Volahanta Raharimanana

Volahanta Raharimanana

Nowadays, academic skills are no longer enough for a kid to build their character. It is for this reason that many schools around the world focus on developing other skills such as critical thinking in their curriculum.

At some point, a kid cannot rely solely on basic knowledge like reading, writing or math to be not reach full development. To stand successful and ready for the world’s modern challenges, a child needs to develop various life skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving.

Critical thinking is a key foundation to every success and fulfillment. It is advised that in their early childhood development, kids are called to compare two things, explain why things occur, evaluate ideas and form opinions, understand others’ perspectives, predict the future, and solve problems in creative ways.

Scientists note that critical thinking skills do not fully develop until adolescence. However, the foundations for good thinking start at a younger age. From ages 5 to 9, with a salient cognitive development, young children start to question, explore, and discover things. All these feed their critical thinking skills. It may be true that at these ages, children are not yet ready to take on complicated thinking and reasoning; nevertheless, it may also be the best ages to help them lay a foundation for critical thinking.

When a child becomes a good critical thinker, they are more likely to consider different ways of finding solutions to an issue or problem. Critical thinking makes the child more open-minded when solving problems. Furthermore, it also fosters their independence, encourages their curiosity, and enhances their creativity, enabling them to make good and sound decisions. To make your children good critical thinkers, give the valuable method below a try. It is called the “E’s and P’s” strategy from the Hanen guidebooks ABC and Beyond:

Explain. Engage children in the conversation and ask them to explain why things happen. Through this strategy, you encourage them to draw on their existing life skills and experience to formulate questions in their mind and search for answers.

Evaluate. Help kids evaluate and process information. They are given lots of information at a time. Making them assess the reliability of the information is required in this second strategy. It encourages them to express their preferences and their perception of things.

Predict. When learning something new, encourage the kid to make plausible predictions on what is going to happen next, to think about the possibilities behind the predictions, and to form hypothesis. After finishing reading a book chapter for instance, drive them to think about the possible unfolding of the story, if there is any.

Project. Stimulate young children’s empathy and teach them to put themselves in someone else’s shoes and into other’s minds by making them ask questions related to other people’s stories. This fourth hint helps them to understand other people’s actions or emotions.

Problem-solve. Teach the kid to deal with small problems. Gear their mind towards problem-solving and motivate them to always think of and propose solutions based on their knowledge and experience.

Sources: The Hanen Centre / Michigan State University Extension / Bright Horizon.

Its history and culture make New Orleans far more interesting to visit than any other city in America. With its countless cultural riches, this city that stretches along the Mississippi river in the Southeastern region of the U.S. State of Louisiana has been given several nicknames such as NOLA, the Big Easy, the Crescent City, the Hollywood South, and the Paris of the South, and has become a major tourist destination in both Louisiana and America.

From a former French colony to a cosmopolitan city.

The history of New Orleans remains immensely fascinating. The city amazes not only foreigners, but also residents, who still enjoy the charming place filled with enchanting history and built with a complex culture. As New Orleans abounds in resources and is served by a great navigable network, it attracted more European people to come and live in.

While Louisiana was under Spanish control ceded by France to keep it out of the hands of the British, New Orleans was claimed for the French crown by explorer Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle in 1682 and was founded by Jean Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville in 1718. As years went by, under the influence of Spain and France – as trading and cultural partners – the Big Easy underwent huge transformation both in infrastructure and culture. The Vieux Carré, today’s French Quarter, often called the Crown Jewel of New Orleans thanks to its French and Spanish Creole architecture, is one of the most well-known sites built at that time.

Although the entire Louisiana colony was sold as part of the United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, NOLA’s residents kept the culture and customs of its colonists alive. The footprints of the French culture are well felt within the city’s cosmopolitan society.

From the birthplace of Jazz to the city of witches.

New Orleans is well-known for its people from various backgrounds and origins. The Creoles – locally born descendants of early inhabitants, many with French blood – make the fame of the city, especially when it comes to the “Creole cooking or cuisine” or “Creole architecture”. We mainly owe today’s remarkable cultural and historic heritage to those Creole New Orleanians.

It was when arts and performance flourished that Jazz emerged too and baptized the city of the New Orleans the birthplace of Jazz. The rise of jazz as revolutionary music is acknowledged as the greatest cultural contribution of New Orleans to the world. The jazz age saw the rise of talented artists and musicians like Louis Armstrong as well as various festivals like the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and carnivals such as the notable Mardi Gras.

