A research by the Cornell University indicates that people experience the same level of happiness when they buy something they want and when they travel. However, there’s something more to travelling than there is to material goods, the researchers further note.
Thomas Gilovich, a professor of psychology at the university points out that the happiness from buying something lowers as the time goes by whereas the memories from travelling continue supplying you with ongoing happiness hormones.
Travel to Be Happier
Gilovich points out that adaptation is an enemy to happiness and that we tend to buy things in order to feel happier; however, the success is only short-term. Soon, we adapt to the things that we bought and made us happy in that moment because they don’t have the main ingredient for happiness that travelling does.
The human experience, as Gilovich explains, and the experience brought from travel is more important for us than having material goods. Material stuff is separate from our identity whereas travelling is part of who we are.
This is the reason why your dearest and cherished memories are from travelling experiences rather than material goods. When we travel, we experience new places and cultures and in such environments, we feel more enriched.
We’re not paying attention to time as we’re focused on absorbing new information. Hence, one could say that investment in travel is actually an investment in satisfaction and happiness in the long run.
Material Goods vs. Travelling
According to Robert Waldinger, head of an 80-year-old research done by Harvard, the people who were the most connected to their family, friends, and community were found to be the healthiest and happiest.
Waldinger further explains that we need to deepen our connections by experiencing new things together; something material goods can’t do for us. Travelling is an awesome way to connect, scientists believe.
This being said, even though in today’s world it may be quite hard to resist purchasing the newest iPhone or the fanciest watch, it would be much more beneficial if you would save your money for travel.
Travelling will make your life more interesting, help you become more creative, nourish your curiosity, and increase your independence and self-awareness.
Plus, when we travel, we learn to break free from our comfort zone and become more modest because we get to see how tiny we are in this big world.