How does travel help you with your job?

News flash, going on vacation can make you better at your work! Travelling can help you reduce your stress, interact with coworkers from different cultures or simply facilitate a good ice-breaking with your clients abroad. Travelling while working full-time will not only allow you to grow as person but it can make you a better professional. As part of my Plan from the Office series, I’ve asked other travel bloggers whom are working full-time to see how travel helped them in their job. So, do you still need more reasons to travel while having a full-time job?

Rhiannon from Wales to wherever works at a travel insurance

Explaining what I do for a living is a bit long-winded, but the short version is this: if you break your leg or fall sick on holiday and have travel insurance, in your documents there’s an emergency medical contact number for you to call. Well, you might just hear my friendly Welsh accent pick up the call!
Having travelled more than 40 countries and found myself in several slightly terrifying health situations over the years, I’m uniquely positioned to be able to actually sympathise with the clients who call me. There’s no phony “I know how you’re feeling” from me when they tell me they’ve fallen ill or injured abroad and don’t know what to do, because you know what? I DO know how you’re feeling. I was bitten by a monkey in India and in my panicked state convinced myself I was going to contract rabies and die. I almost drowned in Colombia. I was sexually assaulted in India. I’ve suffered with Delhi belly (not actually in Delhi, though), infected mosquito bites and every 
other typical traveller’s illness you can think of.
My travel experiences have helped me learn first-hand what to do in a medical emergency, how to get adequate medical help overseas and what to expect when you do – all things that I need to know and advise on in my job. I don’t need to read from the handbook anymore, as I can tell you what to do based on real life experience. I can honestly tell you that I have been where you are, and I know how scary it is, but everything will be alright. And in times of an emergency, that’s exactly what you need.

Follow her adventures in Twitter

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James Ian from Travel Collecting works at a university with international students

Travel helps me with my job in many ways, but one that springs to mind immediately is that it has taught me to never make cultural assumptions.  I work at a university with international students, so this is very important, but I also apply this to colleagues who come from different cultures than I do (which is everyone, I guess, since I live in the United States, but started out Australian).  When you travel, you quickly learn that growing up in different cultures gives people a different way of thinking, of interacting with the world and of behaving.  I try to never compare a culture with my own, but merely explore, learn and discover what being in that culture is like.  Having an open mind and never assuming that my way is the right way – just the way in which I grew up - helps enormously when working with people who have come to the U.S. and behave differently and interact differently and think differently. 

In addition, experiencing firsthand the feeling of isolation and ‘differentness’ that are common when traveling in a different country makes me much more empathetic to international students and the experience they have, especially when they first arrive. I understand from my own experience just how difficult it can be for them.  So many things are different that it can be difficult to deal with when you first leave your home country, but the more you travel, the easier it is to operate within an environment that is unfamiliar.

You can look at his Pinterest for more travel inspiration

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Priyanko from the Constant Traveller is a journalist

While the world woke up to the phenomenon of fake news only after the current US President Donald Trump came to power, we have all been influenced by news since our childhood. I work as a journalist with a features website and I have seen the subtle ways in which news is made sensational and biased over my decade-long experience in various top news organisations in my country. 

To counter what we read in news, I realised that it is important to travel to the source country and counter what we see or read in news. This perspective has helped me visit Madagascar after a season of long cyclones, visit Kenya a few months after the Westgate attacks and hop on a plane to Turkey only two weeks after the Istanbul airport bomb blast and failed coup attempt. In all of these places, I encountered none of the hostility that news outlets suggested. Instead, grateful locals greeted me with open arms and showed me around in a way that organized tours can only hope for. In return, I have tried to tell the world that fear on your travels need not be linked to news reports. This has given me and my writing a sense of perspective that I am grateful for since readers acknowledge knowing about the other side of the story too.

You can follow him through Instagram

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Emma Jane from Emma Jane Explores Works at an airline

Working at an airline, my personal travels have helped me immensely. Not only does working for an airline perfectly complement my love for travel but working in the travel industry and being a traveller myself has allowed me to really tap into the challenges and opportunities that are worth focusing on to improve customer experience and make air travel a better place. I’m able to put myself into the shoes of a traveller easily – because I am one! It’s also the perfect industry to be in for someone who has the travel bug, because even when I’m in the office I’m getting to put my passion for travel into my work and use my expertise to make a difference. It doesn’t get much better than that. Combine that with leading my double life as a travel blogger, which has also taught me invaluable skills that I can leverage in my day job, and I think it’s obvious that travel has helped me pursue my passions and be better at every facet of my job!

You can follow her travels through her Instagram

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Alex From Discover Aotearoa - New Zealand from N to Z works in the Travel Industry

Travelling is in my genes. The first time I flew somewhere I was about 6 months and as I grew up went on amazing holidays with my parents. We went on road trips through the states, discovered South East Asia and went somewhere exciting at least twice a year. So it’s no wonder really that I chose to work in the travel industry as soon as I was old enough to choose my career.

