Travel: Creativity’s Locksmith


Culture shock. 

That’s what it was.

The phenomenon that many people had less than eloquently described to me over the years had taken a hold of me.

Finally, it was my turn. 

It didn’t disappoint. 

I was in the back of a tuk-tuk with my sister as we squared off with Delhi’s rush hour traffic. Sensory overload was in full effect. I watched as lanes of traffic transformed into a current of chaos. I heard car horns and new languages volley interchangeably. I felt my comfort zone contract to the point where the hair on my skin was foreign. As for smell, I’ll let your imagination fill that in. 

Needless to say, my mind was racing. I was overwhelmed. But not in the way I was used to. 

This was different. It was a spark… 

And that’s because of what my brain was actually doing. By travelling someplace far away from my norm, both geographically and culturally, I was literally sparking different synapses in my brain by immersing myself in new sights, sounds, smells, languages, tastes, and sensations. 

To put it simply, I was re-wiring my brain by doing one simple thing: traveling. 

Now, traveling has been linked to many different health benefits (lower stress levels, stronger immune system, healthier heart), but one thing you may not be familiar with is traveling’s effect on creativity. 

In general, creativity is related to neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to form and reorganize synaptic connections. By experiencing new environments and cultures, unused neural networks within the brain fire and respond allowing you to broaden how you think. 

This, along with creating new habits, allows you to unlock a level of creativity you can’t access when you’re stuck in your day to day routine. 

So, the next time you’re looking for a stroke of genius or you just need a break from the office, book a flight and experience something new. Your brain will take it from there. 

Who knows, maybe your next “aha” moment is waiting for you in the back of a tuk-tuk.



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