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How Solo Travel Empowers Resilience

How Solo Travel Empowers Resilience

“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.” – Henry David Thoreau

Have you ever thought about traveling solo but then didn’t follow through with a trip?

If you answered yes, chances are you didn’t follow through because you were afraid it would be dangerous, or you were afraid it wouldn’t be fun without a companion.

Once you take your first trip you realize both assumptions are wrong. Solo travel is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. The benefits outweigh the risks and the experience strengthens life skills needed for success in all aspects of life.

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Travel, like life, is about looking at situations, taking in the factors, and predicting an outcome. You learn to act based on your assessment. Sometimes, you assess correctly and sail through without a problem. Other times, you may judge wrong. It is in those times that you learn to reassess and solve immediate problems. This empowers skills needed for resilience.

Solo Travel Helps You To Face Fears

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    The most common fears associated with solo travel are safety and loneliness. Most solo travelers, especially women, report that well-meaning friends and family members scare them with concerns for their safety. The same travelers report once out on the road, they realize those fears were not warranted providing they use common sense and know these tips.

    Solo Travel Strengthens Problem-Solving Skills

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      When you are traveling solo every situation, big or small, can help strengthen problem-solving skills. Missing a connecting flight, or getting lost on a back road with no cell signal can be…well quite scary. Learning how to deal with those types of situations as they happen forces you to focus on solutions instead of dwelling on problems. This improves the ability to assess situations, which in turn strengthens the quality of decisions.

      Solo Travel Boosts Your Confidence

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        Imagine being stranded in a foreign land where you don’t speak the language and all you have is a map and symbols to get around. This is often common for travelers who venture to another country. Something amazing happens when these travelers find their hostel, or they begin to understand bits and pieces of the foreign language.They become more confident in their own abilities. Every time you face a fear, or solve a problem, you build confidence in yourself.

        Solo Travel Teaches That Setbacks are a Part of Life

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          When traveling solo, it is inevitable that you will have setbacks that delay you. You learn to deal with them. Setbacks teach that an obstacle is not the end of a journey, but a road block or detour. The more setbacks you are faced with, the better you are at moving around them without allowing them to derail you. Setbacks are just a part of life and the more experienced you are at handling them the more successful you are in life.

          Solo Travel Teaches Flexibility

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            Solo travel is especially constructive for people who are afraid to be out of control. You only have so much control when traveling alone. You must learn to be flexible. Side trips and unexpected stops can be one of the most rewarding parts of the journey. You can organize and plan a trip down to the minute, but in reality, it will not happen the way you have planned. Flexibility is necessary for solo travel, life and business.

            Solo Travel Strengthens Faith

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              Faith rises from self-confidence, however, life and society suppress both. Solo travel forces you to break out of your comfort zone, believe in yourself, and rely on faith to move through obstacles, fear, and the unfamiliar. Through faith in yourself, and the higher power that guides you, you learn that you are capable of much more than you ever imagined.

              Solo Travel Helps You To View Yourself as a Survivor

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                In solo travel you become strong, self-reliant, confident, smart, and ready to face anything. You become more optimistic, more altruistic, and can more easily understand your purpose in life. Together, all of these strengths empower resilience.

                Once you complete a journey you understand there is much more to life than mediocrity. You become stronger and resilient as the result. Lessons learned on the road will follow you throughout life. People who travel learn more about themselves and the world. As a result, solo travel creates resilient leaders with true grit.

                If you have traveled solo, I would love to hear your story. In the comment section below, please share how solo travel has made you more resilient and ready to take on the world.

                Featured photo credit: By Gulan Ballsay via flickr.com

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                Missy Yost

                Missy enjoys decorating, capturing the beauty of her surroundings on canvas, and making new friends. She shares about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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                Last Updated on March 14, 2019

                7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

                7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

                Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

                For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

                Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

                1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

                A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

                It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

                It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

                How it helps you:

                If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

                Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

                2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

                Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

                Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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                How it helps you:

                Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

                Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

                If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

                Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

                3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

                Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

                Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

                How it helps you:

                This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

                For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

                Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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                A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

                4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

                To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

                A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

                How it helps you:

                One word: hierarchy.

                All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

                In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

                If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

                5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

                Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

                Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

                How it helps you:

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                Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

                If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

                This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

                6. What do you like about working here?

                This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

                Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

                How it helps you:

                You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

                Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

                Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

                7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

                What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

                As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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                How it helps you:

                What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

                First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

                Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

                Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

                Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

                Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

                Making Your Interview Work for You

                Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

                Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

                More Resources About Job Interviews

                Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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