These days more and more people are working at startups that offer longer vacation time.
But surprisingly, many people aren’t actually taking the extra time off. Turns out that the pressure to appear to be working hard is actually stronger than the pull of having extra days for holiday.
This is why it is so important that people know that traveling is actually a way to develop career skills and earn more money in the long run.
In other words, being a tourist and building your prospects often go hand in hand. Here’s how.
Gain New Perspectives
Traveling to new places allows you to see the world in different ways.
If you’re stuck in the same city, doing the same commute every day, it can quickly take the joy out of life and take away your perspective on other people and cultures.
Going away to a new place can actually help you think outside of the box and more effectively reflect on the work that you’re doing. Witnessing how different people in different cultures go about their daily lives give you a new outlook on life and makes you realize that what you think is normal is very different in other cultures.
I can’t emphasize that point enough.
The way your perspective changes after having your own interactions with people around the world is mind-blowing. Not only will you rethink your opinion on international news, but you’ll grow an increased sense of compassion for the plight of those across borders.
Don’t be surprised if the patriotism kool-aid starts to taste a little tart.
Learn New Things
When you think about it, the only time you really get to stop and fully focus on something that isn’t your job is when you travel.
This is why holidays are the best time to learn something new, whether it be a ski instructor course qualification, a new language or a qualification in oriental cooking.
The holiday environment itself is fertile ground to take in all the new stuff you’re learning, thanks to the fact that we’re actually more alert and open to taking on new information when we’re in a place that we don’t know very well.
Travel will pull you in new situations that you couldn’t imagine – good and bad – that require critical thinking and problem solving. And when you’re finished being a travel superstar, you’ll undoubtedly have bested any challenges or opportunities thrown at you.
Any future employer would benefit from your bolstered skills within their organization.
Another benefit of traveling is that you get to make connections you would never ordinarily make.
For some reason, perhaps because everybody is in the same boat, it’s much easier to find people and make friendships while traveling than it is in your own native town.
The cool thing about traveling is that you’ll invariably bump into somebody with whom you can network. Often there are plenty of opportunities for people you meet to help you further your career.
These connections are often well beyond your regular, geographical sphere, enabling you to spread your influence far and wide.
Don’t only talk to Americans about career possibilities.
The world is getting smaller and partnership are developing across the globe. A forward thinker is planning how to capitalize on the opportunity to provide goods and/or services to the seven billion people across the world.
Use your travels to grow your network beyond others that you’ll compete with in the job market.
Gain Street Smarts
One of the problems that many companies have is that they tend to be very mono-cultural. Without even realizing it, many bosses hire people who reflect their own personality, creating working environments that are stale and boring.
The problem with this is that it means that you’re never really opened up to new ideas and experiences.
Work becomes like an echo chamber, and you’re stuck in the middle, listening to the same conversations over and over again. Travel changes all this, introducing you to new people and situations that you couldn’t learn to deal with by reading a book.
Diversity is the spice of life. Travel teaches you not only how to celebrate the characteristics that make us unique, it also teaches us how to treat everyone better. The world can never get enough of that.
This article only touches the tip of the iceberg of things you learn while traveling.
One of my favorite quotes says that travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer. Whether you’re learning one of the skills above or even more like how to talk to strangers, how to tell a good story, or how to stretch your comfort zone, travel will show you how to live life to the best of your abilities.
If you haven’t taken any trips this year, start planning today. And the lessons will vary with each location.
Another favorite quote: when the student is ready, the teacher appears. Get ready!