THE VALUE OF TRAVELING
“GET LOST IN ORDER TO FIND YOUR PASSION, YOUR PURPOSE AND MOST IMPORTANTLY YOURSELF.”
Traveling is one of the most priceless experiences in your life. For college students, it is important to incorporate traveling into your college and career development whether it is a Study Abroad program, an international Internship or even just a gift to yourself after you graduate from college. For professionals, it is also important to keep traveling.
I majored in Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Management when I was in college. My program was a special program where you will need to complete an internship followed by a two-week trip abroad where you will conduct assignments on a daily basis. Sounds cool eh?
I have been traveling since the age of four. I do not mean road trips from Los Angeles to San Diego. I mean like 18-hour international flights. My mom loves to travel and ever since I could remember, she traveled to all these countries all over the world taking pilgrimages and going from country to country. By the time, I was big (or small) enough to travel, she took me with her. I remember getting into my first airplane at four years old to a country across the globe. It took us two days by plane just to reach our destination! I had a Pinocchio doll that I had with me but had to give it away to the girl who sat next to me because she was traveling alone. Ever since my first trip, it has been non-stop. I remember one time in Israel where I had ice cream after riding a camel as sand blew across the desert ground. I remember one time in Rome where I asked my mom to ask the waiter for a hot dog because I didn't understand why they only had Spaghetti. Yup, out of all the things, I wanted a hot dog. I remember riding in a van on an unpaved road trying to find a hidden Spanish church as two little boys chased our van in trying to help us find this hidden gem. My love for traveling came from all these experiences in traveling with my Mother. In my travels, I was exposed to different languages, atmospheres, food, people and lifestyle. I was able to experience a city that was in complete darkness at night since there was no street or billboard lights. I was able to see kids walking with their bare feet from the school in the rain and stay at a house where you had to pump water from the ground. I was able to see kids selling flowers and beaded necklaces on the main roads to tourists and see how people inserted baguettes in their daily work bags as they walk home from work. In these experiences, you come back home as a changed person. You become grateful for having a working toilet, for having shoes, for having streetlights as you drive home after a long day at work and you just see the world and people differently.
When I was in college, I had the opportunity to travel to Paris & Belgium (for free)! During our internship program, we had a weekly class to meet with our travel cohort. We all were put in specific groups in which we were in charge of a day and a location. We had to plan a day for the class and educate the class on the country and direct them where to go. Can you imagine? We had to educate our classmates about a culture that we knew nothing about!
My day assignment was Day 5. That day we had to get everyone out of Paris and into Belgium. My group decided to have a walking tour that ended at a Chocolate Factory where we got to make our own chocolate! The hassle of waking everyone up making sure that everyone had a ticket, finding the correct train station, the correct train, getting off the correct stop in a new country and getting off was like traveling and arriving in a different planet. Trust me, this was much harder than it sounds. When we finally had our walking tour and chocolate tour completed, I was exhausted. The moment we landed from Day 1, we literally had to just put our bags down and we all had assignments. We had tours and activities and had to be immersed in the culture. We were thrown outside of our comfort zone and hit the ground running. We ran around the streets of Paris on a rainy evening with no trains available trying to find our way home, we had a bike tour around Belgium, we held hands as we ran against incoming traffic in trying to reach Arc de Triomphe, tried Escargot together for the first time and took a boat tour in one the coldest and rainiest days in Paris.
When I came home from that trip, all of us came back completely changed. Although we were only gone for about two weeks, we all became a family. Until this day, we keep in touch and we even had a one year anniversary to celebrate our experiences in Paris & Belgium. Friends became foes, and foes became friends. It's funny how life works. We all grew up together in that small time abroad. We grew not just with the number of calories we got from eating all the wine, bread and cheese, but we grew from those moments running around the city lost in the rain and biking through hills covered with windmills. We grew from overcoming our fears and coming out of our comfort zones. At the end of the trip, we had to be critiqued and graded for the assignments we all did. Regardless if we were happy with the results of our own assignments, we all took back something that is priceless. Ourselves.
All of us completed our internship programs with many of us being offered jobs, graduated and getting the careers we wanted. But regardless wherever we are, we all grew up from that moment in time. It added to our personal and professional development as we suddenly found our passions and purpose after the trip. Just as we thought we knew ourselves and knew the world, we found ourselves lost in life and lost in the streets of Paris only to return home finding ourselves.
Traveling is one of the most priceless things in the world. Traveling teaches you something that can not be taught in the classroom or even at the office. Traveling pushes you to get lost and find who you are. You will learn to find what you want, who you are, know your strengths and acknowledge your weaknesses. You become confident, wiser, and more cultured. You learn to become resourceful, how to be a survivor and how to take risks. You come back grateful for what you have and suddenly you find your purpose. This is an important element to discover in your personal and professional goals. Only successful entrepreneurs are successful because they found their passions and their purpose. And the beauty comes when their passion and purpose collide. Find your purpose. Find who you are.
Wherever you are in life, make it a priority to travel. Do something that scares you every single day. Get lost in order to find your passion, your purpose and most importantly yourself. Traveling will only make you a stronger and a much more seasoned candidate as it molds you to becoming a risk taker, a teacher, a student, confident but humble and inspired. You become a unique candidate and/or employee as you think outside of everyone else's comfort zone and that is what makes you valuable in the workplace. It also serves as great icebreakers in networking mixers and also for quiet times in the break room. So, are you up for it? Ready to travel?
To all my new travel bugs, here is an important tip for you: Have your passport handy and always check the expiration date.
You have a flight to catch. Do you have your passport handy?
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ABOUT YOUR MARKETING BARTENDER
Lucy Capul is the Creative Director of Old Fashioned Marketing & Consulting. Lucy’s background in Hospitality Management concentrating in Special Events and Marketing has lead her to create a platform for start-ups, entrepreneurs and businesses to gain support and resources for their business. Old Fashioned Marketing & Consulting was created to take away the work load of any working professional where they have the opportunity to have a professional virtually run their marketing behind the scenes, so they can have their drink and drink it too. Lucy’s experience in the corporate world has lead her to realize that the world glorifies the chaotic and busy lifestyle of a typical hard working professional. Lucy is an avid supporter of taking the time to “namaste” away from the work day and making time for friends, family and a little bit of whiskey, promoting a work-life balance. The Bar Babble blog was created to provide resources for like minded professionals to succeed in their professional and personal lives and also for students or anyone who wants to jump into the marketing world. Bar Babble is that time and place after a long day where you can be unapologetically unfiltered and babble about the highs, the lows, tips and tricks that no one talks about. Let’s get a little “whiskey”, and let’s Bar Babble.