Traveling stimulates creative thinking because we understand that there are a lot more possibilities to solve problems than the ones we know. Just think about the traffic at the Place Charles de Gaulle in Paris. There are twelve straight avenues entering the road junction without one traffic light being involved and thousands of cars constantly running through. How about the traffic at a busy crossroads in your city? By looking at foreign practices we automatically start to compare them with our own. We change perspectives which supports creative thinking. Christine S. Lee from the University of Florida conducted a study in May 2012 about the effects of traveling and creativity, she states that, Students who studied abroad generated ideas that were higher in quality and more novel on both a general as well as a culture-specific measure of creativity (compared to students who did not study abroad). Lee believes that their findings have relevant implications regarding the benefits of multicultural experiences on creative thinking.
Traveling allows me to become aware of myself. I start to reflect on my behaviors and my inherited identity. Outside of my well-cushioned culture, I cannot take things for granted anymore. Most of my social-cultural behavior can’t be applied, even my humor might not work anymore. I have to reframe myself and adapt to another reality to succeed in a foreign culture. Traveling is a great way to rethink one’s own behavior and adapt to a more open-minded attitude. Not to mention that traveling is one of the best things this planet has to offer.
Jump out of the box
If you want to think outside the box, jump out of your culture! Change your culture and you will change your thoughts. Change your thoughts and you will change your future. Traveling is like rising out of the soup bowl you are circling in. If you stand on the edge of the lip you see yourself and your life from a more remote perspective. Things become clear. Insights are coming up. Just one single journey can change your life. Psychologists know that new experiences incite the reward system in our brains. The self-made experience is what the brain immediately understands.