Have you read about the marshmallow test for kids? It is psychological test done by a Stanford professor back in the 1960s. He welcomes nursery school children in a room one-by-one and tests them for grit and self control. He puts a marshmallow or a sweet treat in front of each child and gives them a deal: they can either have the marshmallow immediately or wait for 15 minutes to have two of them.

As the professor (and his team) followed up years later, these children were now adults and they showed a distinct difference in their personalities. The kids who ‘delayed gratification’, or those who waited for 15 minutes for two marshmallows, fared better in life. They had better control of their impulses and made wiser decisions.

Had I gone through the marshmallow test, I don’t know which party I would have been a part of. However, as an adult, I continue to train myself to delay gratification. This frequently makes it way to my travel patterns.

Read: Aalia, Haridwar – Luxury by the Banks of River Ganga

The return always tastes sweet. Photo courtesy: Sujit Nair.

In 2015, after the exhausting Valley of Flowers and Hemkund trek, I decided to reward myself by staying in the luxurious Aalia, Haridwar. I still remember how heavenly it felt to indulge in a spa treatment in my short stay there.

I entice myself with a proposition if I complete a tough task or finish an assignment without procrastination. These rewards could be something as minimal as sleeping an extra four hours the following day or alluring myself with photographs of luxury properties like Fairmont Jaipur or Shangri La Hotel Bengaluru. This kind of test always helps me do the job with self motivation and enthusiasm.

So is there a catch? Of course. The idea is not to put myself through the test too often and too severely. I spend some time accessing the travel plan or the work in-hand, and thereafter decide to test myself or not. If I do this more often than necessary, I lose balance. It is important to be kind to myself as much as value the test.

Read: Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Trek: Things to Know Before You Go

Where are you on the marshmallow test?

Note: This post has been sponsored by Cleartrip.

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Amrita Das

I have been a travel and culture independent journalist. My bylines have appeared in many publications worldwide including National Geographic Traveller India, Lonely Planet Magazine India, The Indian Express and World Travel Magazine. A fellow of Media Ambassadors India-Germany 2019 program by Robert Bosch Stiftung and Centre for Media Competence, University of Tübingen. Currently, I am the photo editor for RoundGlass Sustain, a wildlife and conservation e-publication. I live in India.

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5 thoughts on “Testing the Travel Trails ”

  1. Very nice and smart brand plug in and if you had not mentioned this as a sponsored post it would have been tough to figure out . Had read about this experiment earlier. Nice reference to context

    1. Hahaha, I’m quite bad with sponsored posts. So either way I stick to my writing skills :)

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