch Central Ferrymead: Christchurch East High Street Lanes: Christchurch Central Hornby: Christchurch West Merivale: Christchurch Central Northlands: Papanui Christchurch North Rangiora Riccarton: Christchurch Central Shirley: Christchurch North Timaru Upper Riccarton: Christchurch West Hawke's Bay / Gisborne Havelock North Jenny Nilsson: Hastings Nelson / Marlborough Blenheim Motueka Nelson Richmond Northland Kerikeri: Northland Whangarei: Northland Otago / Southland Alexandra Balclutha Dunedin Lakers Gore Lakers Invercargill Oamaru Wanaka Taranaki / Manawatu Broadway: Palmerston North New Plymouth Stephen Parsons: Palmerston North Wanganui Waikato Calder & Lawson: Hamilton East Cambridge Coromandel: Whangamata Hamilton: Hamilton Central Matamata Morrinsville Taupo Te Awamutu Wellington / Wairarapa Featherston Street CBD: Wellington City Hunter St CBD: Wellington City Johnsonville: Wellington North Kapiti Coast: Paraparaumu Lower Hutt: Wellington North Masterton West Coast Greymouth Hokitika Westport I would like to receive email updates on the latest HOT holiday deals HOT Privacy Statement * required fields Done this? Tell your friends about it.