After a long vacation, have you ever felt like someone had pressed your reset button? It turns out that there’s a scientific explanation behind the refreshed feeling and new ideas that often follow travel.
Research by Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School, found that immersing yourself in a country outside your own can prompt mental change, including increased creativity.
Creativity is related to neural pathways and influenced by daily life, including your habits or surroundings, The Atlantic reports. Experiencing new things can create new connections in the mind.
Galinsky and his team found that over the course of 11 years, creative directors who spent time living and working abroad led brands that developed more creative fashion lines than brands whose creative directors stayed home.
There is an important caveat, though, when considering how travel boosts creativity. Galinsky told The Atlantic, “It’s not just about being abroad. The 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.”
If you don’t have enough time to work on your creativity by fully submerging yourself in another country’s culture, don’t worry. Research from Cornell University shows that just planning a vacation makes us happier, NBC News reports.
Start planning your next vacation and read more here.