Adventure makes you smarter and sexier – here’s why
Posted On Feb 13, 2019
By Flash Pack
Want to get ahead in life? Forget working overtime; you need an adventure. A growing body of research shows that novel experiences not only make us smarter, they boost our attractiveness, too. Whether you’re learning to salsa in downtown Havana or island-hopping the Philippines, a dose of the great unknown is just the ticket for a brand new you. Adventure travel company Flash Pack considers the science behind a double whammy hit of brain power and sex appeal:
Adventure makes you more creative
Hiking the Himalayas, canyoning in Jordan’s Wadi Mujib, horseback riding in Argentina: most adventures play out in spectacular natural scenery. And being al fresco is fuel for creative thinking. A 2012 study by neuroscientist David Strayer and colleagues found that volunteers were 50% more creative after four days hiking trails in various parks across the States. Researchers said the powerful effect was down to the “emotionally positive” stimuli of the natural world, coupled with a decrease in attention-sapping technology.
Adventure is an aphrodisiac
In a 2017 survey by dating site Match.com, 85% of people ranked a sense of adventure as an “extremely attractive” trait in a date. And 73% saying they’d be more attracted to someone if they shared the same bucket-list items, such as going on safari and seeing the Northern Lights. Adventure is all about novel experiences, and “novelty triggers the dopamine system in the brain,” says biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher, explaining the results. This, in turn, can make you feel “alert, focused, energetic, optimistic”. If you share these good-time feels with a potential partner, it’s a recipe for sparks to fly.
Adventure can boost your memory
Novel experiences increase the brain’s capacity for memory, according to a 2016 paper published in the journal Nature. Research led by the University of Edinburgh showed that one-off events cause chemicals to flood the hippocampus, triggering the mind’s “flashpoint memory”. This effect explains why you remember the events of a whole day better when something unique or unusual happens within it. “Somehow, the novelty of surprise creates a halo of better memory for all the otherwise trivial events of one’s day that we ordinarily forget,” says Professor Richard Morris, leading the study.
Adventure makes you more open
Openness is an important and attractive personality trait, concludes a 2015 study by the University of Oxford. And it’s also a quality that can be strengthened by traveling, says research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Analysing a large sample of German college students, researchers found that those who studied abroad for a prolonged period of time showed an increase in openness and agreeableness (the ability to get along with others). The study also showed those skills were enhanced as a direct result of the students’ experiences abroad, as they moved outside their comfort zones to engage with new people in different countries.
Adventure enhances your sex appeal
Playfulness – the tendency to have fun and be spontaneous – is a major draw when it comes to sexiness; so says a 2012 study from Penn. State University. A fun-loving attitude was ranked as an important quality in a long-term partner for both men and women questioned in the survey. Researchers speculated that such a mentality is prized in evolutionary terms; in women, because it represents vitality and fertility, and in men, because “it sends out non-aggressive vibes”. The same study found playful behaviour lasts long into adulthood. And it’s an attitude that is enabled by adventure, from late-night karaoke in Vietnam’s Halong Bay to trying out tejo, Bogotá’s explosive sport involving gunpowder and beer. So without further ado, we’re off to book our latest vacation – it’s for the good of our brain (and libido), after all…
Flash Pack is the only group travel company in the world to offer unique + stylish adventures for solo travelers in their 30s & 40s. Flash Pack connects like-minded travelers together to create a perfect group dynamic (Goodbye small talk, hello friendship!) while curating the most meaningful and one-of-a-kind adventures around the globe.