Traveling is the best we can do for our brain

Most people with low job performance have never left their hometown

Traveling is the best we can do for our brain

It seems that people who have had the opportunity to live in cultures other than their own are more creative, efficient and even 'smarter' than those who have not. This postulate has been confirmed by different scientific investigations, which when analyzing the changes that occur in the body when traveling, discovered that the brain is the most benefited and its structure is modified in a few days of cultural immersion.

Leer en español: Viajar es de lo mejor que podemos hacer para nuestro cerebro

This neuronal modification is known as cerebral plasticity and refers to the ability of the nervous system to change its structure and functioning throughout its life, as a reaction to the diversity of the environment. In simple words, it is a characteristic of the brain that is stimulated when the individual faces new places, flavors, sounds, people or routes.

Leja em português: Viajar é o melhor que podemos fazer por nosso cérebro

The cerebral plasticity in most people stops strengthening in childhood, just after establishing the tastes, perceptions, ideas, and concepts that define the personality of the individual. However, traveling increases this plasticity, thus allowing the transformation or enrichment of their knowledge and skills.

Under these concepts, making a cultural immersion journey is not only a stimulus for the senses, but also for the neuronal connections responsible for memory, language, self-confidence, creativity and the ability to generate strategies for solving problems. This was ratified by the University of Tel Aviv, who after a study found that people with low work or academic performance are mostly those who have never left their city of birth.

21 days will be enough

Some psychologists claim that traveling is an authentic source of knowledge. This activity is perhaps the dream that all humanity has in common, but only a few seem to make it possible.

Contrary to what we might believe, it does not take sabbaticals or extensive sums of money to boost brain plasticity by traveling. According to experts, 21 days of cultural immersion are enough to change the mental structure. It is also not necessary to take a plane to the other side of the planet, since going to a place in your country where there is a different community can have the same benefits.

Some neurologists suggest three steps to take a trip in the ideal scenario: first you must choose an unknown destination without having preconceived ideas about it; second, it is suggested to stay there for at least 21 days; and finally, the best thing is to make the trip without company.

Other alternatives if it is not possible to travel

While traveling is the most powerful brain stimulus, there are other ways to enhance the neural connections that do not require the purchase of airline tickets. Take different routes to get to work, enroll in new and different activities, learn a new language or skill, go to the gym at a different time to meet new people or risk having a coffee alone without cell phones in hand to experience and observe the environment are also exercises that promote the change of mental patterns.

Cultural experiences have the potential to get people out of bubbles conceived at an early age or inherited by the training environment. Research has shown that people who lived or worked for a period abroad are better able to give solutions or creative proposals at a professional level, than those who never left their hometowns.


Latin American Post | Krishna Jaramillo Jaramillo

Translated from "Viajar es de lo mejor que podemos hacer para nuestro cerebro"