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6 Ways Traveling Can Benefit Your Career

6 Ways Traveling Can Benefit Your Career

The travel bug is easy to catch – once you start exploring all that the world has to offer, you’ll most likely never want to stop. Unfortunately, not all of us having the luxury of traveling the world as our full-time profession. We have other careers and real-life responsibilities to attend to. But what if I told you that taking some time off to travel can actually benefit your professional life?

It’s true – traveling can expose you to experiences that translate into excellent career advice.

I recently spent four months traveling all over Europe. Over the course of four months, I visited eleven countries and twenty-two cities. Those four months were filled with so many unforgettable memories and experiences. Sadly, my wanderlust-filled days had to come to an end eventually- so I packed up my bags and moved back to San Diego, California to finish up my Senior year of college and begin life as an adult in the real world.

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Shortly after moving back to San Diego I landed an internship at an Internet marketing firm. I’ve traded in strolling the avenues of Paris and indulging in gelato in Rome for late nights in the library and early mornings at work, but I still think about my time in Europe every day. I utilize what I learned while traveling to improve my skills as an intern and future marketing professional.

If you’re looking for a way to get a leg up in your professional life, consider these six ways that traveling can benefit your career:

1. You’ll learn to keep an open mind. 

The world is a wonderfully diverse place – no two countries are exactly alike. Visiting foreign countries will expose you to an array of different languages, customs, cuisines, and social norms. Some things may come as a shock to you at first. When I was in Berlin I was originally repulsed by the thought of the city’s specialty cuisine, currywurst. After some strong convincing from the locals, I decided to keep at open mind and try the dish. As it turns out, it was delicious!

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Some of life’s best experiences are the most unexpected. This experience taught me to keep an open mind at work. It’s important to listen to the ideas of your colleagues – your own ideas won’t always be the best ideas.

2. You’ll learn how to communicate effectively. 

One of the most exhausting and frustrating aspects of traveling is the language barrier. While visiting a foreign country, it’s likely that you’ll experience miscommunication more often than not. Not everyone speaks the same language – and that’s okay. There are ways to work around it.

The same goes for how you communicate in the office. If a coworker is not receptive of what you are saying, don’t get frustrated and give up, try reaching out in a new way that they can understand.

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3. You’ll gain global competence. 

Traveling opens up your world beyond your immediate neighborhood, city, and country. It will give you a deep level of understanding and appreciation for international issues. It will also provide you with the ability to work with people from all different cultural backgrounds. As the business world transitions into a more globalized system, it is essential that you learn to transition with it.

4. You’ll have the opportunity to learn a new language. 

Having bilingual skills is a sure way to set yourself apart from other job applicants or employees. It is much easier to pick up a language if you immerse yourself in the country’s culture rather than learning from a textbook or computer software.

5. You’ll develop stress management skills

I never realized how demanding the United States’ business culture is until I traveled abroad.  Relaxation, family time, and quality meals are all highly valued by European citizens and underappreciated by Americans. By observing other cultures you can learn ways to create a balance between your own work and personal life.

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Perhaps you’ll decide to set aside an hour a day to practice Yoga, or maybe you’ll spend quality time with your family every Sunday. However you choose to relax, it’s important to take the time to unwind from your busy work week.

6. You’ll cultivate creative thinking skills

The sad truth is that we lose a portion of our imagination as we grow older. There’s not much time for activities that exercise our creativity when you’re busy balancing a full-time job, family, and friends. Traveling is an excellent way to inspire your creative thinking skills.

Whether you choose to travel to India and admire the Taj Mahal, or wonder in amazement at Gaudi’s Park Guell in Barcelona, it’s nearly impossible to not become inspired. After cultivating creative thinking skills, you’ll be able to provide your company with more innovative ideas and suggestions.

Featured photo credit: shutterstock Fly_dragonfly via google.com

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Last Updated on November 17, 2019

20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You

20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You

Saying, “Thank you,” can be difficult to do. Some things just demand a little something extra because of the magnitude of the favor or the depth of appreciation involved. But what can you do to say thank you in a meaningful way? Sometimes you have to get a little more creative than just firing off an email. Here are 20 creative ways to say thank you that your friends and family will remember and cherish!

1. Make a gift bag.

A unique, homemade gift bag with a custom label or a note is a simple but heartfelt way to show your appreciation for the wonderful things your friends or family have done for you.

2. Give a toast.

Many people fear public speaking more than death, giving this particular thank-you a little extra meaning. Composing a sincere, eloquent toast and delivering it is a nice way to show appreciation that truly comes from the heart.

