Boss Lady

5 things travel teaches you for business


Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience. – Francis Bacon. Soon after I had turned 18, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to live, study and travel in Spain. Lesson and experiences that until recently I hadn’t realised have shaped and moulded me into who I am today. Little did I know that what I was learning and discovering about myself, would it come full circle and give me entrepreneurial skills that would define how I choose to live my life. I believe that there is a lesson in everything, good or bad. As an entrepreneur you must learn how to decipher these lessons and bring to light what message they offer.

5 points I discovered from travelling at a young age that taught me how to be a better entrepreneur;

1. Look at the world differently

Walking off the plane in Tokyo (en route to Spain) was my literal slap to the face, when all of a sudden I was in a world where I couldn’t communicate. No longer could I rely on knowing the language of the country, or the familiarity of cultures and customs. Travelling to a destination that was foreign to me forced me to observe my surroundings from a different angle.

More often than not we tend to get caught up in our day to day lives, living inside a bubble causing us to become blinded to the things around us. Adapting to your surroundings as an entrepreneur is vital, to throw yourself into the unknown and have the ability to view things differently is a valuable asset. You never know what new things you can learn when you look from a different point of view.

2. Find comfort in the discomfort

When you are left alone at the age of 18 in another country with barely no contacts you feel firsthand how far outside your comfort zone you are. Yes, I did spend the first 3 days in a ball crying and feeling homesick.  I was scared and alone, with no friends and a roommate who didn’t speak English.

What makes the journey unique is that you push the boundaries of your comfort. The real achievement happens when you are comfortable with being uncomfortable. To embrace the space around you and to ground yourself in what normally brings fear to others.

3. Immerse yourself in the culture

Watching a traditional bullfight in the heart of Madrid was my moment of immersion into the Spanish culture, even though I was familiar growing up with my heritage, watching 7 bulls die in two hours was definitely a culture shock. Once I got past the inhumanity of it all, I learnt that in order to understand the unknown I must be open and willing to learn why things are done the way they are.

Entrepreneurs realise that to be successful in a particular space, they must know how it works from the inside out. No longer do you have to spend a lifetime learning one skill and mastering it, with the resources around them, entrepreneurs find ways of achieving the same result far quicker when they immerse themselves.

4. Give yourself the opportunity to grow

When my parents sent me to another country and told me I was going to be alone for 10 months, I truly believed they were crazy.  Now, I admittedly believe that my parents actually knew what is best for me. Without that experience of being alone at 18 and having that opportunity to travel, I wouldn’t have learnt what I did about myself.

Most young entrepreneurs have to tirelessly put themselves in a situation which forces them to experience new things. Only by stepping into new opportunities does it help you to discover, learn and adapt a lot quicker than most. The growth you have from life experiences is far more valuable than any qualification or degree, as it reveals more about who you are.

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”  Jawaharlal Nehru

5. It doesn’t matter which way you go, as long as you choose it

In the south of Spain there is this stunning city called Cadiz, I fell in love with this enchanting city as it had old narrow streets that would weave in and out without knowing where it would take you. With white houses hugging either side of these tiny streets, it almost leaves you in a state of claustrophobia until it opens up into huge historical plaza almost always, with a fountain, shops, pigeons and a towering cathedral in the centre.

When you travel you realise that there are so many roads and avenues you can take. Same goes when you lead a life as an entrepreneur, the opportunities you face can take you on countless journeys. That’s what makes it so exciting to be an entrepreneur, each corner has something new to experience, however standing idle isn’t going to get you to your destination quicker. “A quick decision is better than no decision, as it gets you to the result, allowing you to find out if it was the right decision quicker.”

Be confident that the way your journey goes, is what you choose it to be. To travel it teaches us that life is about; putting yourself out there, experiencing something life changing and reflecting on it so are able to share it with others.

About Aveline Adams

Over the last 7 years, Aveline Adams is a marking manager who has developed and managed countless marketing initiatives, from full re-brands through to targeted strategic brand campaigns for multiple organisations. Now a new mum on maternity developing her own business, writing articles that inspire women in business, motherhood and lifestyle. She believes that success and wisdom is not defined by gender or age, but by purpose and the drive to achieve.

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