Apart from jazz, New Orleans is also known as the city of witchcraft and voodoo. Voodoo is told to have landed in Louisiana during the colonial period when enslaved African people brought their culture and beliefs to the Crescent city. Marie Laveau, for example, got famous for being the Vodoo Queen of New Orleans. Later, New Orleans has been referred to as the “Hollywood South” since the city has become an important site for the film industry and a major hub in the film production world.

Sources: New Orleans / Experience New Orleans.

Madagascar stands unique as an island in the Indian Ocean. Home to some of the world’s most unique flora and fauna, Madagascar is rich in more than 12,000 plant species, most of which are endemic to the island. Orchid species are among those endemics, and we can count more than 1,000 different species in Madagascar.

Belonging to orchid species, vanilla is a plant that can be found anywhere in the world but is today grown in abundance in some regions of Madagascar. The vanilla plant is a member of the orchid family. It is made up of around 110 different species of orchid and originated from South and Central America and the Caribbean. However, since the plant has been successfully introduced to and grown in the island over a century, Madagascar became one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of vanilla, besides Indonesia.

Vanilla is commonly known for its fragrant and flavor spice that makes it highly appreciated. In addition, it has been labeled the second most expensive spice in the world, after saffron, due to its labor-intensive production. There are more than 30,000 hectares of vanilla plantations dispersed in different regions of Madagascar. The SAVA region in the north-eastern part of Madagascar is the known global centre of vanilla production. Around 70,000 farmers are estimated to produce 70 to 80 percent of all global bourbon vanilla, also called vanilla planifolia – one of the seven different vanilla plants that are mostly cultivated in the region (Hanke Hendrik, et al., 2018). Sambava which is among the four largest cities of the SAVA region has been appointed the “capital of vanilla”. Apart from Sambava, Antalaha, Vohémar and Andapa, there are other vanilla spots like Nosy-Be and Toamasina.

Bourbon vanilla production.

Spice vanilla or bourbon vanilla can be used and tasted in several ways. The bourbon vanilla is mostly appreciated by cooking amateurs who perfectly know that flavor is the key to any dish’s success. The name of “bourbon vanilla” does not come from Madagascar, but after the former name of La Réunion, Ile Bourbon. Although spice vanilla can be spotted everywhere, its production and growth need to meet certain conditions such as the weather. Bourbon vanilla grows in very warm and humid weather; but it also needs a significant dry season for pollination and flowering.

The most difficult part in producing bourbon vanilla is pollination. It flowers only briefly for 24 hours and pollination must occur at that time; otherwise, it wilts and dies. It is still not entirely clear how the plant gets pollinated in the wild, it is just believed that a single type of small bee is responsible for it, and some hummingbirds. Yet, since some of those natural pollinators are not native to Madagascar, most plants must be artificially pollinated by hand with a feather or a chopstick.

If pollination is successful, a fruit develops in the form of a 6-to-10-inch-long green pod (about 15-25cm) filled with thousands of minuscule black seeds. At harvest, the plants take the form of string beans which are individually picked by hand as they become ripe, and then are subjected to a prolonged and multi-step treatment process. In order to obtain the desiccated, aromatic and black gold spice vanilla, the pods have to be fermented.

After that long and complex process, the vanilla pods which contain different flavor and fragrance components are now ready to be sold and savored.

Sources: ONTM/ National Geographic / Atlas
Obscura / « Socio-economic, land use and value
chain perspectives on vanilla farming in the
SAVA Region”, Hanke Hendrik et al., 2018).

Social injustice has existed for long and persists until today. One of the most common forms of social injustice that the world continues to face is racism – a global phenomenon that affects not only a group of people or a community, but every nation.

Throughout history, racism has created conflicts and given rise to hatred in the world, disrupting mutual understanding and peace between individuals. It keeps taking new forms as if it has been likened to a virus that mutates, taking on different shapes as it adapts to a changing world. Still worse, over time, it continues to gain more and more influence.

Over the past year, after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the phenomenon has reached an important milestone and the rate of racial discrimination has significantly increased. The pandemic resulted in dangerous misinformation, hate speech and violence against certain races and nationalities. More recently, with the spread of the pandemic, a high rate of discrimination against Asian people has been reported, mainly against Asian Americans. More and more Asia-descent people have been victims of hatred, bias and hate crimes. In March 2020, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reportedly warned of a potential surge in COVID-19-related hate crimes against Asian-Americans. Similarly, between March 19 and December 31, 2020, Stop AAPI Hate has received 2,808 reported incidents of racism and discrimination targeting Asian Americans across the U.S.

