Tyler Cowen via Gretchen Rubin:
Travel is an interesting issue. It makes people deeper, and makes their internal mental stream much richer, but I’m not sure it ever makes them *happier* per se. It can be a lot of hard work and also some frustration. Still it is worth doing as much as you can.
As I’ve said before, for me, all the cliches about travel are true. It really does broaden you.
7 comments on “Does Travel Make You Happier?”
Travels do make me happier.
Especially when, planning on time, you are able to meet people you admire. There’ s nothing like traveling and learning.
I have just arrived back from a four month study abroad excursion in Prague, Czech Republic. While I was there I was able to travel to so many different cities and countries all over Europe.
You can read about all the places I went on my blog here: http://miparadox.blogspot.com/2008/06/half-way-around-world.html
I met so many people and experienced so many things that I had absolutely no idea about. It gave me great perspective and I learned a lot about myself through the process.
I cannot plug traveling more. It is a must.
It isn’t always earth-shattering and profound, but I can hardly think of a time when travel *didn’t* make me happier to some degree, and if I think of my top 5 most significant and meaningful memories from my life since high school, all involve travel.
Travel is about the only thing that can make me feel like I’m five years old again and Christmas is coming — I look forward to it for months, I get to escape the mundanity and predictability of everyday life, and there’s a huge built-in element of surprise about what I’ll experience or discover when it arrives.
Often when I come home after traveling, people comment that I seem to have a sort of glow about me — more energy, more enthusiasm.
It’s certainly not the airplane rides (boy do those get old fast) — i think it comes from (a) meeting new people, (b) seeing that new possibilities in life exist, instead of the same old rut back home, and then actually jumping on these new possibilities (which means the effects of the trip don’t end when it’s over — literally life-transforming connections and decisions are made) and (c) having psychological room to breathe and reinvent myself by getting away from conformist pressures of family/friends.
Granted, I also see a lot of people on my travels who are clearly more likely to die at the drunken wheel of a rented scooter than discover a new purpose or perspective in their life.
Hell yes it does!
Busyness is not your friend. Entrepreneurship often spawns out of mental breakdowns, but it shouldn’t come to that. Entrepreneurship should spawn from dedicating time to rest and relaxation and some focused thinking and planning!
Traveling is often a crutch for those who lack the creativity and discipline to discover the depth and beauty of their immediate surroundings.
If you look a bit closer, and exercise a bit of creativity and discipline to put yourself outside of your comfort zone…you don’t have to travel long-distances in order to experience the growth, fulfillment, and excitement of having your eyes opened through new experiences.
I admit I haven’t traveled much primarily because I feel I do not of the time or resources for international travel at this stage of my life. I also admit that I would like to travel more and that there are aspects of international travel that is difficult, if not impossible to replicate any other way. However, I still feel much of the inherent desire we have to discover ourselves and others threw new experiences can in large part be satisfied without international travel.
Read more on this issue on my blog:
i like taking road trips the best. they definitely make me happier and are easier to do. sometimes i just drive up the coast in california and improvise the entire thing. adventure + unknown = happiness.
Overcoming challenges makes me happy.
Traveling to new places is challenging because it moves me out of my normal patterns of activity, and there are very clear goals (arrive at location x).
So travel to new places certainly makes me happy!