If there is anything that we should not miss doing in our lifetime, it is traveling. If you get the opportunity to be a traveler, never say no. Because when you get back home, you will be a different person. Researchers can back up this claim.
In a paper , researchers had made five studies to find out about the effect of foreign travel on a person’s level of trust and their willingness to be charitable. Does traveling make a person more trusting and charitable? They found out that yes, traveling indeed does make a person more trusting and more charitable.
So how did they find out about it?
The researchers used Mark Twain’s quote in his book Innocents Abroad as an inspiration:
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
The researchers made five studies. The studies revealed that the number of countries traveled, and not the amount of time spent traveling, predicted trust level. The researchers have concluded that the more countries a person has traveled to, the more trusting the person is.
The researchers found out about this through a survey to participants before and after traveling abroad. The surveys revealed that those who traveled to more places were more trusting.
On another experiment that the researchers made, they gave a survey to undergraduates about their foreign travels and feelings of trust. Again, the survey revealed that those who visited more countries were more trusting.
There were more than 700 people that participated in the studies. One limitation of the surveys, however, is that they only reflected the participants’ attitudes and beliefs.
The researchers also created a game where one participant decides how much of a $10 endowment to send to another person. The researchers told the “sender” that whatever amount is sent will triple in value when in gets to the “receiver.” And then the “receiver” will decide how much of this tripled amount he or she will want to return to the sender.
And in their last experiment, the researchers found out that those who went to places that are more different with their home country became more trusting than those who went to places that are more similar to their home country.
So now we have more proof that we should not take traveling for granted. This research proves that traveling to many different places broadens the mind and makes us more trusting and less prejudiced. This gives us more reason why we should choose to be travelers: because it will, in fact, make us a better person.
If only each of us will choose be a broad and diverse traveler, the world maybe will turn into a better place.