There come times in life when we all feel like something is out of balance. Maybe we’re feeling overwhelmed by our work or personal responsibilities, or perhaps we’re struggling to find time for the things we enjoy. In these moments, it can be helpful to take a step back and focus on rebalancing our lives. And one of the best ways to do this is by traveling.
Traveling can help us to explore new places and cultures, connect with different people, and learn new things. It can also give us a break from our everyday routines and allow us to relax and recharge. And all of this can help to bring balance back into our lives. Technology can also help; some of the best second-line apps, for example, allow us to separate business from home, finally providing a home life that’s not interrupted with work calls.
So, if you feel like you need a change, consider traveling, and it may just be what you need to rebalance your life.
Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
A new culture and its people can cause a jolt to your system that will help you be more open-minded when you return. You’ll have different priorities, see things from a fresh perspective and become more effective at work. And when you get back, people may not recognize the change in you. All this is good for your career prospects too. As business becomes ever more competitive, the most obvious skill on any CV is adaptability. New ideas are always needed but they come from creative thinking, which can only happen if we look beyond our own circles.
“I love waking up in the morning not knowing what I’m going to do or where I’m going to be,” says Canadian Nicole, 26, who recently quit her job to travel. “I love the feeling of waking up in a new place.” She admits it’s not for everyone, but that hasn’t put her off traveling. The best way, she says, is seeing something you’ve never seen before – whether that’s amazing scenery or another culture. It could even be somewhere within your own country.
“I was visiting friends in Italy and saw how they were living their lives completely differently,” she explains. “Their priorities were so different – when I got back home, I realized what my priorities should have been.”
Learn A Language
During time off from studies at university in New Zealand, Australian Lana traveled to Japan, where she started learning the language. “I was really interested in their culture and found that learning the language was a great way to connect with the locals,” Lana, 23, says. She soon became quite proficient in Japanese and credited her travels with helping her land a job in Tokyo after she finished university.
“Not only did I learn the language, but I also learned about their culture and customs,” she explains. “This gave me an advantage when I applied for jobs as they could see that I was serious about wanting to work in Japan.”
It’s not just your career that can benefit from travel – you can also help others by volunteering your time while you’re away. Many organizations are looking for volunteers, so it’s a great way to learn new skills and serve a cause you’re passionate about. Volunteering also gives you an insight into the local community, which can often be invaluable when applying for a job in that location after your travels.
“I was traveling in New York and had just finished studying,” says Canadian Jessica Lester, 26. “I decided to spend my time off doing something worthwhile, so I spent four months helping out in a school.” The experience taught her not only how to teach but also gave her valuable experience working with kids. After completing her stint as a volunteer, she returned home and landed work as a primary school teaching assistant
So much has been written about the stress of modern living, travel meanwhile could provide you with a well-needed break from it all. It can help you to reassess what’s important to you and give you a new perspective on life.
Whether it’s for a weekend or an extended trip, getting away can do wonders for your state of mind. You’ll return feeling refreshed and motivated, with a renewed sense of purpose. And you may just have some fantastic stories to share with colleagues too.
Reassess What You Do Have
When Adam Palmer, 36, moved from Scotland to Spain with his wife and young daughter, he felt lucky to have a lucrative career in the music business. But two years on, he realized that working had become a chore rather than an enjoyable pastime.
“I was working too many hours,” says Adam. “And I didn’t have enough time for my family.” He decided to cut down his work commitments and rebuild his life around more important things – including traveling.
“It recharged my batteries,” he said of the experience. “My priorities had changed, but I’d never taken a step back to analyze them until then.”
Sometimes it can be a case of not seeing the wood for the trees. When you’re in the thick of your daily routine, it can be challenging to step back and consider what’s really important. But when you take time out to travel, you’ll notice the things that are missing from your life – because they aren’t there anymore.
It’s only after taking a break that many people realize what they don’t want to do with their lives anymore. And often, this realization sparks a journey to find something new. It could be a career change or just an addition to your interests – but either way, your travels will have helped make it happen.
Gain an appreciation for what you do have
When you’re traveling to countries where opportunities are few, and the local people may have to work hard for the basics in life, such as shelter and food, you’ll soon realize how lucky many of us are to live the life we do.
This experience can show us that much as we might covet the latest smartphone or a new car, we can live a truly full life with very few material possessions.