Since then, anti-Asian movement-based incidents have been one of the major global concerns. In late 2020, the United Nations reacted by issuing a report detailing the alarming level of racially motivated violence and other incidents against Asian Americans across the U.S. since the outbreak of Covid-19 and by calling for a global fight against racism. Global efforts to combat racism and discrimination have been already put into effect after the 2001 World Conference against Racism, Racial discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa, was officially declared. It is a drafted document recalling mainly the principles of equality and non-discrimination in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and encouraging respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction of any kind such as race, colour, as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status (Durban Declaration, UN).

Back to the “International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination” in March 21, which aimed to foster a global culture of tolerance, equality and anti-discrimination and called on people to stand up against racial prejudice and intolerant attitudes, a resolution has been adopted by the General Assembly. This consists of a global call for concrete action for the elimination of racism and racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action. The United Nations General Assembly’s action plans include bringing world leaders together for a one-day meeting in New York to mark the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action which will take place this September.

Apart from the Durban Declaration, there is also the “International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), a resolution that was ratified by General Assembly on 21 December 1965 that still serves as today’s important resolution in combating racism and discrimination of any forms, like the case of anti-Asian violence. The CERD underlines the U.N. human rights mechanisms which provide a valuable framework for understanding the scope of state obligations to combat racial discrimination.

Recalling the CERD and the Durban Declaration may be of a paramount help in tackling discrimination against people of African descent, Asian Americans, and today’s overall racism.

Sources: United Nations / Stop AAPI Hate: New
Data on Anti-Asian Hate Incidents Against Elderly
and Total National Incidents in 2020 / United
Nations Humans Rights / Durban Declaration

Whether it is at home or at school, teachers and parents get frustrated about those kids who forget about things. Some statements and questions like “We barely studied that lesson and you have already forgotten it! How is it possible that you do not remember where you put your note? Or you are so forgetful, can you just please focus?” make parents wonder about the future of their kid’s studies and realize what they can do to help boost their child’s memory.

Working memory is a key part of learning. Having a good memory is a useful tool in a child's development and using working memory benefits well in their learning process. Whenever a child works on a new thing like a language or any subject area, they need their memory to be able to acquire and put it into practice. As part of the brain’s executive functions, working memory assists kids in their learning development, reasoning and works as the guidance of their decision-making and behavior.

Working memory often refers to short-time memory, also the capacity for holding, but not manipulating, a small amount of information in mind for a short period of time. Yet, theorists consider the two forms of memory distinct by assuming that working memory allows us to store and manipulate information as long as possible, whereas short-term memory only refers to the short-term storage of information. This way, when talking of working memory in kids, it is said that it helps them hold on to information long enough to use it. On the other hand, the use of the term working memory for human research started with Georg A. Miller, Eugene Galanter, and Karl H. Pribmar. In their book released in 1960, entitled “Plans and the structure of behavior”, they considered working memory as a part of the mind that allows us to operate successfully in life, completing our goals and subgoals by storing the useful information needed to execute these planned actions (Eryn J. Adams, et al., 2018).

When a kid learns something new, this one usually needs concentration, however, a good focus is mainly induced by working memory. So to help children improve their learning memory, these are a few working memory boosters for them:

Encourage kids to practice visualization and make connections. This consists in making a kid produce a picture in their mind of what they have just read or heard. As a parent, you are up to choose which learning tool you are going to use. An example includes the use of mind maps, when you make them create the connections between words, topics and things.

Have your kid teach you. This tip is about engaging the kid in the teaching experience that would facilitate their working memory. Allow your child to explain to you what they have learnt so far by making their own examples. Then ask them questions following the explanation.

Use visual aids to develop their visual memory. There are lots of memory aids that boost kids’ visual skills, and working memory. These may include matching games and exercises. Encourage your child to use visual tools to help them remember information that has been recently acquired. For this one, use flashcards with words and images.

Use multisensory strategies. With multisensory instruction, kids use more than one sense at a time which would allow any information to stick, hence, resulting in a better memory. Furthermore, using different senses gives all kids various ways to connect with what they have learnt. Instead of just reading and listening, stimulate their multisensory approach by making them, for example, visually explore, touch, smell, and taste things.

Sources: Understood / Oxford Learning/
“Theories of Working Memory: Differences in
Definition, Degree of Modularity, Role of
Attention, and Purpose”, Eryn J. Adams, Anh
T. Nguyen, and Nelson Cowan, 2018.

