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The Emergence of The Travel Psychologist

“. . . Yet, how can something apparently so important, so crucial, with such an impact on our lives have been for so long so short-shrifted, with there being so little understanding of it?” —Michael Brein

In those Horrid, Hallowed Halls of Academia

Oh What Tangled Webs We Weave . . .

When a Young Impassioned Graduate Student Gets Entangled


Have you ever heard of the psychology of travel? Michael Brein first coined the term in 1965 during his graduate studies and is now known as The Travel Psychologist — perhaps one of the very few in the world today!

(He almost got thrown out of graduate school on his very first day, when during his introduction to the faculty, he said that he was attending the University of Hawaii to study the psychology of travel— a subject matter, which, apparently, no one there had ever heard of before!)

“How dare he propose such a thing?” these perverted priests of the psychological paradigm of the time must have attributed to this may be somewhat naive, deluded, and misguided young miscreant standing right there before them, who could even dare suggest such a misnomer of social science in those hallowed halls of psych-academia!

But Michael stood his ground and subsequently completed his Ph.D. degree in social psychology, designing his own doctoral curriculum around such subjects as intercultural communication; the psychology of personal space; culture shock; the adjustment of the sojourner, and so on. As part of his studies, he even worked a brief stint as a psychologist for the University of Hawaii’s Peace Corps training program.

Emergence of Something New!

Chrysalis Transformation

Let Michael on this website and blog give you his particular psychological spin on all things travel! And get ready for his forthcoming ebook series all about the psychology of travel as revealed through the incredible travel stories that some 1,750 world travelers and adventurers have shared with him over four decades of his own world travels to more than 125 countries.

Amazing survival tips for maximizing the good, better, and best about travel, as well as for minimizing the bad, horrible and truly worst about travel will soon emerge right here throughout these web pages!

Psychology Bubbling Up

underwater bubbles

There’s a real rich netherworld of psychological insights and pay dirt hovering just below the surface of awareness surrounding our travel-lives, which not surprisingly constitute such a major important chunk of our existence.

Yet, how can something apparently so important, so crucial, with such an impact on our lives have been for so long so short-shrifted, with there being so little understanding of it?

Michael’s Mission:


These are the pages to change all of that. This is MY mission: to put the passion of psychology back into travel!

“Thanks to Michael Brein . . . to be
the pioneer of this field”
—Shawn K., Psychologist, 07.18.2013

“Dr. Michael Brein, the world’s preeminent expert
on travel psychology . . .”
—Cam H., Journalist, 11.16.2017

Interested in Any of Michael Brein’s Travel Books and Guides?

Click on the SHOP tab above or please feel free to contact Michael at 206.618.7618 or michaelbrein@gmail.com about any of his books if you have any questions.

13 thoughts on “HOME”

  1. Hi Michael,
    Since psychology is a defining quality of human beings and some human beings travel ipso facto psychology must be a part of those who travel. Yet if some humans are quite devoid of any psychological dimension then they better not travel! How’s that for distorted logic? Of course those are the people who may not read your website anyway so you’re safe. Keep up the great work as you carve out a new niche in the world’s job market!

  2. I’m a PsyD grad student and am considering doing my dissertation research on the psychology of leisure, including travel. Do you have any recommendations where to start, what to read and so on? I appreciate your time!

  3. Hi Dr. Brein! I’m currently taking up my Master’s in Psychology and I want to follow your footsteps! The 2nd travel psychologist next to you perhaps? 😉

  4. I have known Michael as a friend and fellow-student/colleague for 50+ years and he is a truly unique individual with ideas to match.

  5. Randall,

    Thank you so much for reaching out to me about Rosemary. I appreciate your message. I think the appropriate thing for me to do is to forward your email to Rosemary’s husband for his response. I’m confident that Joe will respond to you with his thoughts.

    Michael Brein

  6. i’m thinking of traveling to china an having a lot of fun and need some Convincing to go , { you get the idea } Do you have any recommendations where to start, what to read and so on? I appreciate your time!

    1. Andrew,
      Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, I have only been to Hong Kong, so I really do not have any good advice for you. I have rarely heard anything negative about China from people I’ve interviewed, so I would say that you could look forward to an interesting and relatively safe trip to China. You might want to check out any scenic railway trips they may have available.

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Putting the Passion of Psychology Back into Travel