A recent article in The Atlantic quotes Mark Twain, who wrote in his travelogue The Innocents Abroad that travel is “fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” The article goes on to talk about how travel may help us be more open-minded and increase our creativity…
Foreign experiences increase both cognitive flexibility and depth and integrativeness of thought, the ability to make deep connections between disparate forms,” says Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School and the author of numerous studies on the connection between creativity and international travel. Cognitive flexibility is the mind’s ability to jump between different ideas, a key component of creativity. But it’s not just about being abroad, Galinsky says: “The key, critical process is multicultural engagement, immersion, and adaptation. Someone who lives abroad and doesn’t engage with the local culture will likely get less of a creative boost than someone who travels abroad and really engages in the local environment.” In other words, going to Cancun for a week on spring break probably won’t make a person any more creative. But going to Cancun and living with local fishermen might.
Link to the full article… For a More Creative Brain, Travel
Reading about The Innocents Abroad got me thinking about other classic travel books…
The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck – enjoyable read while traveling in Baja, Mexico.
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway – enchanting memoir of Paris in the 1920’s.
In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin – in 1974 he quit the London Sunday Times Magazine via telegram (“Have gone to Patagonia”) and disappeared into the then little-known and remote tip of South America.
Thank you Nikki for sharing the article and inspiring this post!