Going Places Educational Travel Blog - Expand Your Mind and Boost Creativity
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April 20, 2016

Expand Your Mind and Boost Creativity

education travel expand creativity

Travel has the potential to revamp and vitalize the mind by immersing us in unfamiliar cultures with new customs and ideas. 

Foreign experiences improve cognitive flexibility - the mind’s ability to jump between different ideas, which is a key component of creativity.

Travel helps to overcome closed-mindedness, which hinders creativity.
Studies have shown that traveling to other countries expands the mind and inspires creativity. The connection between travel and creativity is related to neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity describes how experiences rearrange the neural pathways in our brains and are influenced by the environment as well as the actions of the individual. Foreign experiences have the potential to revamp and vitalize the mind by immersing us in unfamiliar cultures with new customs and ideas.

Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School, has published numerous studies on the connection between creativity and international travel. He believes that foreign experiences improve cognitive flexibility. Cognitive flexibility is the mind’s ability to jump between different ideas, which is a key component of creativity.

Galinsky also found that when people traveled to other countries and interacted with locals, it increased their generalized trust in humanity. His study suggested that this trust may actually play an important role in boosting creativity. Researchers found that people who “believed that racial groups have fixed underlying essences” performed significantly worse on creative tests than those who had firsthand experiences that debunked their flawed cultural and racial divisions. In other words, closed-mindedness hinders creativity and when we travel, we escape from our bubbles and we realize that our ways of thinking and ways of life are not the only ways.


Authors Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway, two of the most creative thinkers and writers to ever live, have long felt the creative and enlightening benefits of travel. Ernest Hemingway, inspired by his time in France and Spain, said to “live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the Romance of the unusual.”

Mark Twain certainly didn’t equivocate his views on foreign experiences in his travelogue The Innocents Abroad. He wrote that travel is “fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness” and that “broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime.”

So, if you feel like you’re lacking the creative gene or stuck in a creative rut perhaps it’s been awhile since your last trip to a foreign country, or maybe you’ve never even traveled abroad? This could be the creative boost you need!

Passports has the perfect tour to inspire you and your students. Browse tours here.

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passports Educational Group Travel partners with teachers across the United States to provide high-quality educational travel experiences to their students. Educational tours visit destinations around the world - primarily France, Italy, England, Spain and Costa Rica - at low, guaranteed prices.

Passports, Inc., ToursOperators & Promoters, Spencer, MA


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