Overlooking Balangan Beach, Bali
As we hit the winter months, it’s the time of year that many of us start to look longingly out of our windows, dreaming of being somewhere exciting and new. If you’re itching to have a mid-year break, the good news is that travel is often far more than just a holiday.
It recharges us, broadens our horizons and can often give us a perspective on things that we simply don’t get from being stuck in the same place. Here are just a few reasons why I fully endorse taking a travel break!
Learn on the road
Ever wanted to learn from the experts how to cook traditional Thai or Indian food? Or how to raft down a river, or what the medieval times were really like? Travel is often a crash course of new knowledge and skills, as you go from one adventure to the next.
Beyond these more tangible skills, however, there’s also the less obvious, but equally important, opportunities for personal growth that come from being on the road. These come from pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, navigating new places, unlocking your curiosity, relating to different people and reflecting on wondrous new experiences. My recent trip to Death Valley in the United States, for example, was so powerful it inspired me to write a poem about my experience!
In essence, travel is a great way to learn more about yourself. And the best part is, you can take these learnings back home with you and apply them to your life and business.
Meet new people
As well as gaining new experiences, travel also presents a unique opportunity to meet new people, from all different backgrounds and walks of life. Not only does the movement associated with travel mean you’ll be interacting with new people on a daily basis, experiences like group tours also provide a chance to truly bond with others. There’s nothing like a new and exciting shared experience to help people open up and get to know each other.
Whether it’s locals or fellow travellers, chatting to others on the road is bound to create new insights. Stay open and remember that the people you meet can hugely enrich your experience of a place.
Understand different cultures
Part of what makes travel so addictive for me is that it broadens my horizons. It’s pretty easy when you’re doing the same things every day – and surrounded by the same people – to forget that there’s a whole world of different perspectives, beliefs and experiences out there to be explored.
Travel, on the other hand, gives us a glimpse into these alternative perspectives, illuminating both the similarities we share with others around the globe and the amazing diversity that the world offers. By immersing ourselves in other cultures, we can extend our bubble of understanding and empathy.
I also find that through travel we can also learn to appreciate our own culture more. Even if you’re travelling within your own country, or to a country that is in many ways very similar, you’ll find subtle differences that distinguish a new place. Whether it’s the way a word is pronounced, or an alternative style of customer service, these little differences help to highlight all the small ways your own city or place is also special and unique.
I often find that when I’m stuck on a problem, what I really need to do is step out for a little while, take a break and gain some new perspectives. It’s easy when you’re a business owner to get tunnel vision and lose sight of the bigger picture.
Travel is a great way to gain that clarity, as it takes you completely out of your business and personal life. Doing the same things every day not only gets mundane, it can narrow our thinking. And ironically, without the pressure for us to get things done and perform, we give ourselves the time to recharge and come back to the office with fresh insights.
This isn’t just coming from personal experience either. Research also suggests that travel is linked to creativity at a professional level. Interestingly, this link is particularly strong for those that immerse themselves in a new culture. By fully stepping away from our usual lives and broadening our perspectives, we allow ourselves to draw new connections and innovate.
So, if you were hunting for an excuse to vacay, don’t feel too guilty!
Travel has a slew of benefits that you can bring back home to apply to both your personal life and business.
As Saint Agustine is quoted as saying:
“The world is a book and those that do not travel read only a page.”
Ben and our new friend and guide at Blangsinga Waterfall, Bali