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The power of travel – travelling makes us more politically aware

Two people in Berlin in front of political graffiti

Here at six-two and Contiki, we’ve always passionately believed that travel can make you a better person. Now, after speaking with hundreds of real Contiki travellers and creating a study with Columbia Business School psychologist, Adam Galinsky, we can prove it. 

The study set out to answer the question: does travel make us better humans? Through comparing the answers of hundreds of global travellers with non-travellers, and investigating how travellers and non-travellers motivations, passions and travel habits compare across regions, the short answer is yes! Check out our Power of Travel study hub to find out more (and for the chance to win a Contiki trip!). We did however find an interesting link between travelling and politics…

Travel shapes our political world views

According to the study, travelling makes Americans significantly more politically and socially engaged. 74% of US travellers indicated that travel has shaped their perspective on global politics. As a result of travelling beyond the 52 states, they are 34% more likely to be politically engaged than non travellers – with 12% more travellers voting in the last presidential election (hint: get ready to vote on 3 November 2020!). 

US travellers are also 17% more aware of the names of the current leaders of other countries compared to those who haven’t travelled beyond the states, while they’re 11% more concerned about other governments’ treatment of its people, implying that they have empathy for others far beyond their local communities.

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Understanding the world better

The study also examined Americans’ motivations for travel. Compared to non-travellers, US travellers are 40% more likely to prioritise learning about other cultures, they’re also looking to challenge themselves, grow their skills and be more accepting of differing beliefs. 

Overall, US travellers feel they’re personally and professionally better because of travel and that it has also shaped their home country perspective. And with more Americans than ever looking to travel internationally – with half of non-travellers looking to venture across the globe – 2020 could be the year of change for so many more of us! 

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