Think about your last trip. What was at least one thing you learned from visiting that new place? You might have visited a town thirty minutes away from where you live, or a country at another continent. Chances are, you experienced something new, or at least learned how to do something you a different way. That is one of many positive aspects of traveling. In fact, isn’t that one of the many reasons we travel? To experience something new!
Below are reasons why you should travel, and how it can make you a more equipped and adaptive leader.
Here is a simple example. In America, if you are a coffee drinker, it is common to drink one or two large cups of coffee with or without a bit of cream. In Spain most coffee drinkers opt for a “cortado,” which is one shot of expresso “cut” with milk in a very tiny cup. Now, this is not a better or worse way of drinking coffe, but for coffee lovers, it is another way we can experience the drink we love and depend on so. There are many benefits that traveling can bring someone besides experiencing something. Below is a list of three main reasons why you should travel:
It gives you a different perspective- In my view, this is the biggest benefit of travelling. It allows you to learn other realities. What I mean by “reality” is what and how people do things in other places (cities, countries and cultures.) Seeing, living, experiencing and ultimately learning different ways of life allows us to not only put our own lives into perspective, but also helps us realize the many privileges we enjoy by living in the U.S. Benefits like, freedom, democracy and economic opportunity are just a few of many. Although I believe that there are many opportunities for improving our country politically, economically and socially, I must recognize when put into perspective with other places in the world, in the U.S we often take for granted what many can only dream of having.
Broadening your knowledge – Traveling allows us to see new places, meet new people and live (even if temporarily) a new life. Change is good when It helps to broaden our experience. Learning how to do “old” things we already know how to do in a different way is great. But, learning new things is even better. An inspiring leader must always seek to learn. This is a process that should have no end. Traveling simply allows us the opportunity to not only learn, but also live as we learn.
Testing your adaptability– Most of us live routine lives. We go to work, go home, and maybe do something different on the weekends such as watch a movie or eat out. Traveling allows us to operate in a new environment using the skills we already have. In this process of dealing with a new environment we also learn skills that can become useful in the workplace as we face new challenges. Having a chance to test how adaptable we are is an effective way to practice our ability to deal with new challenging circumstances in business.
In summary, this new perspective acquired, this learned knowledge and practice gained from traveling offers us essential skills in to better equip us in our journey to success. The U.S is the country with the highest immigration population in the world with over forty-six million immigrants – (worldatlas.com). In business, chances are you have or will work with someone with a different cultural and / or ethnical background. If all we know is “our own reality and way” of looking at problems and opportunities, chances are we will struggle with leading and succeeding in this globalized world. Therefore, my work of advice is travel, enjoy, learn and put into practice the new perspectives you learn by traveling as this this will not only make you a better leader, but ultimately a better you.
Another great aspect of traveling is experiencing new foods. Here is a recipe for “Brazilian Empadinhas de Palmito” from Hungry Sofia blog. The name of this appetizer would translate to something like “Palm Hart Empanadas” in English: https://hungrysofia.com/2013/03/27/empadinhas-de-palmito/