Netflix has recently released a movie highlighting e-sport games entitled “The kissing booth” – the American teen romantic comedy film starring Joe king and Jacob Elordi. Based on the 2012 novel of Welsh author Beth Reekles, the movie scenes show the boom and the influence of e-sports in young people’s lives, especially those of Americans.

E-sports have astonishingly risen in popularity over years only. Commonly referred to as electronic sports, e-sports are video gaming events engaging amateurs or professional players to compete each other in electronic games for a prize pool. These have seemingly grown as an essential part of popular culture. Global investors, brands, media outlets and consumers are all now seen to pay more attention to this unexpected rise of the games industry.

The industry of e-sports has seen important growth over the years, both in terms of viewership and revenue. Some data provided by Statista shows that in 2021, the global e-sports market was valued at just over 1.08 billion U.S. dollars, an almost 50 percent increase from the previous year. Additionally, the e-sports industry’s global market revenue was forecast to grow to as much as 1.62 billion dollars in 2024. Asia and North America represent the largest e-sports markets in terms of revenue.

According to statistics from eMarketer, American e-sports audiences are estimated to reach 26.6 million this year, up 11.4 percent from 2020 with 23.9 million and 21.1 million as of 2019. The number of viewers is expected to increase up to 29.6 million in 2022 and 31.4 million in 2023.

In terms of e-sports market revenue, it largely comes from sponsorships and advertising. Statistics show that the global e-sports market revenue from this sponsorship and advertising totaled 641 million dollars in 2021. The next highest source of revenue, by contrast, was media rights at just over 192 million dollars (Statista).

E-sports are video gaming events.

Organized competitions have long been a part of video game culture, but played only between amateurs. By the late 2000s, the field of e-sports has taken new shape when live streaming events involving the participation of professional gamers and spectatorship of those events surged in popularity. Since then, e-sports have become an important leverage in the video game industry, pushing many game developers to actively design and fund gaming tournaments and events.

During the competitions, professional players choose their games and try to win a match or a tournament. Some of the common types of e-sports games include Player versus player (PvP), Real time strategy (RTS), First person shooter (FPS) and Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA).

It is not sure if e-sports can compete with other popular sports in America, like basketball and football. Yet, over time, these competitive electronic games have grown so fast in the U.S. that these now rank among popular sports entertainments.

Sources: Insider intelligence/ Statista/ Greek Insider / Forbes.

Long believed to be a forerunner of bad luck and a cursed day, Friday the 13th has somehow inspired many pop culture personalities and consumers.

The so-called “unlucky day” and the superstitious associations that so long surrounded the day have encouraged advertisers, novel and fiction writers, horror film producers and artists to make Friday the 13th one of the successful media franchises in America and today’s inescapable symbol of popular culture.

Besides the story on the origins of Friday the 13th that remains blurry, the day has reached an important milestone when the novel Friday, the Thirteenth written by Thomas William Lawson was released in 1907. Similarly, it gained momentum when came the horror movie Friday the 13th – the American horror franchise that comprises slasher films, TV series or novellas, comic books, video games, tie-in merchandise like Halloween costumes and items – in 1980, featuring the fictional character “Jason Voorhees”, a hockey mask-wearing killer.

The origins of Friday the 13th.

It is still unclear why Friday the 13th is feared. This means that very little is known about the origins of this supposedly doomed day. Falling unto a day that points out Friday the 13th has apparently become like any bearer of bad luck such as walking under a ladder, crossing paths with a black cat, or breaking a mirror.

The day is considered an unlucky day in western superstition, and it is also thought by many to be the unluckiest day in the Gregorian calendar. The 13th day of the month falls on Friday at least once every year like last August, and it can occur up to three times in the same year.

According to mythology, number 13 causes bad luck. Folklore historian Donald Dossey relates that the unlucky nature of the number 13 originated with a Scandinavian myth about the dinner party of 12 gods in Valhalla which was interrupted by the apparition of the 13th guest named Loki. Loki was excluded from the party but dropped in anyways. Loki tricked and drove Hoor – the son of god Odin and the goddess Frigg – to kill his brother named Balder with a mistletoe-tipped arrow. When Balder died, the earth got dark, and since then, the number 13 turned damned.

