By Darren Griffiths

6 Ways Travel Can Improve Your Personality

15th April 2023

Me and Shelley (Finding Beyond) at Machu Picchu

We all travel for different reasons. For escapism. For adventure. For inspiration. For relaxation. But I don’t think many of us would add to improve ourselves as a person to that list. But Shelley and I would, as we’ve experienced changes in ourselves as a direct result of our travels.

We’ve always thought that long term travel doesn’t only change a person but it changes them for the better. One example is that it surely can’t be possible to go to a third world country such as India or Cambodia and not be affected by what you see. Witnessing poverty on that kind of level brings strong feelings of empathy and a high level of appreciation for what we have back home in the UK. With that appreciation comes a growth in positive personality traits.

Well, now there’s proof! A number of studies have been carried out and they all suggest that long-term travel actually is beneficial to your personality. Here are those six findings.

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In this post we reveal some studies that have shown six ways travel can improve your personality.

The more foreign countries people travel to, the more their sense of generalised trust increases – William Maddux.

1. More Trusting

William Maddux carried out a study in the Academy of Management Journal and found that people who travelled to different countries for longer periods of time became more trusting in others as a consequence. Maddux spoke to Buzzfeed last year in September and said, “The more foreign countries people travel to, the more their sense of generalised trust increases.”

Being trusting in others is a good trait to have and we certainly have it but we’d say that travelling can also make you more aware of others which is another very handy trait to hold when being on the road where scams are rife!

2. More open to new things

According to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, travel opens you up to new experiences and other things that you wouldn’t usually try or even engage in and this can feed back into your normal everyday life back home. The study makes a big connection between this and meeting new people, suggesting that meeting new people while travelling expands your horizons, making you actively find new experiences when you return home to your day to day.  

3. Teaches you to solve problems

In the same Journal of Personalty and Social Psychology, another study was carried out on students. They tested two groups of students with tasks. The first group had travelled or lived abroad for an extended period of time, the second group had not. The researchers found that the group who had travelled or lived abroad were 20% more likely to better solve the tasks than the other students. These results lead the researchers to believe that being abroad for a long period of time allows you to see multiple outcomes or solutions to problems and think outside the box.

In this post we reveal some studies that have shown six ways travel can improve your personality.

Us at Lake Wanaka in New Zealand. One of our favourite spots.

4. Humbles you

Again the same Journal of Personalty and Social Psychology made another interesting discovery. This strongly relates to what we mentioned in the intro above. Researchers found that students who had travelled to different countries were more humble than the ones who had not left the country. The researchers put this down to witnessing something different and in contrast to home which gave them a perspective of their own lives and achievements.

5. Makes you happier

A study by the creative title Waiting for Merlot: Anticipatory Consumption of Experiential and Material Purchases, found that people who are ‘anticipating’ a good travel experience are extremely happy, even happier than if the same person is anticipating a more concrete thing like money or a purchase of some kind. Booking our many trips and holidays has made us far happier than any other purchase we’ve made so can strongly agree with this one.

6. You’re more productive in your day to day

Now we never understand those who don’t take all their allocated holiday days from work but studies show that it’s beneficial to do so. The US Travel Association carried out a study that suggests that people who take all their holiday days have a 6.5% higher chance of being promoted in their job than if they didn’t take all those days. This is because taking breaks make people more productive. The same applies for those sometimes hard to grab lunch hours!

So there you have the proof. Get travelling and make yourself a better person 🙂

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In this post we reveal some studies that have shown six ways travel can improve your personality.