Travel is still an incredible life source for me; despite my fear of flying and the hassles that come with air travel today, I can’t ever envision a life without travel!
The thrill of exploring a new city, country, and culture still gives me life! And yet, going to a country where I don’t speak the language still scares the heck out of me. But it is the rush I get from the unknown that makes traveling and exploring different cultures so powerful.
There is nothing more enchanting to me then walking along the ancient cobble stone streets of a European city to find hidden side street café to sip a cup of coffee and enjoy a buttery pastry. Or thrill of a hot and bumpy tuk tuk ride down the crowded streets of Bangkok, quenching my thirst with a bag of cold coffee.
When I’m abroad, I love nothing more than going to a local grocery store or market, or people watching in the town square! I get a tiny peek into the everyday lives of the local people.
The sights and sounds of another culture excite my senses and prepare me for the cultural exploration of travel. These experiences fill my soul and rejuvenate my spirit, because they ignite my curiosity for culture and the different ways in which we all live our lives and view the world.
Traveling isn’t just about eating and sightseeing; it is much more than that!
Navigating the complexity of another culture, their systems, values, and customs requires a resiliency and ability to tolerate ambiguity that can only be fully acquired and exercised by interacting with a different culture. Traveling isn’t just about appreciating the sights and sounds of another country, but also the personal growth you experience and the life skills you gain.
As a direct result of my experiences abroad, I have become more confident, self-reliant, flexible, adaptable, and patient.
Travel can be more than a trip.
Experiences abroad will challenge you to not only better understand others, but also yourself. It’s provides the opportunity to increase both your awareness of others and yourself. An experience abroad will deepen your understanding of what drives and motivates your own values and beliefs.
You will stretched beyond your comfort zone and establish new boundaries and learn just how far you can push yourself. The end result is an ability to be creative, adaptive and effectively manage change and difference. These skills are core ingredients for managing countless challenges we face in life and leadership. And more importantly, these are skills which are not so easily acquired in class or on the job.
Whether you travel as part of a formal study or work abroad program or go “old school” with just a back pack and a Go Pro, travel can be a fertile learning ground for your life and leadership skills.
So if you are a twenty-something (or even a forty-something) make sure travel is a part of your life and career development plan. And if you’ve already got somes stamps in your passport and experiences under you belt, be sure to highlight those skills and experiences on your CV.
Travel isn’t just a vacation; traveling creates opportunities for powerful and lasting learning that will help you grow personally and professionally.
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