Tour operators often stress that going on regular vacations is good for your physical and mental health and well-being. It seems undeniable that this is true. After all, taking some time away from the daily stresses of life will give you a time to take stock and just relax, getting away from it all. If nothing else, it will bring your stress cortisol levels down, meaning you will be healthier overall. However, psychologists have now uncovered that frequent traveling actually affects your personality. This means that taking a regular vacation with an operator such as Globus Tours could actually be even more important than we had first believed.
How Traveling Affects Your Personality
A comprehensive psychological test was done amongst students in Germany. Those tested were divided into two groups: one group of students who spent time abroad for their study, and one group who did not. They were tested on the “Big Five” dimensions of personality, being:
4. Openness to experience
5. Emotional stability
The test was taken both before the travel and afterwards. In doing so, it was made clear that personality traits that would make it more likely for someone to choose to travel were taken into consideration and would not affect results.
The results showed some very interesting things, including:
– Extraversion was up in travelers, which means they engaged in more social relationships.
– Conscientiousness was also up in travelers, meaning they were more likely to be able to follow rules and directions and actually complete tasks.
– Openness to experience was also higher in travelers.
– Agreeableness was up as well, which means traveling students had a greater need to get on with other people.
– Emotional stability was up as well.
The reason behind these increases in all of the Big Five areas is believed to be down to the fact that travelers have a greater social network. They meet many different people from different cultures and civilizations and this allows them to have greater life experiences. Although some of the non-travelers had an equally large social circle, their network of friends and acquaintances tended to be limited to the same social and cultural background as their own.
What Does This Mean?
Although further study and peer review is required, it demonstrates that people who travel are taken out of their comfort zone and, in so doing, experience things that improve their personality and make them more balanced, more likeable people. Other pieces of psychological research have demonstrated that those who score highest on the Big Five of personality tend to be happier, more successful and have more capital (all types of capital, from monetary to social).
What this demonstrates is that there are really good reasons as to why you should travel as much as possible. Going on guided tours is a really good idea as well, because it enables you to really immerse yourself in different cultures and civilizations and therefore gain the greatest benefits to your own mental and physical well-being as well.