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Using your senses to create better travel memories (inc.video)

Yep, the experts are unanimous, taking holidays (and travelling) does you the world of good, and you should definitely do more of it. If you really want to get down with the science bit, travel has been proven to lower stress levels, improve brain health, decrease your risk of heart disease and even lengthen your life expectancy – impressive stuff! It also gives you uplifting memories which you can recall time and time again, especially if you visit somewhere extra special.

For my job as a blogger I spend much of the time documenting the travelling I do from either behind a camera or a video lens and then images then get uploaded to social media straight away. I’m not alone most people do the same but apparently, it’s this popular habit that is interfering with how long our travel memories hang around for. TUI Sensatori teamed up with Oxford University sensory expert Professor Charles Spence, whose research found that more than half of the UK population suffers from so-called digital amnesia due to our over-reliance on smartphones to store our memories for us. Also when you capture only the picture-perfect highlights of your trip, all those other special moments that come in-between can slip through the cracks.

There’s always been lots of speculation about social media gradually re-wiring our brains, but now we actually have the evidence! They even say that now our holiday memories fade after just two weeks due to social media – wow!

The research went even further though to suggest how we can combat these social media-induced holiday memory issues. Apparently, if you want your holiday memories to last longer then we should all stop taking photos or videos and draw a picture instead. It was found that sketching the view and giving your senses a ‘work out’ whilst away and yes could increase the longevity of holiday memories.

TUI Sensatori resorts are beautiful luxury resorts dotted all over the world that are carefully designed to fuel the senses and the canny folks at these resorts are creating Sketch to Etch kits so guests can sketch their holiday moments while in the resort, so they retain their holiday memories for longer! Here is a video which TUI created featuring holidaymakers with synaesthesia spending time at the 5-star resorts, Synaesthesia is a unique and rare neurological condition which causes the senses to intertwine. For example, Nabokov experienced colour with each sound and Kandinsky heard music with a splash of paint. How in tune are you with your senses? Take the TUI Sensorialist quiz here to find out and get the chance to win an exclusive all-inclusive 7 night holiday to the Rhodes Sensatori resort.

Personally, I think travelling without social media and just relying on your senses instead is a great idea. Travel and senses have always been related and some of my best experiences while travelling have been when I switched off digitally and just lived in the moment, soaking up every sound, smell, touch and sight. For example a few years back I travelled around South East Asia for 6 months I remember watching the warm descent of a sunset from a balcony window surrounded by the heady aroma of pungent spices. Now when I sip on my turmeric latte brewed up at home in my London kitchen it instantly conjures up very happy memories of that trip. So next time maybe give it a try for yourself, you never know what you’ll remember because of it!

Photo credit for images 2, 3 and 4 Doug Stevenson. This post is brought to you in partnership with TUI. 


Born in England, with a few family roots from Bavaria, and a heart in Scandinavia I've always been a bit of a restless soul. My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I've lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up over 40 countries on trips and living in Dublin, South East Asia and Australia. I'm a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, easy-on-the-eye travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian - from cloudberry liquors to Scandi Noirs. When not wandering the world, you'll find me walking my rescue dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Laines on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about returning to my all time favourite places in the world; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Thailand and the frozen landscapes of a wintry Iceland. Follow Becky on Twitter and Google+.


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