Jet-Set Lifestyle Isn't So Great

We might think of experienced travelers as happy people, but in fact, researchers found, there are a few drawbacks to traveling frequently: jet-lag, deep vein thrombosis and radiation exposure.

Not to mention stress and loneliness.

Researchers from the University of Surrey and Lund University (Sweden) also found that the real problems differed sharply from the image of such travelers presented in media.

“A man in a sharp suit, reclining in a leather chair, laptop open in front of him, a smiley stewardess serving a scotch and soda. This is often the image of travel, particularly business travel portrayed in TV ads and glossy magazines. But there is a dark side to this hypermobile lifestyle that the media and society ignores,” said lead author Dr Scott Cohen from the University of Surrey.

“The level of physiological, physical and societal stress that frequent travels places upon individuals has potentially serious and long-term negative effects that range from the breaking down of family relationships, to changes in our genes due to lack of sleep.

“It is not only traditional media that perpetuates this image. Social media encourages competition between travelers to ‘check-in’ and share content from far-flung destinations. The reality is that most people who are required to engage in frequent travel suffer high levels of stress, loneliness and long-term health problems. There are also wider implications for the environment and sustainability. In this context, hypermobility seems far from glamourous.”

The findings were published in the journal Environment and Planning A.

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