Personal travel


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Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living. Miriam Beard. It is often said that travel broadens the mind, but it can also influence the development of psychological theory. For instance, Darwin's travels in South America and the Galapagos Islands are closely associated with his later theory of natural selection. Similarly, William James' travels around Europe allowed him contact with a body of psychological thought (both experimental and psychodynamic) quite different from the tradition developing in the United States. Travel also suggests permanent movement from one country to another. The impact of the movement of psychologists from mainland Europe to the UK and the USA during and following the second world war is discussed in the World War II entry. However, the experience of migration in itself can provide new insights into one's own identity, cultural and social differences and can highlight how we understand ourselves as a member of a specific group or social category.

For instance, in developing this resource we asked “Has your work been influenced by any historical/cultural/social contexts”. Csikszentmihalyi replied that: Moving from one culture to another (Hungary/Italy/the United States, with many side-trips elsewhere) has been very helpful in relativizing my beliefs, while impressing on me the fundamental similarities among human beings”

Wetherell, in reply to the same question said: "I have been influenced by my status as a migrant to Britain and growing up in an ex-colony " (New Zealand).