Travel doesn’t broaden the mind

By | Category: Travel rumblings
backpacker on a mountain

how could a backpacker nor be amazed by what they experienced?

Regular readers will know that I am an advocate of travel so that people experience other places, cultures and lifestyles. It makes us less provincial in our thinking.

So imagine my surprise when survey results from 1StopShip (a company that specialises in student’s belongings shipping) arrived in my inbox which suggested that travelling can make it harder to get a job for some and that travelling is frowned on by some employers.

The research was amongst 1,000 backpackers across the UK and revealed that nearly 60% of backpackers admitted their time spent travelling didn’t help them positively develop as a person while 28% thought they had changed for the better, but quickly reverted back to their old attitude when they returned home.

Could the fault of the 60% be that they didn’t understand the question or that they just lived in their own little enclave when they travelled? Why didn’t the 28% continue to think that they had changed as a result of their travel?

At least I can believe two other findings – 29% of people questioned confessed to growing sick of their” backpacking buddy’s endless stories” and 12% stated that their friends returned with a false sense of superiority.  Isn’t this just a version of those endless holiday snaps that we endured in a pre- digital camera age?  I can also believe that 34% admitted they struggled to make the transition when returning to work (most of us, I would have thought, get that when returning from a holiday) while a further 14% admitted their time overseas left them dreading work and feeling unprepared. An unsettled 23% claimed they were already planning to travel again after starting their first job.

Just under 20% said that their current boss viewed their time spent travelling as a negative although why should this be so? Is it that the employers are jealous or envious of what the person has done?

By now my faith in the value of travel was being tested. Thankfully, the survey results also show that 39% of backpackers saw travelling as a positive and something that reflected well on their CV. But I remain concerned that well over half of the backpackers didn’t see travel as positive.

So why did they go? I hope it wasn’t just to confirm their prejudices of what the world was like.


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