I’ve been lucky enough to travel quite a bit in my life and have managed to do so while still working and building my career. Travel as we all know, helps us grow as a person, but often we don’t think about how it can help us in our professional life as well, even though you’re taking time to get away from your day to day job.
Travelling opens up your world to other experiences, communities, cultures and ways of life. Even visiting a different state gives you the opportunity to experience a different way of living (I’m looking at you Melbourne with your hook turns).
But travelling can also help you build on skills you can bring back to the workplace once you’ve jumped off that plane and landed back to reality.
Usually when you’re travelling, you meet new people from across the globe and get into interesting conversations about their culture and way of life. These conversations with different people can help you sharpen your social and conversing skills, something that is really important in work situations and it helps you become a better, active listener.
Often when travelling you have to make a lot of decisions, where to eat, what attractions to see, how to get there – and sometimes you need to make decisions on the fly and trust your gut! These skills can be easily transferred back to your work life and help you become more confident in the decisions you make on a day-to-day basis.
3. Handle the unexpected
I remember being stuck in South Africa as a young 20-year-old, waiting for a bus from Pretoria to Durban, only to find out it was cancelled and the next one on that line wasn’t for another eight hours! Luckily, we found another bus company that could take us, but what I learnt from that situation was sometimes you’re thrown curveballs you don’t expect, much like at work. Remaining calm and thinking through your options (and not yelling at the bus operator) can help you think of other solutions.
This is the one skill I find so easily transferable between travel and work. I’ve been known to create an excel before a trip with information on hotels, flight details, suggested things to do in each city, much like the Gantt charts and budgets I create here for clients. It never hurts to be organised when travelling, plus I love researching the new cities I’m about to explore just as much as I love digging deep into a research project for a client.
As I head off on my next adventure, this time to Hawaii, I’m looking forward to seeing what other new skills I may uncover and be able to bring back to work.