Scientists Find That Traveling Makes Us Much Happier Than Any Material Wealth

When you are feeling a little down, there's nothing like the instant hit of buying something on Amazon or going on a little shopping spree. Spending money can bring you happiness, but only temporarily.

Photo by Grace Chen

Making new purchases may give you a quick rush but it isn't able to help you maintain happiness. 

The problem is we get used to the new clothes, phone, car, and shoes fairly quickly. As soon as we get used to our new purchase, our level of satisfaction decreases. Once the novelty and thrill are gone, we feel compelled to buy something again.

So what's a better option?


According to research from Cornell University, doing makes us happier than owning. Dr. Gilovich found that people experience the same amount of happiness when making a purchase they want and when they travel.

However, while the happiness we get from a purchase quickly decreases over time, the memories of travel experiences produce happiness for a much longer time.

But why?

Experiences Create A Sense Of Identity


Dr. Gilovich explains our experience is a bigger part of ourselves than our material things. We may feel and like to think that we are a reflection of the stuff we buy; however, they are mostly separate from our identities. On the other hand, our life and travel experiences are strongly a part of who we are.

If you think about it, your most cherished memories probably aren’t from the material things you’ve bought. Rather, they’re experiences you’ve had.

Happiness Comes From Relationships 


An 80-year old research study from Harvard University found individuals who were most connected to their family, friends, community, and other people were the healthiest and happiest.

Interestingly, Dr. Waldinger explains that experiences connect you to others in a way that material things can’t. Some of the most important moments in his life are travel which has brought him closer to his family and loved ones.

The best way to deepen your relationships by doing new things together with the people in your life.

Travel Creates Heightened Awareness


Traveling brings us in touch with new people, cultures, and places.

In novel environments, our awareness, focus, and experiences are richer. When we experience normal environments that we've already adapted to, our experiences blur into one and things are often missed. Why should we bother remembering if we've had the 8 or 9th Starbucks from down the street?

When we travel, we experience wonder, joy, and lasting memories that are hard to forget. 

Conclusion


A new car gets old as soon as you drive it off the lot, but a travel story just gets better over time. When you travel, you gain richer experiences, create deeper relationships, and make memories that will be a source of happiness and stay with you forever.

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Written by Taige Zhang
Founder of Fairytrail

Fairytrail is a travel app that makes dating safer and more fun. Its mission is to help people explore the world with someone they like. You should follow him on Instagram.


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