This week's blog post is coming to you from Scotland.
Well, technically London as we are on the second half of our European adventure with the entire family. My stepdaughter Heather, who is 23, is studying abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland. So we decided as a family to pack up and go see her, travel through Scotland, and then spend a week in London. Obviously, I am pre-writing this although wouldn't it be amazing to do a sit and write a blog post in front of Buckingham palace? I wanted to share our family goal this year to take more vacations and why it is important.
If you haven't read last week's post on finding joy in your business
, go grab that one first. Then come back and let's chat about how to make time for more joy!
Why Travel is Good For your Mental Health
For me and our family, travel is honestly the most fun and joyous thing I could think of doing. I was reading an article by "growth packers
" as we prepared for this trip and it actually gave 14 reasons why travel is good for your mental health. Here are a few that stood out to me:
- Travel is a pure form of education as it has the unique ability to teach new travelers by thrusting them out of their comfort zones and giving them a first-hand experience of the unknown. After all, the best way to learn is by doing!
- Challenges start to look more like opportunities. Traveling is no easy task! The unfamiliar customs, language barriers, and stressful act of navigating public transport are all difficult to get used to in a new destination. Figuring out some of these new challenges is often a rewarding experience. Any small win on the road is a big win for the brave traveler. The odds are stacked against us when we travel, and overcoming those odds boosts our confidence and helps us overcome even more than we thought we could.
- You experience a dramatic shift in perspective. Nothing will open your eyes to just how small you are in the world more than travel. Becoming detached from your comfort zone and leaving the little corner of the world you inhabit can be a very humbling experience.
- Travel cultivates a growth mindset. Some live their lives with a fixed mindset, meaning they never seek new learning experiences, are content with the skills they currently possess, and are threatened by change or the success of others. On the other hand, if you strive to live with a growth mindset, you believe your skills and intelligence grow with effort. With this mindset, you are always seeking new learning opportunities to broaden your talents, embrace challenges, and see failure as a stepping stone towards improvement.
- Improve your communication skills. If you strive to interact with locals and other travelers while you wander, you will end up developing better social skills. Being able to strike up a conversation with a total stranger will eventually become one of your strong suits if you travel a lot. This is good news for introverts who need a little extra practice! Plus, it's really fascinating to learn from others' experiences, hear what inspires them, and listen to travel tales!
- And last but not least, experiences are greater than things. Now more than ever, people are gifting experiences to their loved ones as opposed to merchandise or material things. Experiences can leave an imprint on a person for an entire lifetime, while the "stuff" we accumulate just gives us a temporary sense of satisfaction. That feeling will soon fade, and we begin to find ourselves trying to replace that lost feeling with yet another shiny new toy. Travel isn't merely a thing, but a lifestyle shift that you open yourself up to in order to receive some form of enlightenment. The more you travel, the more you'll embrace the minimalist travel mindset. Essentially, you'll realize what's important to you and will be better able to cut some things out of your life that doesn't measure up.
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For us as a family, we believe that experiences can change your life. It's why I believe so much in business retreats and meeting people in person. Every retreat we have ever hosted has been an experience. It's also one of the driving factors of why I left corporate. I wanted the experience and the freedom of being able to see and do more and not be tied to a 9-5 schedule. Everything from being able to go to a new grocery store at 10 am on a Monday to taking two weeks off to go to Europe right now. Your experience and who you are surrounded by will change your perspective and your business.
I also believe in the magic of putting yourself in a new environment. Just like we talked about last week, finding joy in your business can look like going to work in a new place. I want to teach my girls that now, not when they are adults. We have a goal as a family to travel once a quarter. It's life-changing for them, inspiring for us, and even good for business. Seeing the world through their eyes is honestly the biggest piece of inspiration I need.
Traveling can also be motivating. Think of your favorite trip or your favorite beach. When you do have to work ahead or push towards a goal, use this as your motivation! How would it feel to go back there? Or experience or work towards something new? Use that to keep going.
"Travel is like a good, challenging book: it demands presentness — the ability to live completely in the moment, absorbed in the words or vision of reality before you." — Robert Kaplan.
As the growth packers article states, you'd be surprised at how liberating you'll feel after accomplishing something you never thought you would. It gives you room to grow, boosts your confidence, gives you courage, and gives you that validation you need to go out and do hard things.
So whether it be the actual trip or the journey that it took to get there, how are you going to make creating more experiences a priority?
Looking for more on this topic and your High-Level Action items? Check out the Strategy Lab in the Crush the Rush Club!