Traveling and Working: Challenges and Benefits

When you’re lucky enough to have a job that sends you to different countries, you can find it hard to adjust to the new lifestyle. For one thing, traveling can be taxing to your body, especially if you need to cross too many time zones too often. And when you’re traveling with your family, it will take time to adjust to the recent changes. But jet lag and new sleeping patterns aside, there’s no denying that traveling for work has many enormous advantages.

Traveling and interacting with new cultures and sceneries is in itself a rewarding experience that gives you a break from the office. You can think of it as an opportunity to expand both your and your family’s horizons. After all, what better way to learn new hobbies and explore new interests than to go to unknown places? When your traveling takes you near to the beach, then surf camps are an excellent way to teach your kids the joys of surfing in a fun and safe way. The same applies to ski resorts near mountainous areas and if you’re near the woods, you can all go hiking. 

Rethink Your Mindset

For most people, traveling is a means to an end. They travel on vacations, or to go back to their family on the holidays. But if your job requires traveling to new destinations, then you have to change your mindset. This is obviously true if you have spent your entire life in one place, soaking up the same culture and living with people who share the same cultural background as you. Because nothing tells you about your own values and belief system than when you interact with new cultures.

Cultural shock is not just a cliche. It’s a genuine phenomenon with some serious repercussions. It’s not just the language barrier, but the people in the new place tend to have a different way of expressing themselves. New mannerisms, different gestures, and, of course, new taboos. To get ahead and enjoy the best that the new culture has to offer, you’ll need to re-evaluate your own thinking and perceptions, and preset notions. And the first step is to leave your judgments at the departure counter before boarding the plane to the new country.

It’s all about keeping an open mind and accepting the new culture with all its unique qualities as well as its flaws. This is what makes each culture so rich and rewarding. The new way of life will most likely require you to adjust your tastes and standards. Embracing the good and the bad and looking for common grounds that transcend cultural and language differences is the right approach. While a tourist skims the surface and keeps an eye out for the exotic, you need to go deeper and look for the hidden gems and intrinsic values that each culture jealously keeps from the wandering eyes of the casual traveler.   

New Cultures, New Inspiration

But traveling offers more than just trying out new cuisines and revisiting your old interests and hobbies. It also offers inspiration. When you get involved in a taxing project that stretches your mental and creative abilities to the limit, it’s easy to get stuck. Staying in your comfort zone, interacting with the same people, and visiting the same places keeps your mind relaxed and unchallenged. But that all changes when you go to a new country.

For starters, you have to stay alert at all times. This doesn’t mean that you don’t feel safe or the new place poses harm to you. It’s just the new and uncharted territories around you. They keep your brain busy as it maps out the unfamiliar places and faces. This extra work triggers the brain to push beyond its comfortable limits. When you revisit the old project that you were stuck into, you’ll find fresh ideas flowing and new solutions popping up in your head. 

But this is not just limited to work. Even your social life will go through a positive transformation as well. The old rut of a long-term relationship can get a refreshing start with the new challenges and the novel problems that you both have to tackle together. As you savor the new mannerisms and customs in the unfamiliar country, admire the architecture, and struggle with the different language and communication in general, you tend to get a new perspective on life. 

When you try to see the people in your life with that new perspective, you’ll be able to get a better understanding of those people and who they really are. In a way, interacting with the people in the new country sharpens your own senses and gives you new insights into your relationships both the old and current ones. Does that mean that you’ll become a better judge of character the more you travel? It’s quite possible.

Combining travel and work can be quite a challenge. It requires you to put aside your own set of values and beliefs and embrace a new culture with all its complexities, unique qualities, and flaws. The new experience literally opens your eyes to a new side to life that you didn’t think existed. At the same time, you gain more insights into people, their psyche, and what makes them tick. As you get adjusted to the new surroundings and novel lifestyle, both your career and social life will get better and more rewarding.