Friday the 13th is also believed to have Christian associations. According to biblical tradition, instead of 12 individuals present in the Upper room during the Last Supper with Jesus, the night before his death on Good Friday, there were 13 guests who attended it on the 13th of Nisan Maundy Thursday. Another explanation of Friday the 13th as a bad omen is the number 12 which is associated with completeness including the 12 days of Christmas, the 12 months zodiac signs, the 12 labors of Hercules, the 12 gods of Olympus and the 12 tribes of Israel.

Although the real story of the so-called unluckiest day remains ambiguous, some tragic events have truly occurred on a Friday the 13th: the German bombing of Buckingham palace in 1940, a cyclone that struck Bangladesh in 1970, the death of Tupac Shakur in 1996, and the crash of the Costa Concordia cruise ship in 2012.

The fear of the number 13 as well as Friday the 13th has now become very common and affects millions of people. As a result, new scientific terms related to those fears have emerged, called “paraskavedekatriaphobia” and “friggatriskaidekaphobia”.

Sources: HISTORY / Time and Date

New York abounds in countless landmarks and landscapes that keep amazing visitors. One of them is Central Park, a public park in New York City, located between the Upper West and Upper East Sides of Manhattan.

New York’s Central Park is a known world-famous park and one of the most-visited urban parks in the United States, with 42 million visitors a year as of 2020. As New York’s City landscape had grown rapidly, wealthiest New Yorkers had the idea of creating a park in the center of Manhattan in the early 1850s. They were inspired by the admired public facilities of London and Paris and urged to conceive one that could make international reputation too. The main purpose of the park was to create more of a cultural and recreational project, so that fellow New Yorkers could run away from everyday stress of urban life and enjoy a countryside experience. Beyond that, the park aimed to prove Europeans – who assumed Americans lacked a sense of civic duty and appreciation for cultural aesthetic and charm – wrong.

Built in the property of Seneca Village.

The Park was designed during a competition run by the commissioners of Central Park from 1857 to 1858. Having successfully completed the competition’s plan design requirements, out of 33 competitors, the Greensward plan won the first place. The plan’s designers were Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. They were first inspired by the open fields of the English countryside and that is the main reason for the naturalistic design of the park.

The park project spanned more than a decade and 10 million dollars have been at stake to undertake the project. After years of debate over the location, since it was built upon the property of the Seneca Village, the construction of the park finally began in 1857. Historically, the Seneca Village is a community of predominantly African-Americans, many of whom owned property. The village was made up of approximately 225 residents which include African-Americans and immigrants. The Seneca Village once served as a place where residents could live away from downtown Manhattan where unhealthy living conditions and violence persisted.

The construction of park – covering the same surface of 843 acres (341 ha) as today – was completed in 1876. However, the park first opened for public use in the winter of 1859 and by 1865, the park started to receive more than seven million visitors a year. Central Park’s 843 acres include sweeping lawns, picturesque woodlands, meandering streams, and brad lakes. Over time, more extra features were added to the park, such as baseball and soccer fields, a carousel, two skating rinks, a zoo, formal gardens, commemorative monuments, and concert and theatre venues. Thanks to its influence in the development of the world’s urban parks, Central Park was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1963 and a Scenic Landscape of the City of New York in 1974.

Central Park is still a major tourist destination, but also a place for New Yorkers to get together and to take advantage of the amusement attractions and recreational activities in the park. Since it also accommodated sport facilities, the number of cyclists, joggers, and riders has noticeably increased.

As a sport lover, if you feel the need to run in the park, it is better to do it in the morning, alone or accompanied, for your security.

Sources: Central Park Web / Central Park Conservancy.

Over the last half century, social scientists have noticed dramatic changes in gender equality that they nicknamed “gender revolution”. Men’s participation in household and family care responsibilities increased and more and more women are seen to actively enter the labor force. Things were totally different a century ago.

Women were once housewives and men breadwinners. Women were entitled to less consideration than men and continuously faced discrimination. It was in 1920 that everything turned upside down. That year depicts the unique momentum for women in standing up for their rights and engaging in a long-lasting fight for equality.

Women’s fight for the right to vote as a starting point.

The fierce battle of women for equal rights goes back a long way. A look back at history shows that women have made great accomplishments in the fight for equality, including women’s suffrage and breakthroughs in equal opportunity in the workplace and education. Passed by the Congress on June 4th, 1919, and ratified on August 18th, 1920, the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote, which was the culmination of a decades-long movement for women’s suffrage in the United States. Recognized at both state and national levels, the amendment paved the way to a worldwide movement towards women’s suffrage and was part of the wider women’s rights movement.

