Luke Armstrong | Dec 21, 2020
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz got the idea for his franchise from a trip to Italy – the company he founded is now worth $78 billion!
Dietrich Mateschitz co-founder of Red Bull got the idea for his $15 billion company on a trip to Thailand when he noticed all of the tuc-tuc taxi drivers were drinking a beverage to stay awake.
Steve Jobs credited a seven-month pilgrimage he took to India in his early 20s as creating an architecture of creativity within him that open his mind to the possibilities that later became Apple and Pixar. So if you are reading this article on an iPhone, thank travel!
Grateful for the influence that a trip to India had done for opening his mind, Steve Jobs later recommended Mark Zuckerberg take a trip to India. Facebook founder credits that trip as influential in in his way of thinking and innovating.
Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com wrote his business plan for his napkins while on a 3,000 mile road trip across America.
This listing of entrepreneurs could go on, but we can simply suffice it to say that travel exposes us to ideas—sometimes really big ideas—that open up possibilities we would have otherwise never contemplated and considered.
Travel teaches us things about ourselves we might otherwise never know had we not ventured into the unknown.
As traveler Sevonne See puts this, "
When the external changes so much, sometimes so often while traveling, I get to see what's constant... whatever is left, what remains the same when everything changes. I get to identify that as me."
Sevonne continues to say, "Identifying myself, knowing myself... well, to me, 'Who am I?' is one of the two the big questions in life."
Studies show that many of us living fast paced Western lives have trouble winding down.
Even if work ends at five, the effects of three cups of coffee, a stressful work environment, and impending deadlines can leave our mind still working even when we have left the office.
Taking a vacation is great for our mental health needs. It puts everything in its proper place and perspective. Whether you take a three day weekend to go camping, or a two week trip to Europe, it's important to plan time away in order to reset. Studies show that doing so will result in increased enjoyment within the walls of the life you lead.
I preach that we should not use travel to run away from problems—we should use it to run towards our dreams and ordeals. But sometimes we just need a break from life – maybe just the weekend, but for some leaving in less than an idea circumstances, they are looking for a permanent break from a life that not longer serves.
Two years ago Iulia Sirbu found herself in such a situation and travel was the medicine that gave her a positive groove back.
She explains, "After a series of unfortunate events made it unbearable for me to stay where I was – something in the universe told me that the life that I was living, wasn't the life I was meant to live. And so I left.
I had no idea that the initial three to four months planned of travels would transform into now over two years of travels, that this would become my new way of living."
It was after Lulia came home after her two-year trip that she realized fully what a positive changes travel had brought about in her life.
"Visiting home has been the reality check I needed to realize all this – as home hasn't really changed, but I have...
Friends and family made me realize that I've become a lot more independent, without feeling like I'm a lonely cat. I just do things without depending on anyone—whether its going out to see a show, getting groceries, moving out, making decisions or anything—in the past I really needed support in order for things to be done. Now I'm more independent and confident."
We're glad you don't feel like a lonely cat anymore Iulia :) Thanks travel!
The lessons we learn on a trip can be brought home and applied to every day life. When we travel, we stop and take a look around. We actually see the sunset. We look up at the night sky to contemplate the stars. We linger a bit longer to taste the wine.
As my high school hero Ferris Bueller poignantly put it, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."
You don't want to miss a single moment of your trips by being lost in the mind. Likewise, you don't want to miss a single moment of your life by going through a compulsive carousel of thoughts. Practice keeping the curiosity that comes naturally on a trip in your everyday life.
There's a lot of things that happen on the road that push our freak out button — bus not arriving or departing when they're supposed to, inexplicable overcharges, missed flights, dealing with Spirit Airlines, and all the other things that happen
to mess with itineraries in plans.
While I've definitely seen my fair share of fellow travelers breaking down over these things, most of us eventually learn to relax and roll with the punches and go with the flow. Travel mishaps can teach us how to chill and have a, "whatever Trevor" attitude.
And if you have trip protection insurance with Seven Corners, any financial loss from the unforeseen is covered ;)
I can't even recall all the loving couples I have met whose relationship started during a chance meeting when they were both traveling. There's my friend Austin, who met his wife in the Philippines. There was that time I move to Australia when I started
dating in Australian I met in Nicaragua and randomly ran into in Thailand (yeah, our relationship didn't ultimately work out, but I still have the frequent flyer miles from it. Yes! Winning!). And there's that one book Eat Pray Love that while I've
never read, I gather is about romance blossoming on the road.
The point is, your soulmate might not be where you are right now, he or she might be somewhere out there. So the only chance of you ever meeting is to take a trip!
Traveling to different countries and cultures makes us see the vast nuances within human existence.
Seeing that there are different steeples for different peoples, different jokes for different folks, and different foods for different broods, makes us more tolerant and accepting of these differences in others.
It's not what you know, it's who you know, right? And through traveling your network will expand to reach all over the world. This is a valuable tool for any business professional, and having such a vast network to draw upon will make you more useful
and innovative to whatever company you work for.
The Expats in Bangkok have a saying, "If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere." The same can be said for a lot of places people travel too. Travel puts you in the pilot seat of your destiny in a real and tangible way.
I remember a decade ago when I planned my first big trip traveling from Chile to Guatemala, one of my biggest concerns about traveling alone was this self-conscious image I had of myself eating alone in a restaurant.
Back then I saw myself more through other peoples' eyes. It seems absurd to think back and realize I even gave this a second thought. I guess it just goes to show how much travel has changed me for the better.
Travel has led me to feel very comfortable in my skin. It's allowed me to shad a lot of layers that ultimately weren't serving me.
Luke Maguire Armstrong is the author of "The Nomad's Nomad." He has spent the last decade traveling, writing and designing, and funding philanthropic programs around the world.
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