Travel as a mind-shifter: study links expat life with greater creativity

Good news for artists, writers, musicians, and other creative-types! If you need more incentive for extended travel, The Economist confirms what you (and Picasso, and Gauguin) might’ve suspected—living abroad boosts creativity.

I can definitely see the connection. Because the traveler likely finds new inspiration around every corner and often needs to wing it with a new language, he’s broadening and testing his creativity every day.

I think it’s worthwhile to note that the study tested problem-solving and negotiating. Creativity doesn’t have to be literally confined to painting or songwriting—it can take the shape of approaching a business problem differently.

The Economist makes the distinction that it’s not the annual two-week vacation that creates the mental shift—it’s living abroad (although the report doesn’t mention how long you need to live abroad).

What’s your experience been? Do you agree?

Posted by | Comments (3)  | May 20, 2009
Category: General

3 Responses to “Travel as a mind-shifter: study links expat life with greater creativity”

  1. marina villatoro Says:

    Hi! I sooooooo agree. Since I’ve lived abroad, I wrote three books and have started numerous business all with a creative twist! I personally believe it’s the only way to live:)

  2. niamh Says:

    I don’t know if living away makes you more creative than you would have been anyway, but you definitely get a greater freedom to explore your creativity or interests. There’s no-one around with pre-conceptions about your personality so you can do anything you want. Umm this has negative results too sometimes if you think about some obnoxious expats in developing countries but in general, it’s a great thing. You get to choose who you really are….