Science Proves Adventures Make You Smarter, Sexier

Want to stay young, get smarter and step up your Tinder game? You might have to go on an adventure.
Two campers drinking coffee
Adventure makes you smarter? Cheers to that! © Jordan Siemens/Getty Images
By James Shackell

Scientists spend a lot of time growing ears on mice and working on de-seeding various fruits, but occasionally they use their microscopes for something really serious, like figuring out why adventures are so damn good for us.

It turns out, not only does adventuring make you interesting, in a sort of swashbuckling outdoorsy kind of way, but it makes you smarter, more productive at work and more attractive to the opposite sex. Yay science! As if we needed another reason to play hooky and hit the open road.

Backpacker silhouetted against the sunset
Sunset + backpack? Instant sex appeal © James Shackell/Unsplash

Adventures help you stay young

David Eagleman is an American neuroscientist who has spent his life studying the minutiae of the brain and how it relates to our perception of time. Eagleman claims that an adult’s sense of time is more compressed than little Timmy the five-year-old, but by traveling to new places (particularly exotic places with heaps of new stimuli) we can essentially reset our cognition. "It essentially puts you, neurally, in the same position as when you were a child," Eagleman said. Maybe this is why time flies when you’re on vacation, although kids aren’t weighed down by the stress of future work and deadlines.

Adventures make you smarter

They say travel broadens the mind, but really it sharpens it. A psychological study found that by merely imagining we’re on an adventure, we improve our creativity and self-awareness. That means that sitting at work and flicking through pics of some beautiful Tahitian beach or some untouched hiking trails is, technically, good for you. The effect was found to be even more profound during travel itself, particularly in exotic destinations or doing crazy stuff that jogs your brain out of its day-to-day lethargy.

A line of hikers with backpacks on
Adventuring in numbers: both smart AND fun © James Shackell/Unsplash

Adventures make you better at your day job

America tends to defend its paltry two weeks of holiday a year under the guise of good work ethic. The idea is that Americans are far too busy being productive and nailing deadlines to waste time taking trips everywhere. But studies have shown the reverse to be true. Some stats pulled together by BusinessWeek prove that countries that take more holidays are just as, if not more, productive than the US. This kind of backs up the recent changes in Scandinavia and the introduction of the six-hour workday: The time has come to work smarter, not harder.

Hikers walking along a ridge
Three smart hikers, cleverly avoiding the ridge © James Shackell/Unsplash

Adventures make you sexier

A study conducted by RSVP, Australia's largest online dating site, revealed that adventuring around in your North Face jacket increases your sex appeal big time. The survey found that out of 882 single Australian adults, more than half found people who listed travel as an interest more attractive than those who didn't.

It doesn’t stop there either: The more adventurous the travel, the sexier it is. Daring travelers were voted by singles to be the most alluring, while 23 percent of people found adventure seekers extremely sexy.

Moral of the story? Next time you travel to Alaska and wrestle a grizzly bear, remember to post the picture on your Tinder profile.

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