From the age of fifteen, travel has always been a means of relaxing while discovering new places. But at the same time, it meant I was getting better at my job. Next to the family, the obvious perks of this industry, every time I went on holidays I came back with a lot of tips and tricks for a new destination that my customers could benefit of as well.

To me, gathering information for my job while travelling never bothered me, although the customers are always in the back of your mind. It’s a win-win situation. I get to see places, clients get better advice.

Now, I live and work in New Zealand, where I met my partner on one of my trips years ago. We discover a lot of the country over the weekends. I still work in tourism, using my trips to sell New Zealand as a job as well as writing about it on my travel blog Discover Aotearoa.

Be sure to keep up with her adventures through her Facebook page

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Rae from Rae Escape is an architect

"I am an architect by profession. I spend long hours designing buildings, making floor plans, creating construction specifications and scale models. Architecture is very restrictive in terms of hours. I spend ten hours or more glued to my desk and in front of my computer. Some nights I spend the night in the office just to finish a day's work.

Travelling is my escape from the busy and stressful life of clients' seemingly endless revisions. It keeps me sane and healthy. Whenever I got a free day, I try to hike or spend time at the beach. For me, nature truly is the best cure for everything.

Architect must also be creative and inspired; and travelling makes me inspired. That is why I enjoy exploring foreign cities. I get to learn about their culture through their architecture and how buildings adapt based on the local weather, topography, religion and customs. These different architectural elements stick to my mind which can help shape my future designing solutions. 

But most of all, travel makes me happy. My heart is filled with joy whenever I see a famous building designed by one of my favorite architects. I now travel to encourage people to travel, give them tips and travel hacks, and cheap destinations to visit on a budget. It became my passion and I'm happy that in some ways, my love for travel and my career goes hand in hand."

You can see what she is up to through her Instagram

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Kristin from Kristin in Motion is an architect

While many people have broken out of the 9-5 to travel and follow their dreams, some, like me, aren’t quite there yet. And sitting at the same desk day in and day out can take a toll on you after a while. If there’s one thing that gets me through each day, it is planning weekend adventures and big trips so that I have something to look forward to. Not only does traveling reduce my stress, but it recharges my batteries and reinvigorates my soul.

I am an Interior Architect by day and there’s nothing that helps me with my job in a creative industry more than exploring new places. You need that regular inspiration to be able to bring more to the table in my career. I find that if I have too long in between adventures, then I start to lose ambition and my work suffers. There’s so much more to life than working. Travel reminds me of that every da

Follow her adventures through her Instagram

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Lisa from Rebellious Tourist is an editor

Travel is in my blood; it’s not something I ever felt I had a choice about. Growing up, we moved almost every year between countries in southeast Asia and Africa. As an adult, settling down to a single full-time job was a challenge – I dreamt of a location-independent, digitally nomadic life, but never quite managed to make it work. And let’s face it, a ‘normal’ career has its perks: enough of an income for incredible holidays, having cats, and a home base.

I prioritize those short-term long-haul trips, and I still feel that travel feeds me. It renews my interest in people and cultures, in political and environmental issues. It reminds me that we’re part of a global whole. All of that is essential at work – I’m currently an editor for a trade association, which needs both an ability to understand and adapt, and a sense of perspective.

I also blog about my travels, which is an escape on a more day-to-day scale – the odd burst of travel writing in the middle of a work day helps me refocus. It’s a reinvigorating mental switch: one minute editing reports on contractual disputes, and the next detailing the perils of food poisoning in Madagascar.

Follow her travels through her Twitter

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Megan from Mountains with Megan is a wilderness therapy guide

Working as a wilderness therapy guide with at-risk youth in the desert of Utah is rewarding, challenging, enlightening, and mentally draining all at the same time. I typically work for eight-day shifts backpacking and camping with teenagers. We do therapeutic group activities, hike between campsites, backcountry cook, and start fires by rubbing sticks together. 

It might sound like a dream job (and in some ways, it is), but being responsible for a group of teenagers is a big task, especially when they struggle with anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and a myriad of other things. 

Travel helps me to be more empathetic, both towards locals of the countries I visit and towards the clients I work with. When I travel I get to witness other cultures, and I want to form an understanding of those who live there and what life might be like for them. I like to ask questions that help me discern what life is like outside of my own bubble. 

This translates into my work because, even though my clients are almost always from the same country as me, I can recognize that every person has their own story to tell. I know that I cannot make assumptions about the experiences of others, and I must ask questions if I want to understand. My own travel experience enriches the therapeutic space that I help to create at work. 