The first women’s suffrage amendment was told to have been introduced in 1878. Yet, no suffrage amendment passed the House of Representatives until May 1st, 1919, which was quickly followed by the Senate, on June 4th, 1919. Shortly after, it was submitted to the states for ratification and went into effect on August 18th, 1919 after achieving the requisite 36 ratifications to secure adoption. It was, then, on August 26th, 1920, that the 19th Amendment’s adoption was certified and introduced into the U.S. Constitution.

In 1970, following the Women’s Strike for Equality on August 26th, 1970, during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Nineteenth Amendment, a resolution was introduced to designate August 26th as Women’s Equality Day. It was in 1972 that President Richard Nixon issued Proclamation 4147, officially declared the date as “Women’s Rights Day”. Since then, August 26th is annually celebrated in the U.S. to commemorate the adoption of the 19th Amendment, and last year marked its centennial anniversary, guaranteeing and protecting women’s constitutional right to vote.

Today’s gender equality in the U.S.

The 21st century turns out to be a watershed era for women. The hard and ongoing fight of women for gender equality over these three centuries led to what searchers called “gender revolution”, pushing women to actively participate in the development of a nation. Contrary to popular beliefs and previous perception on how women were only made for home, the number of women in the workforce has now intriguingly increased. According to the 2015 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women comprised nearly half of the U.S. labor force at 46.8 percent. In 2019, there were 76,852,000 women aged 16 and over in the labor force, representing close to half of the total labor force.

Nevertheless, despite the astounding progress made in the fight for equal rights and opportunity, women still face today violence and discrimination, and gender bias continues to create huge barriers for many women.

Sources: We’re history / American Civil Liberties Union / National Women’s History Alliance.

What pops first into your mind when you hear the word “travel”? Sea, sun and sunglasses, mountains, discoveries? Whatever it may be, travel means escaping routines to embrace the unknown and new challenges.

Every globe-trotter understands how it feels to move from new and different place to another. As an adventurer, travelers keep searching for interesting spots to head to in order to fulfill their respective travel goals. Some travel amateurs may just want to satisfy their challenge and travel experience desire by getting to somewhere new, while others may only look for bettering their life and personal well-being. Having this in mind, traveling presents loads of benefits for health, either physical or mental. It is scientifically proven that going to new other places is good for our health. Some psychologists tout the mental benefits of vacationing elsewhere.

A 2013 survey of 485 in the adults in the U.S. showed that exposure to foreign travel greatly enhances the ability to direct attention, focus and energy, and develop empathy. These help travelers function effectively in diverse situations and become more tolerant when dealing with discomfort. Similarly, other research suggests that visiting more countries and getting immersed into local cultures boost creativity. Studies show that the more you travel, the more creative you become at work. Since travel allows your brain to make new pathways and connections, it, then, can act as a professional experience facilitator.

Research has also recently revealed that even only anticipating a trip and planning for it can be a great mental health booster. The only fact of thinking about the vacation before we even leave home is scientifically proven to be beneficial to our own happiness. A 2014 Cornell University study examined how the anticipation of an experience, like a trip, can increase a person’s sense of happiness. An earlier study about the impact of the expectation of a holiday on an individual’s sense of well-being, published by the University of Surrey, found that people are at their happiest when they have a vacation planned.

Here are three other scientific evidences on the positive impact of traveling on our health:

Travel strengthens antibodies. Studies show that exposure induces the multiplication of T-cells that guard the immune system. When you travel, you get exposed to new different conditions and surroundings. Therefore, you are introduced to new bacteria. You may be faced with dirt and germs when moving from place to place, allowing your body to get adapted and making your immune system stronger.

Travel relieves stress and lowers the chance of depression. This may no longer surprise you! Indeed, it is scientifically demonstrated that vacations can affect your stress levels. In addition, travel helps in building mental health, hence reducing the risk of depression. When you take regular time off, you recharge your batteries that make you keep totally away from the stress and deeply reflect on what is essential.

Travel improves brain health and increases life expectancy. Since travel helps reduce stress and depression levels, it may, thus, increase brain health resulting in a longer and healthier life. Furthermore, talking of brain health, in addition to instilling creativity, studies demonstrate that it also boosts emotional intelligence. Scientists say the more people travel, the more balanced their emotion will be.

There are always cons and pros for all human’s activities. Although traveling is advantageous for health, it may have also negative impact from another standpoint.

Sources: National Geographic / Harvard Business Review / NBC News.

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