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





The minute after you get your paycheck, you go shopping for that new dress or a surfboard. Once you buy it, you’re so happy! But only a few days after, you’re no longer exhilarated about it.

This is because material wealth makes you happy, but only temporarily. As soon as you get used to the new thing that you’ve bought, your satisfaction level decreases, and you want to go shopping for another product. It’s a damaging cycle, repeating itself over and over again.

In other words, you can’t buy happiness. All that money can do is to make your life easier and less stressful than it already is.

Cornell University researchers have found a way out of this cycle. Psychology professor Thomas Gilovich said that the amount of happiness when you buy something and the amount of happiness when you travel are both at the same level.  Despite this fact, there’s a difference between the two. The happiness that you get from making a new purchase reduces over time, but your travel memories keep you happy for a long time.

But why is this so?

According to Gilovich, one of the enemies of happiness is adaptation. You buy something to make yourself happy, but you’re happy only for a short while. It doesn’t take much time for you to adapt to your new purchases.

What’s the secret ingredient for making happiness last longer?

The key ingredient for maintaining happiness is nothing but your experiences. While material goods aren’t really a part of you, your experiences are. You may think that a part of you is connected to your new purchase, but in reality, these material goods are separate from your identity. Your identity lies in your travel experiences, and these are part of who you are.


The richest memories you have are a total sum of all your life experiences, not a sum of the material goods you’ve bought over the years.

Building connections makes you happier

Traveling means new places, new cultures, new people. While you’re hitting the road, your mind and body are bent on taking in all the new information. In the process, you get disconnected from the usual surroundings back home that you’re already adapted to. You start connecting with this new environment, where you can create happy memories that can last forever.

A Harvard University research from 80 years ago, led by Robert Waldinger, showed that embracing community makes us happier. Basically, individuals who connect with their family, friends, and other people are the happiest of all people.

Waldinger suggests doing things together with the people in your life, so that your connections go deeper. He also says that material things can’t connect you to others like experiences can. For example, he came closer to his family through travel, Waldinger revealed.

Other things that can make you happy

A new gadget or a new car will eventually become ordinary and replaceable. But the memories you create by learning new skills, attending unusual events, or participating in adventurous sports like bungee-jumping will stay with you your whole life, and make you happy for long.
Scientists Say That Traveling Makes Us Much Happier Than Any Material Wealth Scientists Say That Traveling Makes Us Much Happier Than Any Material Wealth Reviewed by Tim on August 02, 2019 Rating: 5

4 comments

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