We’re in the midst of peak travel season; it seems everyone I know is on some cross-country road trip or European adventure.
For entrepreneurs, though, it’s easy to let the summer travel season completely pass you by. Stepping away from your business on nights and weekends is hard enough. Leaving it for a whole week? Unthinkable.
And yet, it’s undeniable that travel is good for us, not only for our own sanity but for the health of our thriving businesses, as well. Travel can broaden your entrepreneurial horizons in a way that’s nearly impossible if you never leave your city limits.
Travel Breaks You Out Of Your Comfort Zone
We’ve talked before about the delicate dance between maintaining a consistent routine and getting outside your own box. It’s important to strike a balance between the two in order to innovate while staying on track to achieving your goals.
Travel is one of the best ways to break free of your own comfort zone without totally throwing your carefully cultivated routine out the window. You’re simply stepping out of it for awhile, and it’ll be there waiting for you to step right back into it when you return.
One of the best ways to overcome a challenge is to re-frame the problem itself; what better way to do that than to look at things from a whole new perspective—literally speaking, thousands of miles away?
Getting outside your comfort zone helps you see new solutions to old problems and brings some of said problems into clearer perspective. There’s nothing like experiencing a new place to help you look at a situation in a completely different light.
It Introduces You To New People and Concepts
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.”
It’s one of my favorite quotes, and when you think of it that way, the idea of not traveling is actually quite frightening!
When you travel somewhere new, you meet people and see places that challenge your entire concept of what’s “normal.” It can be unsettling, sure, but it’s a poignant reminder that our way is far from the only way of doing things. The idea or solution that’s been eluding you might simply be a matter of shifting your perspective.
What’s more, different cultures can introduce us to concepts that are completely foreign, but entirely useful when applied to business.
Take, for example, the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi. Loosely translated, it’s the idea of accepting the imperfection or incompleteness in things, from the chip in your coffee mug to your coworker’s nosy tendencies.
It’s a concept the Japanese embrace across different areas of life, from home décor to career. Can you imagine how it might change your approach if you adopted a wabi-sabi mentality in your business?
The concept is likely unfamiliar to perfection-striving westerners, but it’s one we could learn a lot from—and one we might never come to know without the experience of travel.
Travel Forces You To Adapt To Mishaps
Speaking of imperfection, travel forces you to get comfortable with it really quick (or have a really unpleasant time).
Delayed flights, missed trains and wrong turns are all an inherent part of traveling, and how well we fare depends on how we respond and react to what are ultimately minor bumps in the road. When you think about it, isn’t your business pretty much the same way?
It Gives Your Mind a Breather
Even the most tireless minds need a break every now and then. It just so happens that this is when some of your keenest insights may come to light.
Even when you’re not thinking, your brain is, puzzling together your fragmented thoughts and experiences into a more coherent whole (ever notice how some of your best ideas happen in the shower or while you’re drifting off to sleep?).
Taking a step away from the day-to-day operations of your business gives your mind some much-needed R&R so you can come back to work sharper than ever. You might be pleasantly surprised how many new business ideas come to mind when you’re not actively trying to think of them.
It Gives You Time To Think Big-Picture
A funny thing often happens when you step away from your business for a while: it runs without you, almost as if by magic. After all, you’ve taken the time to painstakingly hire employees and put systems in place for your business to run; traveling forces you to pry off the training wheels and see what they can do on their own.
When this happens, you’ll experience an incredible sense of freedom—the ability to think big-picture about your business without getting bogged down in minutiae. Travel is one way to make it happen.
Are you planning to travel any time soon? Leave us a comment and let us know where you’re headed.
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