More to the point, it’s the wrong self.
“‘A lot of the people we tested said that they like to go on holidays to do adrenalin sports,’ says Dr Jack Lewis, the neuroscientist at the head of this first study into the psychology of travel, ‘but it seems they say this largely because they want to be seen as “that” kind of person. When we looked into their brain data, however, it revealed that they were far more drawn to laidback and pedestrian activities, such as lounging by the pool, or staying in bed watching a DVD.'”
from Are We Forever Going on the Wrong Kind of Holiday? in the Independent today
Interestingly, of those who purported to primarily seek new experiences and ‘local culture’ on their holidays, the only group of people who really (according to their brains) wanted that sort of experience were the “laid-back introverts.” The extroverts, meanwhile, “were more engaged by images of swimming pools and galleries.” Apparently this is because extroverts (and some introverts) think they should enjoy doing challenging, high-adrenalin activities.
Which still doesn’t answer the question, why?
Why would one want to be seen as ‘that’ kind of person? Do we value risk-taking, daring, and action more than relaxation and comfort? Do we have a bias towards seeking and meeting challenges, even when on holiday? Is life not challenging enough for most of us? Is there something wrong, in our minds, with enjoying what’s familiar? Or perhaps there is a bias towards being in crowds, experiencing the activity of homo sapiens, vs. spending time alone?
Give me the beach anytime. Please.
The beach is really the best of all worlds: if you’re awake (which I sometimes am on the beach), there is as much ‘new’ there, as much to discover and explore, as there is any place else in the world. Of course, that’s true in the backyard, too.