5 Ways Traveling Makes You Better At Your Job

Why do so many people feel guilty about taking time off from work, or for spending hard-earned money on travel vs. something more “responsible”? Traveling — especially to challenging destinations that have forced me out of my comfort zone — has had a huge impact on how I approach my work, how I manage, and how I lead. Here are 5 ways it’ll do the same for you.

1. It Teaches Endurance

Out of local currency but there’s no ATM in sight? Need directions but no one understands you? There’s nothing like a lack of modern comforts or a language gap to make you feel defeated. But guess what? It forces you to figure it out. More importantly, it gets you comfortable with having to rely on others and ask for help- which so many of us have difficulty doing. Yes, being self-sufficient is a prized quality in the workplace, but so is knowing how and when to admit you’re in need and recruit assistance.

2. It Forces You to Chill Out

No Truvia in all of Argentina for your morning coffee? Not one vegetarian option on the lunch menu? Having some sugar (gasp!) and French fries for lunch never killed anyone. Traveling forces you to roll with it, which is an essential quality on the job when you have to pick your battles and make do with fewer resources.

3. It Broadens Your Frame of Reference

There’s no substitute for being surrounded by people whose stories are completely different (and many times, more difficult) than your own. As Mark Twain once put it: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness.” Experiencing far parts of the globe helps you understand others and embrace diversity — making you a more compassionate, empathetic and valued team member.

4. It Encourages New Interests

In our everyday, taking on a new hobby or interest is often daunting. (Who has the time, right?) When traveling, new things present themselves so frequently, rapidly, and profoundly, you can’t help but be intrigued and sign on for something new. To excel in your profession, you must possess a genuine enthusiasm for embracing and implementing new ideas. Passions and interests are what keep us fulfilled, and they’re essential for growth and innovation.

5. It Builds Confidence

Basically, see all of the above. You can do so many things in life that you never thought you could. On the job, that confidence will help you stand behind your ideas, be a better leader, and inspire others to do the same.

My main point is this: whatever your career goals, stop viewing travel as a luxury, and give yourself permission to view it as an investment in you!

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