There is nothing quite like experiencing a new place. Whether you’re traveling by yourself or with a companion, you plan to have a great experience. While this may be your expectation, studies show how and with whom we experience those events affects how we perceive those experiences.
According to a report released by The Association for Psychological Science, sharing an experience with others makes that experience more intense rather than if you were experiencing it on your own. You are going to remember positive events more pleasurable and negative events worse when experiencing them with others than if you had experienced them on your own. Sharing the experience with others intensifies the feeling you have regardless of the emotion.
The study also found that the intensity of the feeling was not affected by the individuals who you shared the experience with and what you did when you shared the experience. In other words, if you had a positive experience the pleasurable feelings you got would be more intense if you were accompanied by someone else regardless if they were a close friend or complete stranger. The level of intensity is not affected by the relationship. What you are doing when you experience this feeling does not change the level of intensity either. It does not matter if you are talking or sharing the experience in silence. Researchers suggest that the reason for the difference is that individuals may be more attuned to what they perceive when they are with others.
Should this information affect whether you chose to travel alone or with others from now on? I certainly don’t think so, but I do think taking it into account may help you decide which trips you want to take on your own and which ones you would enjoy more if you bring your friends. Knowing what type of trip you want to take and what you are looking to gain out of your trip, a topic I’ll expand on later, will also affect this decision.
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