One of the top reasons I love to travel is the fact that many of the skills you develop and habits you form while travelling transfer exceptionally well to everyday life. If you’re like me, you have the days of the year where you are on trips, and then you have every other day of the year where you are thinking about and planning for your next trip. Here are 4 of the most valuable lessons learned and habits I have developed while travelling.
Get outside your comfort zone
One of the best things about travelling to a destination with a culture and geography completely different from your home base is the opportunity to experience new things. Whether hiking through a rainforest in Costa Rica or wandering an ancient street in Cordoba, getting out there and taking on challenges that may initially intimidate you, will make you grow emotionally, psychologically, physically and spiritually. And when you push yourself outside your comfort zone in your everyday life, it can create new opportunities in your career or for your business, and can also help you build new relationships.
Meet new people
And speaking of getting outside your comfort zone, for a borderline introvert like myself, striking up a conversation with a complete stranger has always been a big challenge for me. But due to the fact that I always want to get the most out of each destination I visit, chatting with locales and other travellers is crucial. Some of the best restaurants, hiking trails and snorkeling sites we have experienced were recommended to us by people we spoke with during our trips. Locals and frequent visitors have a wealth of information and are usually proud and eager to share pointers about potential hidden gems you don’t read about in guide books. And as a business owner, building the courage and ability to start up a conversation with a stranger has reaped big benefits for me when networking and socializing.
Whether it’s knowing how to pack a week’s worth of clothes in a carry-on, or cramming in a dozen or more attractions on a 7 day trip, to get the most out of your travel experience, you need to be organized. I basically have our travel routine down to a science. Over the last 20 years or so, I’m happy to say I have never returned from a trip and thought I could have done more or regretted that I didn’t fit in a certain attraction or experience. Preparation is key. And being organized and prepared are two of the most important ingredients you need to be successful in both your personal and professional life.
Out of all the things that travel has taught me, I think this is my favorite. Being curious about the world around you is essential to getting the most out of your life. I’ve discovered hidden ruins in Mexico, the best sangria and rabo de toro ever on a quiet side street in Barcelona, and incredible petroglyphs in Nevada just by asking myself, hmmm…I wonder where this path will take me? And what a metaphor for life in general! I use to agonize about choosing a direction or making a decision. Travel has taught me not to be afraid, because you never know when something amazing will be just around the corner. For now, back to the cage.