Why vacations are good for your brain


Why do we sometimes feel like ‘we really need a vacation’? It’s not just because it’s enjoyable – it is also good for your brain.

Vacations are good for your creativity. That’s partly thanks to the relaxation that a vacation brings. If you give your brain time and space, you arrive at new insights. In his recent book about what effect traveling has on us, Dutch psychologist Ap Dijksterhuis quotes the German writer Thomas Mann: ‘Traveling removes man from his obligations, interests, worries, prospects. Traveling awakens oblivion […] by separating man with his whole person from relations he maintains and bringing him into a state of freedom that is of his own origin.’ But you don’t have 
to travel to the end of the world to reset your brain, Dijksterhuis writes. Research shows that vacations to closer-by destinations also lead to more creative thinking. However, a journey farther afield does often lead to more sparks of inspiration.

  • Find more about travelling (with a camper-van) in Issue 29.

Text Jocelyn de Kwant  Photography Timothy Meinberg/Unsplash.com

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