Click here to subscribe to RFG’s weekly emails.

Explore New Places and Expand Your Mind

7 February 2018

The holidays are over and Mardi Gras is upon us here in New Orleans. Many of us are beginning to plan our spring and summer vacations. Where will you go? Do you opt for the familiar, comfortable destinations? Or do you strike out for adventure – new vistas?

In his Harvard Business Review blog, “Managing Yourself,” Todd B. Kashdan, director of the Well-Being Laboratory at George Mason University, suggests that getting out of your comfort zone, exposing yourself to uncertainty, trading the familiar for the new, provides significant personal growth.

Three specific areas of growth occur, according to Dr. Kashdan while traveling to new destinations:

• Emotional agility – the ability not to react immediately to emotions, but to observe those that arise, carefully collect information to understand the possible causes, then intentionally decide how to manage them.

• Empathy grows with exposure to different cultures – and the greater the variety the better. A 2013 study from the International Journal of Cross Cultural Management links exposure to foreign travel with increased ability to focus attention and energy. In addition, the findings indicate that Americans who travel abroad gain greater tolerance and trust of strangers, and become more open to new knowledge and philosophies.

• Creativity – researchers in Singapore, found that greater exposures to other cultures through traveling, having international friendships, and consuming music and food from other countries is linked to an increased ability to solve problems in unconventional ways.

It is interesting to note that, as our daughter Meghan, now a senior in high school, nears a decision about which college she will attend, we find many schools are strongly encouraging their students to take at least a semester abroad. A professor at Centre College, in Danville, Kentucky (over 80% of their students travel abroad during their undergraduate studies), told me that students return to campus with a renewed sense of excitement, a sense of the world and how others live, which can lead to greater empathy. He believes these travel experiences can result in students’ fine tuning their ability to think critically about complex issues, and can help students gain greater self-confidence.

Dr. Kashdan believes we stretch ourselves via exposure to people unlike ourselves. We learn to understand others’ perspectives, and to innovate rather than do what we are comfortable with. Stepping outside comfort zones broadens us, and, these studies suggest, gives us better tools.

Please do us a favor – let us know what new, exciting places you are considering a visit to? Click here to respond directly to me.

Until next Wednesday –



Blog Home

Newsletter Sign-up

Financial and tax planning tips and important updates from Rigby Financial Group – delivered right to your inbox!

Rigby Financial Group’s mission and focus is on listening to you, and creating solutions to help you achieve your goals

At Rigby Financial Group, we believe that our expertise in tax, accounting, business consulting and financial planning can provide much more than spreadsheets and tax forms. We focus on YOU, not just your numbers – because we believe that professional services should be tailored to your specific situation, and toward realizing your specific dreams. It’s that simple.

Rigby Blog

Industry insights from a seasoned financial professional.

Read the blog >

Get in touch!

Rigby Financial Group
715 Girod Street, Suite 200
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130

Toll Free: (866) 690-4961
Tel: (504) 586-3050

Copyright 2011–2024 Rigby Financial Group. All Rights Reserved.