A few days ago I was browsing online when I came across this article:
My first thought was disbelief. I know we have an intense working culture in the U.S. but surely more than 50% of Americans have taken some time off in the last 12 months, right? Well, not so much, according to the annual poll from Allianz Travel Insurance. Approximately 125 million Americans have not gone on vacation (defined in the article as time away from work for at least a week) since 2014, and only 51% are confident they will go on vacation before the end of the year.
We have a culture of more often being equated with better when it comes to our careers.
The findings are both surprising and unsurprising. Surprising because, perhaps naively, I figured Americans would be more likely than not to at least take a week off from work over the course of an entire year.
Then again, it's also unsurprising because we have a culture of more often being equated with better when it comes to our careers. The more one works, the better employee he or she is at their company. The more time one puts in at the office, the better his or her commitment to their job. However, studies indicate that this long-held notion is incorrect. More hours at work do not necessarily mean better. Often times it can mean the opposite.
I have always been an advocate of travel as a great life experience, but I also strongly believe travel and taking time off are good for your job. Both employees and employers need to recognize the benefits travel has on the work you do every day. Here are five reasons why travel is great for your career:
Travel Lets You De-Stress and Take a Break
Our daily lives can be very stressful. From our commutes, to dealing with last-minute issues at work, to handling personal situations that arise unexpectedly — it's easy for someone to get really stressed out. Travel gives you the opportunity to take a break and return to work feeling refreshed. The fact is that if we keep going like a hamster in a wheel, we will burn out. We're human, not machines.
Travel Breaks Up Your Routine With a New Experience.
I have written before about the value of experiences, but I always feel the need to reinforce that value. Experiences are what we will remember at the end of our day, month, year and life. Travel lets us step away from the daily grind to partake in something new that can only benefit us and everything we do.
Travel Allows You to Step Away from Work and Return With Fresh Eyes
Another bonus of removing ourselves from work is the ability to return with fresh eyes. How many times have you worked on something for so long that you lose perspective on whether it's good or not? Then, when you step away and come back to it later, it feels like you're seeing it for the first time. Travel is a great opportunity to take that break and gain some clarity on what's working and what needs to be improved.
Travel Makes You Think on Your Feet
I have lost count of the number of times something has gone wrong while traveling ... bad weather, lost luggage, canceled flights, incorrect directions, and so on and so on. In each situation, I've had to think on my feet and adapt. Being able to change course quickly will not only help you in your career but in other areas of your life.
Travel Broadens Your Perspective and Makes You More Empathetic
To me, the most important reason travel is great for your career is because it makes you a more accepting, empathetic person. Being in a new environment and being exposed to a new culture makes you realize what you don't know and what you can learn from others. It gives you new perspective and forces you to understand differences that you may not have thought of before.
We need to work smarter and understand that a vacation is not a bad thing.
So instead of hanging on to the belief that more work is better, we need to work smarter and understand that a vacation is not a bad thing. Embrace travel and see how those experiences help you in life as well as your career.
How has travel helped you in your career?