3. Write a poem.

“Roses are red, violets are blue…” Uh, you could write that...but why not put a little extra zing in it? Find out what their favorite kind of poetry is: haiku, free verse, iambic pentameter, and so on. (Google them if you don’t know what they are.) Then write one that expresses why they deserve your thanks…and why you’re glad to give it!

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4. Create your own labels.

There are a number of websites that offer custom gift labels. Find one that fits your personality and that of your friends and create a personalized thank-you label!

5. Give a gift card.

Sometimes choosing what to give a friend can be tough. A gift card is a good way to get around this problem. As always, be sure to include a personalized note or card thanking the recipient for their friendship and help.

6. Send a letter.

Snail-mail is a largely lost art form. Don’t worry about how long the letter is, though. What really matters here is that you took the time to put pen to paper and express your feelings sincerely and honestly!

7. Use social media to send a special message.

If someone’s done something you think the whole world should know about, why not put out a social media blast? Use your blog, your Facebook, your Google+ account, and your Twitter to spread the word about why this person’s someone your friends will want to know too!

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8. Make your own digital greeting card.

While an email isn’t always the best way to go when saying thank you, a digital greeting card that you put time and effort into creating can really brighten someone’s day! Make the card reflect the recipient’s personality and compose a short message of thanks for their generosity.

9. Make a YouTube video.

Sometimes, actually hearing someone say, “Thank you,” can make all the difference. Why not take it a step further and create a special video of thanks for your friends, family, and those special people who helped make your day so important…or who helped you through that rough time?

10. Deliver cookies or candies.

Making something yourself is a fun and delightful way to say thank you to someone. Create a sampling of baked goods or homemade candies and decorate them with a simple message, or make them so they form letters! (Think Valentine’s candies, only situationally appropriate.) Attach a thank-you note or label and surprise those special people with the gift of your time and creativity.

11. Make surprise gifts for guests.

There’s no need to wait until “later” to send a thank-you message. Why not do it at the time? Create little gift packets or bags for your guests with surprises inside. This is a great way to say thanks to the people who attended your event, and make sure they won’t want to miss the next one!

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12. Put together a flower basket.

Whether you prefer fresh or artificial flowers, assembling a flower basket with a thank-you note is an excellent way to brighten someone’s day and show you appreciate them.

13. Take a picture.

Sometimes capturing the moment is the best way to put a smile on someone’s face. Have someone take a picture of you receiving that special gift or opening that surprise package and send the giver a copy with a quick but sincere note to say thanks!

14. Repay their generosity by paying it forward.

The best gifts come from the heart, and the best way to repay a gift is to pay it forward. If your friend has a special cause they care about or something they believe in passionately, why not make a donation in their name or volunteer some of your time to the cause? This will mean more than any number of cookies, candies, or thank-you notes because you’re taking your friend’s love and spreading it around to others.

15. Do something special for them.

Take them out to dinner. (See “make a toast.”) Give them that movie they’ve been wanting forever. Cook them dinner and give them a present when they arrive. Any of these are good options for showing someone you really appreciate them and how grateful you are to have them in your life.

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16. Reciprocate their help.

Everyone needs help sometime. Whether it’s holding their hand through a particularly traumatic incident or helping them replace the alternator in their car, being there when they need it shows you remember what they did for you and how much it meant. It also shows that you’re willing to be just as good a friend to them as they were to you!

17. Be there for them.

Not every thank-you gesture has to be a grand public spectacle. Sometimes just giving them a place to come hang out when they’re lonely or showing up to offer them a sympathetic shoulder means the world to a person.

18. Listen to them.

Listening is almost as lost an art as the handwritten letter. When your friend or family member needs to talk, listen to them. Ask questions when appropriate, but just letting them know you’re there and paying attention to them to the exclusion of all else for a little while is a great way to say thank you for the times they listened to you.

19. Say it in another language…or two…

A simple thank you is great…but why not spice it up a little? Instead of just saying, “Thank you,” write or make a video of you telling them thank you in different languages. Some examples might be, “Gracias! Merci! Danke schoen! Spasibo! Mahalo!” and any other ways or languages you can think of. (The ones listed above are Spanish, French, German, Russian, and Hawaiian, in case you were wondering.) If you want to really get tricky about it, say a short phrase in each language that conveys why you’re thanking them!

20. Show them some love.

A simple touch, a hug, or helping out when they need it without being asked may be the most powerful gratitude message you can send. Offer to take the dogs for a walk, sit for the kids for a few hours, or run to the grocery store so they don’t have to. The little things are often the most important and meaningful. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still send a note, but sometimes your simple presence and willingness to help is all that really matters.

Featured photo credit: Hanny Naibaho via unsplash.com

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