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Have you ever been at work and caught yourself daydreaming about exploring Brazilian rainforests, admiring Spanish architecture, or trekking Vancouver’s Grouse Mountain instead of being stuck inside? Yeah, we’ve been there, too.
But those dreams don’t have to remain dreams. In fact, they shouldn’t. According to a study conducted by travel company Contiki, travelling actually leads to long-term benefits that can enrich one your mental state, relationships, and overall well-being. So before you come up with a laundry list of excuses as to why you shouldn’t go on that cross-Canada excursion or backpack across Japan, keep reading to learn more about how travelling can make you a better, more well-rounded person.
If you’ve ever been outside of Canada, you probably know that travelling to other countries usually means having to interact with people whose beliefs, customs, and ideas are totally unfamiliar to you. And that’s a good thing—experiencing different cultures allows you to gain a better understanding of those cultures and thus become a more open-minded and understanding person. Open-mindedness can manifest itself in several ways, including developing a higher tolerance for risk. So if you’ve ever wanted to try bungee jumping but are too scared to take the plunge, consider taking a quick trip to ease those nerves.
While travelling gives people the chance to learn about and become more accepting of cultural differences, Canadian travellers are also, on average, more patriotic than non-travellers. Canadians are likely to think of themselves as “ambassadors to Canadian values” when they travel and to carry those feelings of pride with them when they return home. Plus, Canadian travellers are generally more politically engaged than non-travellers—44 per cent of Canadians who travelled outside of Canada voted in the last federal election compared to only 28 per cent of non-travellers.
You know that risk-taking thing we mentioned earlier? Turns out being open-minded and willing to take risks also makes you more creative. Taking risks and trying new things often allows people to form innovative, interesting ideas and discover solutions to problems they hadn’t considered before. So while we don’t have solid proof that Marie Curie, Steve Jobs, and Oprah travelled a lot before they became famous, we wouldn’t be surprised if we found out that they did.
If being open-minded, creative, and tolerant sounds good to you, it probably sounds even better to potential employers. Travellers are 22 per cent more likely to achieve the goals they set for themselves than non-travellers, including landing dream jobs or earning important promotions. And according to Contiki’s study, Canadian travellers are 59 per cent more likely to be satisfied with their employment opportunities than non-travellers. Travellers also tend to process new information, learn new skills, and adapt to new situations quickly and easily—aka characteristics that managers and supervisors look for when seeking new hires.
Happy Sunday! I am heading home to Canada today, @paul.sandwich drove us through the night from El Paso to San Antonio. Not quite there yet, 2.5 hours to go! It’s been a whirlwind of a trip – got to see so many beautiful places with lots and lots of pals. Thank you to @kiehlscanada + @coldfront905 for thinking I’m special enough to experience these things with! Hopefully I’ll be back to this warm weather sometime soon, but for now back to PUPPYLAND. I’ve got a Christmas tree to put up and a @castingthorns to hug. ✨ Thank you @_beckykimball for the 📸! #CelebrateWithKiehls Top – @madewell Skirt – @madewell Bandana – @madewell Boots – @matt_and_nat
Maybe it’s because distance makes the heart grow fonder, but travelling can actually help strengthen your relationships. That includes friendly, platonic relationships as well as familial and romantic relationships, by the way. Travellers are also 69 per cent more likely to pursue new friendships than non-travellers.
While travelling (unfortunately) can’t solve all your problems, travellers are apparently 20 per cent more likely to be happy than non-travellers. Seventy-three per cent of travellers also say that they feel confident compared to 66 per cent of non-travellers. And while that isn’t a huge percentage gap, we’re still willing to take a chance and circle the globe if it gives us a chance of feeling just a little bit more content than we do now.