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A Global Citizen’s Travel Mindset

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Apr 10, 2017

“Distance and difference  are the secret tonic of creativity. When we get home, home is still the same. But something in our mind has been changed, and that changes everything” – Jonah Lehrer 

Finding the right mindset. 

I think we can all agree: Travel is powerful. Travel can profoundly impact your personal and professional development while challenging you to see the world differently. At the same time, your role as a traveler can leave an impact on the destinations you visit.  

At TGP, we believe an important part of becoming a global citizen is acting with intention and being responsible about the way that you explore the world. To make the most out of your experience with us, we’d like to share some points to get you thinking about the benefits of traveling, as well as tips on how to be a mindful traveler no matter where you go. 

The importance of a global education. 

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Studying abroad provides a whole list of personal and professional benefits–many of which we’re sure led you here! Spending time in a new part of the world can be a launch point for immense personal growth and an opportunity to cultivate independence. Right now, more and more employers are recognizing the value of an international education. Brightpark Edu-Travel report cited that 94% of business leaders in America believe travel experience directly translates to a competitive advantage in the workplace. By being aware of the benefits of travelling and how the skills you develop during your journey will translate into your personal and professional life, you are learning how to maximize your GREEN experience. In order to get you thinking about the takeaways you’ll receive from your GREEN Program and how you can leverage them in your career, here is a list of the benefits of travelling by Forbes:

Ability to adapt. Travel, like business, involves changing plans and finding ways to adapt to new environments. Flights get delayed; destinations are hard to find; culture shock is hitting you; the list of problems continue. However, while these issues may seem like hindrances at first glance, they serve as real-life teaching moments. You’re learning how to turn obstacles into stepping stones and getting out of your comfort zone. What better way to test your problem-solving skills than in a completely new environment?

Better communication. Communication is an art form, believe it or not. It’s not just knowing how to string words together, but it’s also about being able to control your body language and verbal communication in a manner that will allow you to make solid impressions and lead with authority. When traveling, language barriers and cultural differences may be challenging to adjust to, but you find creative ways to work around them. 

Teamwork skills. One of the biggest advantages to traveling in a group is the ability to grow as a team. You’re forced to rely on others’ strengths and compromise your desires for the betterment of the group. By working in a collective group, you’re learning that selflessness breeds positive results.

Time management. Logistically, traveling is all about time management. From getting to the airport on time, to catching your flight, to making time out of your busy schedule so you ensure you’re experiencing all the things you want to see; Ambitious travelers don’t let their guard down. This skill obviously translates back to business and instills a better sense of time management in those who have extensive experience traveling.

Leadership. In the end, all these skills result in you becoming a better leader. Traveling teaches leadership every step of the way. Whether you’re on your own or with companions, you’re forced to make decisions and be autonomous as you grasp how to navigate a new environment. This ability to lead during your travels will transfer to leading in other settings as well.

Traveling globally, traveling responsibly 

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Another important part of travelling is thinking about the impact that you are making as a traveler. Tourism is one of the largest industries in the world and it’s not without its positive and negative effects on local communities and environments. Being mindful about how you travel starts with cultivating an attitude of purpose towards your journeys (i.e. Go in with the mindset of . We promise the results will yield more authentic and meaningful experiences. 

Here are some tips on mindfulness to consider before you plan your next itinerary or arrive at your next destination:

Avoid drive-by tourism. Checking off the Top 10 list may provide good photos for social media, but think about the empty feeling you are left with because you did not make a real connection to the places and people you visited. and to the delightful similarities and mysterious differences between us all. Reconsider pulling back on speed and superficiality, and you’ll reduce the threat of exhausting yourself and the physical and emotional resilience of the destination and the people in it.

Seek more to engage than to escape. We often look at travel as a getaway from the stresses, challenges, and constraints of our daily lives. Instead of this singular mindset to escape, also consider travel as a way to engage with something or someone in a new and different way. Take your out-of-comfort-zone-discoveries and see them as a new manner of escape. This approach can help build confidence and worldliness, enabling you to return to your everyday “normal” life with fresh perspective.

Consider every travel experience as a context for education and learning. If we look at travel the right way, every venture into our world underscores that travel is the classroom. However, as we seek more from our travel experiences, we can also see each hiatus as a potential context for active education and continual learning; be it a language lesson, cooking class, or exploration of one’s artistic skills.

Bring it home. Don’t risk an acquisition-oriented attitude and change your once-competitive acquisition of materials with a similarly-competitive attitude of acquiring expereinces. Be careful what you covet and consider doing more with your experiences in all its dimensions; Connect what you learned on the trip to your life and apply it to the place you call home.

In addition to these tips on a travel-positive mindset, there are plenty of things you can do to reduce your negative impact as a tourist environmentally and culturally. From researching about the culture of your destination before you visit to offsetting the carbon emissions of your flight, you can make huge steps towards traveling responsibly. You can explore some more tips on sustainable tourism here.

Okay, we’ve talked so much about travel and its benefits, it’s time to go do it! If you have insight or tips on how to travel responsibly, we’d love to hear from you so don’t be afraid to reach out to us. Now, strap on that Global-Citizen-mindset because  we can’t wait to travel with you!

References:

Forbes: Entrepreneurs Think That Traveling Makes Them More Successful

20 Travel Mindsets Today that can Redefine Tourism Tomorrow

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