Traveling makes you far happier than any material wealth ever does

They say that money doesn’t buy happiness, but everyone at work seems to be in far better moods every time payday rolls around. That being said, once most of the income is spent over the course of the coming days, people often feel worse than they did before getting paid.  And if you’re already retired, the cycle could be even shorter…

Psychologists say that human adaptation often stifles our happiness. When we buy something new, its appeal tends to wear off for the most part once the item is no longer “new.” So if we want to experience the same feeling of “new happiness,” we must keep purchasing new things on a very regular basis. Of course, most of us have a limited amount of finances, so acquiring and maintaining happiness in this fashion is destined to fail.

Professor Thomas Gilovich,at Cornell University, states that when human beings travel, they experience the same degree of happiness as they do when purchasing goods. What’s more, the happiness we gain from travelling tends to stick with us long after a trip has ended—as long as we retain the happy memories of travelling, they will continue to make us happy (unlike the memories of what an expensive shirt used to look like when it was new).

Spend money on experiences, not things!

Man smiling slouching on boat on a river
Spend money on experiences, not things

In short, experiences result in happiness which is more meaningful, so if we devote more of our time and money to doing things rather than purchasing things, we will be happier individuals for longer periods of time. Although playing sports or going on nature walks would be worthwhile experiences, going on exciting trips is number one according to Professor Gilovich.

Travel is good for lots of things, but it can also increase mental well-being – and not just in the short-term. Whether you’re traveling for business, on a one-week family holiday, or have sold everything to pursue a life on the road, traveling can make you a happier person by building self-confidence, providing new experiences and memories, breaking routine and allowing you to meet people from all over the world.




*This content was inspired by an amazing article that can be found here.