You can follow her travel through Instagram

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Annick from The Common Traveler is a lawyer

Working full time as a lawyer, travel adds to the richness of my life. Travel exposes me to other cultures. Seeing what happens in other countries makes me more sympathetic and empathetic to clients who find themselves in all kinds of situations. Connecting with clients becomes easier when you can relate through a common bond such as language or visiting their home country. Travel also helps me explain some situations to the court, like what might be acceptable in other countries compared to the United States. Travelers have to be adaptable to changes in circumstances, which is like so much of what happens in court and during cases.

Most important of all the reasons to love travel is how much energy I get from the experiences. Whether the trip was relaxed or adventurous, I return refreshed and a new outlook on life and work. I always come back with a positive attitude, even when things don’t go as planned. Travel imparts a new sense of appreciation about travel in my own backyard and enriches even my work life.

Follow her travels through her Instagram

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Sage from Everyday Wanderer is a marketing executive

As a marketing executive at a US-based, global software company, I need to be able to relate to customers and colleagues from around the globe. Whether it’s within my own borders or beyond, my experiences living abroad and traveling extensively help me add a cultural perspective to all I do.

My US-based team and co-workers stretch from coast to coast. Literally. The team I lead  spans all four US time zones from New York to California. Because I’ve lived in or visited all 50 states, my travels help me connect with them on a personal level, from regional dishes to annual events to the performance of their local sports teams. While we’re all Americans, there are big cultural differences. Just compare New York to California, especially from where I live in Kansas City! Understanding cultural differences, even in my homeland, helps me do my job better.

But being culturally sensitive is even more important when I work abroad or interact with colleagues from another country. Unfortunately, Americans have a reputation for being notoriously ignorant about the world beyond our borders. Compared to co-workers in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, we are most likely to only speak one language (English) and unintentionally lead with a very US-centric approach that often feels like we’re pushing the American culture on others.

Be sure to like her Facebook page for more travel content!

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Cate from Sacred Wanderings works as a Chaplain

As a Chaplain at one of the largest children’s hospitals in the world, I encounter families every single day with very different cultural and religious backgrounds than my own. Travel has helped me understand different world religious and spiritual traditions in a way reading books never could.  When I travel I always make sure to visit the most significant spiritual and religious sites - and I make it a point to visit those from religions that aren’t my own: Buddhist temples, Mosques, Shinto Shrines, even a Bahai Temple! By stepping inside and being welcomed into another’s space I find there is new room for respect and understanding. Learning to really listen on tours for the ways religion has shaped the history of places has helped me to really listen for the ways religion has shaped people - and empowers me to serve and love non-judgmentally. As a spiritual guide for many, travel has allowed me to truly “walk in the shoes of others” in beautiful ways! 

If your are looking for more travel inspiration, checkout her Facebook Page

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Kay from the Awkward Traveller works in manufacturing

There is nothing that relieves work stress more than not being at work. And I don't mean just staying at home for the weekend, where you are probably just counting down the days until you are back at work. What you really need is to not be at work - but ALSO be occupied with something fun and new, something exciting! That's where travel comes into play. 

I have an extremely demanding job in manufacturing. My work days are 13 hours long and my work phone is constantly ringing the entire time. Even when I exceed expectations at work, it isn't enough. Overall, IT'S STRESSFUL. Travel is the perfect getaway. First, most importantly, it allows me to have a PHYSICAL break from work. But, different from just staying home, travel also provides a mental break. Instead of worried about the upcoming week's goals or replaying scenerios in my head, now I'm trying to translate a breakfast menu in Japanese. Or I'm getting lost on the subway in Madrid. Or I'm dancing the night away in Cuba. 

I am both relaxed AND re-energized headed back into work. The positivity that I bring back to my team is noticeable and greatly appreciated. Especially if that positive energy comes with souvenir chocolates! 

You can follow her awkward travels in Instagram

Audrey from Gumnuts Abroad is a nurse

During my training as a nurse I was taught the importance of providing holistic care that’s sensitive to a patient’s cultural needs. Not only does this help with the healing process, it promotes trust and a better health care experience. I’ve always tried to be sensitive to my patient’s needs but on a busy ward cultural issues can seem less important than other aspects of care. It just seems less of a priority when compared to wound care and pain management.

But after having a 13-month career break abroad, I have a better understanding of what it’s like to be away from your own culture when you need medical care. I injured my back in a tiny village in the Republic of Georgia and needed to see a doctor. It was awful as the doctor didn’t speak any English and her manner during the examination appeared abrupt and uncaring and I had no faith in her ability to heal me.

So now I make an extra effort to help my culturally diverse patients, even if it means I need to hand over tasks to the next shift. In case you’re curious it turns out the doctor knew what she was doing, and I was back on my feet in no time.

Check out her Pinterest for more travel inspiration

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PIN IT FOR LATER!

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