Do you become a better person from a world trip† And why is traveling good for your career and future? When I look back on who I was before I started traveling and compare that to who I am now, I would have to say that traveling has made me a better person and person. I'm much cooler now than when I was 18 when I first started exploring the world. In fact, I think that traveling can make anyone a great person. I'm not saying this to be conceited or selfish† I say it because I believe that traveling does something to you. It makes you an understanding person. A better person. A much more relaxed, smarter and down to earth person.
Table of contents
10 reasons why traveling is good for your career and future
1. Travel makes you more social
It's swim or drown while traveling. You either get better at making friends or you end up alone and crying into a pillow every night. You learn to make friends with strangers and it becomes more comfortable to talk to new people. When I first started traveling I was kind of introverted and uncomfortable with people I didn't know. Now I like to talk to strangers as if we've been best friends for years – useful if you're going to meet many corporate clients in your career.
2. You get better at conversations
Traveling not only makes you comfortable talking to strangers, it also makes you better at it. After talking to people all the time, the same questions get boring. You even start to bore yourself. After a while you don't care where people come from, where they go, how long they've been traveling and yada yada yada. Those kinds of questions don't really tell you anything about the person. You will get better at small talk and how to ask interesting questions – questions that matter and tell you more about the person, their lives and that of their children. These are career skills that you can use as a manager.
3. You learn to respect your fellow man
Traveling gives you insight into other people's country and life. You visit countries and cultures that are often less fortunate than you. You communicate with and are welcomed by people of different origins. You get to know different skin colors and different cultures. Realizing that you are very well off in the Netherlands is part of the deal. You might as well share some more. You learn that racisme mainly stems from ignorance.
The differences between people and cultures make traveling so much fun. The food is different, the habits are different. You learn to value thinking and acting differently instead of attacking it. Travel is important personal learning path. Eventually you will use all these experiences, lessons and skills for the rest of your life, even if you are already tall and wide returned to the Netherlands and work 40 hours a week. Dealing with colleagues from all over the world is just normal for you.
4. Travel makes you more flexible
You've had to deal with missed flights and hotels, slow buses, wrong turns, delays, bad streetfood, ugly islands and much, much more. After a while you learn how to adapt your plans to changing situations. You don't get angry; you just change what you do, adjust your schedule and move on. Where others are stamping their feet like a toddler and crying when something goes wrong, you shrug your shoulders and leave it behind. Why sulk about something you can't change? You simply skip the bale period and start thinking faster in your career in solutions.
5. Travel makes you easier to get along with
Mistakes and setbacks – they've done something else for you, too. They made you easier and more relaxed. Why? Because you've dealt with and processed all those mistakes. It is now easier to go with the flow. If traveling has taught you anything, it's that it all worked out in the end and sometimes you have to rely on other people or companies. You have become a calm team player who can work well in small teams – useful for future projects in your career.
6. Travel makes you more adventurous
When you gain confidence in your ability to do something, you do anything. Are you afraid of fish and jellyfish? Is snorkeling with sharks or whales scary? Nope, with a little perseverance after a year of traveling you can handle anything. Why? Because you want to… What's the purpose of life if you don't break out of your comfort zone? Do you want to spend your whole life in your safe village going to the same shop, the same bar with the same people? Of course not! Change jobs. Pursue your dream career. You are no longer afraid of the unknown.
7. Traveling gives you confidence
You've traveled the world and climbed volcanoes. You got your PADI and dived among the sharks. You have learned to navigate independently through world cities, you have overcome your fear of heights with bungee jumping en skydiving† In short, you've done great things. How can you not be more confident? How can you not be sure of your skills? After you have accomplished so much, you will feel much more confident in your ability to achieve anything you set your mind to.
Self-confidence has been given a boost and you will also reap the benefits in your career. You dare to come up with new ideas and develop them. You dare to put new ideas on the table and are not afraid to be contradicted.
8. Travel makes you smarter
Unless you're in a resort and drowning your brain in frozen drinks, travel will teach you about the world. You will learn about people, history and culture and mysterious facts about places some people could only dream of. You learn how vulnerable nature actually is and how to enjoy it in a respectable way, without polluting or destroying it. In short, you will understand better how people and nature work and how you should behave yourself as a person. That is something that cannot be learned from books; you can only pick it up with experiences along the way. In your career you apply this knowledge to make your company more sustainable and to do more to prevent waste. You also always have something meaningful to say during the break, which is nice.
9. Traveling makes you less materialistic
Along the way you learn how few things you actually need. You will realize that all that crap they sell at the mall is pretty useless in living a truly happy life. I went from a backpack of 18 kilos back to 14 and then 12 kilos. Every year I went on a trip, I needed less when packing my backpack. When you get home, you will be more of a minimalist simply because you realize what you need to live and what you don't. As they say, the more you own, the more it owns you. Stop shopping for the sake of shopping!
10. Traveling makes you happier
Most importantly, of course, is personal happiness. Traveling just teaches you how to be happy. You become more relaxed, more confident and see the world as a better place. You learn to settle for less and enjoy the little things in life. After all you've seen, felt, tasted and learned, how can you not be happy about life?