It's almost a cliche to admit that your time traveling completely changed your life, but a new study by the German Research Foundation suggests that it might actually be true. In the "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology," two researchers gave study participants a personality test before and after embarking on a semester abroad. When they tested for what they call the "Big Five" areas of personality, the results were stunning from the group who traveled, immersed themselves in a new culture and made new friends abroad.
The travelers showed an increase in their willingness to be spontaneous.
Their likeliness to say yes to new experiences, even when the plan involves flexibility on their part, was higher after traveling than before.
They were less judgmental.
After experiencing a new culture, they were more open-minded and willing to examine new approaches to everyday problems. The students who ventured outside of tourist areas returned even more open-minded.
Their problem-solving skills had increased.
You could argue that the newfound spontaneity and willingness to think outside the box make this one obvious, but researchers noted that travelers had more creative solutions to problems upon their return.
Traveling does a wonder for a traveler's social skills.
The ease and comfort in working with strangers, meeting and making new friends, pursuing romantic relationships, and having hospitable relations with strangers all increased in the group that went abroad.
And the priority on those relationships became more realized.
On their return, the traveling group prioritized their personal relationships with greater clarity and were more willing to let go of relationships that had run their course.
Not just relationships, but everyday obstacles suddenly came into perspective.
When the traveling group came back, they were less likely to give up on their goals when obstacles got in their way. They had greater skills in looking at their problems objectively and applying some of those new creative problem-solving skills to taking them on.
We want to hear from you. If you’ve traveled, did you notice a shift in your personality and your abilities when you returned?
Via: A Plus