We all know that traveling is fun, fun, fun, but planning it is not an easy task. It takes a lot of time, patience, effort, brain cells, and it also leaves a dent on our bank accounts. However, like everything else, getting better at something needs constant practice and certain skills. In time, travelers learn to excel at these skills, which can be applied in the workplace every day.
DECISION MAKING AND PLANNING
There are hundreds, if not thousands of possible travel destinations, and deciding on one of them is the first skill that is tested when traveling. Other important factors to consider are budget, visa (if needed), age and preference of the traveler(s), seasonal conditions, airline, lodging (hotel vs. vacation home rental vs. bed and breakfast), and depending on the type of vacation, the type of clothes and gears to bring. A traveler who plans well and who weighs the pros and cons of his or her decisions is the type of employee that will likely to succeed in the workplace.
RESOURCEFULNESS AND CREATIVITY
Traveling means being away from home, which also translates to having “limited resources.” At any given time, small or big hiccups can happen during a trip, but travelers know how to make the best out of these situations and utilize whatever means available to iron the kinks out. They may have limited resources but these won’t stop them from coming up with solutions and answers to solve the problem.
REGARD FOR PEOPLE WITH DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS AND ETHNICITIES
When abroad, travelers learn to respect the people, the culture, the norms and nuances of the place they are visiting. Employees who respect coworkers regardless of their backgrounds and ethnicities have the propensity to be liked and easily approached at work. This is crucial not only in a global work setting but also in dealing with coworkers who live locally.
Traveling to foreign places means meeting and interacting with the locals and in order to do this, travelers need to communicate, whether in English, or in that region’s native language. If oral communication proves difficult, travelers will resort to non-verbal gestures. Effective communication in the workplace is essential, and travelers often learn various ways to effectively convey their messages and express themselves as clearly as possible when communicating.
A traveler knows how to haggle and bargain. If a traveler wants to buy a certain merchandise but believes that the seller is taking advantage pricewise, he or she will focus on what the seller fundamentally wants. For example, if it becomes apparent that the vendor wishes to sell as many items as possible, the traveler knows from experience that a better deal can be had by suggesting a multiple-item purchase at a much reduced price. That way, the seller is happy, the traveler is happy, everybody is happy. Imagine a happy workplace!
GRACE UNDER PRESSURE
A traveler hardly panics or “loses it” when faced with stressful situations such as cancelled or delayed flights, lost boarding pass, navigating the labyrinthian subway system, or hopping from one ferry to another on a stormy day. A traveler will calmly think of alternative means to get from point A to point B. Working under pressure and stress is common at work but the ability to complete tasks without screaming and breaking down is a prized trait among the best of employees.
YEARNING FOR LEARNING
People travel for different reasons, some for passport stamps, some for posting photos on social media, but for most, the main reason is the love of learning. Travelers will not hesitate to go beyond their comfort zone and they are often willing to try new things. The same is true at work. Employees who are also travelers are always eager to learn new skills by embracing new tasks which, in the end, will benefit not only the employee but also the company.
Travelers are grateful employees. Consciously or subconsciously, they develop a sense of gratitude towards employers who give them a chance to take a break and recharge via leisurely travels — a kind of gratitude that will shine through as they take a sip of that fine cup of espresso in Italy, taste that freshly-baked brioche in France, enjoy that delicious plate of Pad Thai in Thailand, take a bite of that crunchy, golden-fried lumpia roll in the Philippines, anticipate that exquisite serving of sizzling tapas in Spain, devour that full bowl of spicy Kefta tagine in Morocco, or as they simply revel in the roasty goodness of a tall glass of Guinness in Ireland. Grateful people are happy people, and having grateful and happy employees in the workplace is always a good thing.
“Don’t be a tourist. Be a traveler.”