LEARNING + TRAVEL: THE SECRETS TO LONG LIFE?
New Survey Reveals the Belief that Travel Plus a Passion for Learning are Key
BOSTON – We’ve all heard the theories that exercise, a healthy diet, and challenging mind games can help a person live longer with greater mental acuity, but it seems that travel (particularly travel with an educational focus) should be added to that list as well. Road Scholar, the nation’s non-profit leader in educational travel for Boomers and beyond, conducted an online national survey of more than 1,000 men and women, age 55 and older, and found that an overwhelming 85 percent of them believe travel actually can help extend their life. As for the main reason for travel, 43 percent said they travel to learn about other cultures and places. In fact, 26 percent described themselves as lifelong learners. In addition, a full 74 percent of respondents said travel was “important” or “very important” as a way to maintain mental acuity. Road Scholar was built on the belief that learning is the key to a longer and more fulfilled life, and a large number of their survey respondents seem to agree.
“We hear over and over how important learning, coupled with a travel component, is in the lives of Road Scholar participants, but it was fascinating to discover that so many of the people surveyed view travel and learning as synergistic, and the best way to learn about the world,” stated Road Scholar’s President and CEO, Jim Moses. “Road Scholar has always focused on learning, and our educational adventures combine the best of both education and travel.”
Of course, the findings also reflect a shift in current thinking about the role of learning in our lives, particularly as we age, noted Moses. “The concept of learning as an age-based activity for children and young adults is being replaced by a philosophy of the benefits of lifelong learning – an approach to learning that is not just school-based, but experiential, social and intellectual and continuing throughout the course of a person’s life. For many, travel is an ideal way to continue learning new things no matter their age,” he said.
“I definitely think that travel enhances and may contribute to longer life,” said Debbie S., a 65-year-old avid traveler who divides her time between Arlington TX and Presque Isle, WI. “It keeps your brain working. It’s also been proven that if you have passions that you tend to live longer.”
Maxine T., a 73-year-old woman from Walnut Creek, CA, agrees in the power of travel, saying “Each trip leaves us hungry for the next adventure so, I guess we’ll have to live a very long time. There sure is a lot of world to see!”
In addition to longevity, the survey asked respondents to list all the ways they keep their brains active and engaged and gave them a list of methods that included reading/book club, crossword puzzles, continuing education classes, travel, museum visits and attending lectures.
Travel was cited more frequently than any other category, by 69 percent of respondents. Reading and book clubs were a close second at 66 percent, followed by crossword puzzles at 49 percent and museum visits at 42 percent. Continuing education and attending lectures were checked by 36 percent and 31 percent, respectively.
About Road Scholar
Road Scholar is the nation’s largest not-for-profit educational travel organization for adults – a true university of the world. It offers 5,500 programs in 150 countries and 50 states and financial aid for those who otherwise could not participate in its programs. Road Scholar educational adventures are created by Elderhostel, the world leader in educational travel since 1975. Learn more at roadscholar.org
Survey Methodology Details
This survey was conducted by Survata, an independent research firm in San Francisco. Survata interviewed 1000 online respondents between April 22, 2019, and April 28, 2019. Respondents were reached across the Survata publisher network, where they take a survey to unlock premium content, like articles and ebooks. Respondents received no cash compensation for their participation. More information on Survata’s methodology can be found at survata.com/methodology.