Going on a rumba to Southeast Asia will not help you, but it will be shared with the locals you know.
Many of the lessons we acquire outside of the classroom, we could call it the “university of life.” And there are things that we simply do not learn in school . One of the best ways to gain new knowledge is by traveling, and most of us have witnessed how changed people who have lived away from home for a time return home.
In a recent article on The Atlantic website , it was stated that creativity is related to brain connections , where neural pathways would be influenced by environment and habit, making them sensitive to changes. That is, experiencing new sensations, tasting exotic flavors, speaking a strange language and hearing unfamiliar sounds and seeing different places have the power to revitalize the mind.
Columbia professor and author of several studies on this connection between travel and creativity, Adam Galinsky, said that international experiences increase cognitive flexibility or the ability of the mind to connect dispersed ideas, a key point of creativity. But you have to be careful when defining “an international experience”, since going on vacation to party in Southeast Asia will not help you, but it will do it to share with the locals. That is, this experience should be a process where you commit, immerse yourself and adapt to the new culture.
In his latest study, Galinsky spent 11 years researching the connections between the creative directors of 270 haute couture houses and their experiences working abroad. The degree of creativity of the final product was rated by a group of specialized journalists and independent buyers. The result was that brands where their creative directors had lived and worked in other countries produced more creative lines than those where they did not.
However, this does not mean that you have to travel to more places to be more creative if it means spending a reduced amount of time in each place. What happens is that it takes a deeper understanding of each culture to have higher levels of creativity . In fact, creative directors who worked in more than 3 countries tended to show less creativity than those who worked in fewer places.
The culture you experience should not be that different from the one you already know , because it can intimidate you by making it very difficult to immerse yourself in it and maintain a “cultural distance”. For example, if you really want to live in India for a while and be part of its culture, it will probably take months to stop thinking of it as an extravagant country and allow yourself to connect with its lifestyle.
Another benefit of traveling was confirmed by the psychologist and professor at the University of South California, Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, who said that different studies show that the ability to leave your social comfort zone and connect with different people, helps you to have a stronger idea of yourself . By living different experiences and getting to know unfamiliar cultures, you get a more accurate idea of what your beliefs and values are. That is, they can raise you a lifetime telling you what is good for you and what you should consider correct, however, you do not know if this really fits your personality if you have not known all the possible edges.
Although buying a plane ticket to go to live in another country is not possible at this time, you should not worry. You can visit a different neighborhood, enroll in a different workshop or do something that you would never have dared before, among hundreds of possibilities. In the end, all you need is to get out of the routine and change the scene to get a boost of creativity.