In this blog you will read how people responded – or what they secretly thought – when we told them about our plans to sell our apartment and furniture, quit our jobs, and go travelling. It is very easy to be convinced not to do what you really want in this short life and as a consequence miss out on fulfilling your dream. Learn how you can respond to the reasons not to make a world trip. Adapt a new perspective on why it is a smart investment to make a world trip (besides that it is fun). Gain insight in the numerous world trip benefits. In other words, read this blog.
World trip benefits – discouraging remark #1 – “You should invest your money in smarter and more sustainable purposes (like a mortgage and a car) than in personal development by traveling”
You don’t hear me say it is not smart to invest in stones, as a nice guarantee fund for happy old days with enough food and warmth. But the lucky thing is; they even don’t exclude each other. Why wouldn’t you buy a house, find a tenant, and go travel yourself. When you do it very smart, the tenant may even support a part of your trip.
And why is investing in yourself and your personal development not smart and sustainable? “You” is the number one asset you have got. It is your job to keep this asset up to date, to improve it, so it will be ready for the future. Yes, by travelling.
Developing your skills is one of the world trip benefits. Your resourcefulness, confidence, flexibility, intercultural skills and courage will increase immensely. You build a worldwide network. You will learn about the world, learn languages, will get inspired and will come back as a more complete person. The results of this investment will always stay with you. You will benefit from it the rest of your life. Travelling will broaden your world and your skills set.
World trip benefits – discouraging remark #2 – “You will have a gap in your resume; no one will ever hire you again”
This is quite old fashioned thinking. It is about how you explain the added value of what you did in the time you were travelling. What did you learn, and what was your motivation? How will your future employer benefit from your world trip experiences and growth?
I dare to state that you learn more in one year of travelling than what you would in another year in the same job. Travelling contributes enormously to your personal development which will give you many benefits in your future. Cultural intelligence is growing in importance for business benefits and is an essential asset for future leaders. Personal development acceleration is one of the world trip benefits.
Of course, there are companies that don’t invite you for an interview when they see you have been away from employment for a year. But do you want to work for such an old and narrow thinking company anyway? The companies of the future will embrace you and your curious steps in the world. And you even might decide to be an independent entrepreneur during your travels. No employer needed anymore.
World trip benefits – discouraging remark #3 – “Life is not about having pleasure. You have to suffer, to work and to be responsible.”
This is how a lot of people feel in their hearts how life works. But they might not utter this explicitly. But they do think it. Do you have a voice in your head that tells you to be useful? It stems from conventions very deep rooted in our society. Conventions are common beliefs about what is ‘normal’. The voice probably also reflects the voice of your parents or family.
Do you agree with these conventions or do you believe something else? Be aware of the conventions that drive our society, and how they influence your behaviour and choices. They are just conventions about what is good and what is wrong.They don’t show you the absolute truth. There are more perspectives possible. Imagine what else is possible when you are able to change your own convictions about ‘a good life’ and ‘right behaviour and choices’.
You might not be aware (yet) of the driving motor underlying your choices. Research your own convictions and how they influence you. What do you think that you “should”?
Being able to challenge and redesign your own convictions about life and the world can be among your world trip benefits.
‘Change your thoughts and you change your world’ – this is a strong influencer for your path in life!
Conventions and your own convictions can keep you away from having this life changing experience. Do you want to break free or do you stay in the convention web? It is your choice. I believe life is about learning, daring, enjoyment, exploring, and sharing. What about you?
World trip benefits – discouraging remark #4 – “You are throwing everything away you have built up so carefully”
It is interesting to dive into what people mean with ‘everything’ and ‘throwing away’. Sure, you might end your lease agreement of your apartment. You might sell some of your furniture and clothes. You quit your job or take a sabbatical. But are these real assets or are they just so important in your mind? Most of them are material stuff. They are of no real value. When you need them again at some point you will purchase them. There are so many other employers and jobs in the world; this job is not your last handhold.
I perceive my relations and my skills as my two most important assets. I found that I am even able to deepen some of my relations with people back home during my long trips. You will get a clearer view on who are your good friends. You will have the chance to travel together with some of the people you meet on the road you connect with.
Good relations will last. Travelling the world is not forever. You can come back. We live in an international world. Everything is close by. Your flight back home is only $500,-.
Your skills are part of you. They stay with you and amongst others define who you are. You will be a more complete person with this world trip experience. So instead of throwing away, you are actually building up. Let’s pack.
World trip benefits – discouraging remark #5 – “You will never rise on the career ladder”
First of all, is a big career so important? It will bring you more money than you need for all the basics in life. It gives you some societal status in your country. Is that important? Will that still be important to you when you are 80 and looking back at your life in your rocking chair? Get rid of all those external drivers as soon as you can and start to focus on what is really important in life. Making a world trip can help you with this. You will realize quitting your job is not the end of the world. But a beginning of a new one.
Sure, having a career and working in a job is a way to grow personally and professionally. But I can tell you this is not the only way to develop yourself, and to sharpen your mind. Without a job, but with a good amount of curiosity and urge to move, you will remain that interesting interlocutor for others and for yourself.
And I would like to stress, I am not principally against people working and having a career. But I would like to encourage you to think about why you do it. What does it bring you? Are you intrinsically motivated or are the external (most of the time useless) drivers stronger? Dare to choose what is good for you. When pursuing a career is one of the best things in your life, please do so.
A different career?
Second of all, you take a break of climbing the career ladder vertically. But when you are able to initiate a lot of interesting stuff on your trip (starting an online business, becoming a popular travel blogger) doors might even open horizontally. Why not give a motivational speech at your former employer – and other organisations – when you get back with all your experiences? Or give people advice about how to build an astonishing website?
Examine for yourself why a career is so important to you. What does it mean to you? What are you main drivers? Then decide what your opinion is about your motivation. Do you want to keep living like this or do you have other values, beliefs and wishes in life?
Finding balance is a matter of experimenting a lot
Currently a professional career takes around 40 years. Taking a break for something else interesting once in every few years won’t make a real difference in job opportunities. It will give you a boost for your personal development and therefore will it bring you beautiful things professionally as well. Why wait till you are 67 to develop other sides of yourself and enjoy your life? I propose you integrate them both in your life. Work, earn money, and have a mini pension once in a while. You will inspire people to do the same! It is even a way to build a more sustainable career. Don’t burn yourself. Balance working and exploring. I am sure you will never regret your new vision on designing your life.
More personal leadership
PS Think twice before making a world trip, alone or as a couple. Before you know it, your life has changed forever into a freer and more inspiring life. For traveling couples there is the risk to turn into a digital nomad couple, like we did. Lots of regrets 😉