The Effects of Travel on Personality

Many people argue that traveling changes their personalities. That’s because it helps them interact with new people with varying backgrounds and experiences. Also, it helps them see new places and cultures, broadening their thinking. But how true is that? 

What is Personality?

Personality is a psychological concept that mainly refers to the uniqueness of every person. Your personality is an amalgamation of various mental, behavioral, and emotional factors to temperamental factors. Together, these factors depict you as an individual. Moreover, your aspirations and life choices also form part of your personality. 

Effect of Travel

Traveling affects your personality in different ways. You may experience more intense effects of traveling on your personality than others. Either way, traveling causes some destabilization in your social context and hence the personality changes. When you travel, you move from one social context to another. You meet new people and cultures.

Changing Social Context

You will often leave your family, friends, and colleagues back when you travel. You will meet new people in the new social context. Meeting new people will require you to adjust your personality to fit in. For instance, you may need to be more sociable to make and connect with new friends.

Personality Adjustments 

When you adjust to fit in the new social context during travel, your personality will change. The change can be significant depending on how different the social context is from your original one. For example, traveling to the collectivist Chinese society from the individualistic culture in America will require some adjustments to fit in.

Opposite Effects

Traveling can affect your personality by either building on or changing it. Your character may become more established and profound after traveling, especially when encountering people or cultures affirming your original personality traits. However, you may change or abandon some of the characteristics that formed your personality because of your travel experience.


Traveling doesn’t have to change your personality. However, it affects it in multiple ways. Changing the social context is a significant factor in understanding how travel affects your personality.