Leisurely Travel and Work aren’t generally two parts of life that coexist harmoniously. We’re super fortunate here in Australia, where we’re entitled to 4 weeks of Annual Leave compared to other first world countries across the globe, yet somehow we still haven’t found the perfect balance between work & play. We forget the importance of travelling (near or far), exposing ourselves to a different cultures and experiences, and the value it can bring to our professional lives.
As a former Travel Agent, I never missed an opportunity to travel. Long weekend? No worries! I was off somewhere to see something! Christmas Break? Away we go! Travel is so deeply ingrained in my lifestyle that I’m often caught out planning not one, but TWO decent-sized holidays in a year – sorry hubby!
My justification for it? It makes me better at my job. It makes sense if you keep reading. Promise.
The Mental & Emotional Benefits
Since moving into Recruitment in 2017, my emphasis on travel has increased. Monday to Friday are so fast-paced, and without sounding cliche, no two days are ever the same! I love being busy and being surrounded by energetic, like-minded people but I also love when my phone isn’t ringing and I’m not constantly checking my email. Life is stressful enough as it at the best of times and the mental and emotional benefits of jetting off (be it in our own backyard or across the globe) are so underrated! Holidays help me recharge, refresh and re-energise because I’m doing things that make me relax. If that means I’m lying on a beach sipping on a margarita working on my tan, or zip-lining through rain-forests, then so be it (both of which are excellent activities might I add!). Having a clear mind is crucially important for you to be able to give 110% everyday, and removing yourself from the rat-race is the best way to start.
Experiencing New Cultures
The world is awesome & we need to get ourselves out there. Watching National Geographic or the Discovery Channel just doesn’t cut it anymore. Seeing how other cultures operate around the world is such an eye-opener and with that comes a great sense of gratitude. Experiencing something different form our ‘normal’ is so refreshing and invigorating and really puts our own way of life into perspective. I would come home from amazing holidays and really reflect on the experiences I just had, and see how I can better my own life & work. I personally become a little more fearless with each new place I visit by throwing myself out of my comfort zone. I come home with a sense of accomplishment and a genuine sense of surprise. These are the little wins I let into my professional life that aid me in bettering my approach & productivity each and every day.
Confidence & Self Assurance
I’ve often found this is something so many of us lack with no real reason. We are amazing! Look at the stuff we’ve done, doing and will do! My roles have always required me to be confident & self assured (as sales always does) which has left little room for self-doubt. And thank goodness for that! For those that know me on a personal level, confidence & self-assurance aren’t things I struggle with and I put that all down to the things I’ve done when it comes to travel! The first time I went overseas, I was 8 years old and my family went on a 3 month holiday across Greece (we’re Greek), exploring every part of the motherland. That sense of self-awareness & confidence was instilled in me from a young age. Although I spoke Greek fluently – and I still do – being forced to use a different language for three whole months left me in awe of just how capable I really was. Because of this, I’ve grown to be very confident in my professional life. There’s no room for self-doubt in life, we’re all fabulous and once we understand that, there’s no stopping us.
This point should be really self-explanatory. We build resilience by facing adversity, and more often than not we have some holiday horror story that has shaped our ability to face challenges. I for one had a pretty bad experience my first night in New York City. We arrived at the apartment after almost 24 hours of flying, tired, jet-lagged, and really just wanting to jump in the shower. Now, it was the end of December and ‘cold’ would be an understatement. To our dismay the hot water wasn’t working, and to top things off my husband found a machete in the room. Yeah…that wasn’t a typo. We obviously managed to survive the apartment of horrors but we came away from that experience knowing if we could bounce back from finding machete’s in the dining room, we could pretty much face most problems that work & life cared to throw at us.
Probably my favourite travel take-away. It’s a simple point, but we’re so often consumed by our own lives that we block out everything that doesn’t concern or affect us directly. Travel makes you aware to the world beyond your bubble and it’s such an eye-opener. Being empathetic in your professional life the key to being a good person, a good teammate, and exceptional at client service. Take genuine interest & listen! Observe & don’t give into distractions! Let your experiences mould you into a better person!
If there’s one thing I hope you to take away from this article, it’s this: take your leave, and don’t feel guilty about it. Go explore somewhere new and exciting, and let those little experiences help build your capabilities & career! The world, just like you, is awesome. That’s a promise.
Stephanie Atzamoglou is a Junior Consultant at Fetch, specialising in sourcing Business Support talent for top clients within Australia’s built environment. She has a passion for travel & design and brings a lot of her creative flair to her role at Fetch. You can connect with Steph on LinkedIn here.