Whether you’re stuck in a rut and looking to take a career break or eager to make the best of your time between studies and starting work, travel can have a fantastic impact on your future.
Here are ten of the ways your gap travel experience can boost your career.
1. It teaches you to communicate with people from different backgrounds.
Whichever career path you’re aiming for, the ability to have a conversation with a diverse range of people will be a crucial skill. Whether it’s putting your ideas forward at a business meeting or improving your customer service, your experience meeting people from other parts of the world on your travels will leave you feeling more confident communicating with anyone.
2. You’ll develop your organisational skills.
Preparing for a long trip requires a lot of planning – choosing the destinations you want to visit, arranging the vaccinations you might need and booking flights and tickets. By the time you return home you’ll be an organisational whizz and you’ll have plenty of examples to hand when you’re asked to prove it in a job interview.
3. Studies show that travel boosts your creative thinking.
Scientists have found that experiencing new sights, sounds and smells triggers the creative synapses in the brain which spark new ideas and abstract thinking. Adam Galinskey, one of the scientists involved in the research, also notes that “the key, critical process is multicultural engagement, immersion, and adaptation.” Simply put, to reap the brain-boosting powers of travel, you need to really get involved in the local culture.
At Camps International, we make sure this is an integral part of all our trips. Every one of our camps is permanently located right in the heart of rural communities and is built and run by local people, so our volunteers get a truly authentic cultural experience.
4. You become a natural problem-solver.
Travel is unpredictable by nature and you’re bound to encounter a few obstacles along the way. It’ll force you to think on your feet and learn to use your initiative to figure out solutions. These are really important skills that employers will be looking out for and your ability to stay calm in stressful situations will come in handy when you come up against a tricky problem in the workplace.
5. It teaches you to manage a budget.
Money management is essential when travelling. You’ve got to prioritise the things you’re willing to splash out on and budget carefully to make sure the cash you have will last your whole trip. Showing that you can effectively forecast and manage your own finances shows a level of responsibility and organisation that will be valuable in any career. It’s also a crucial life skill that will help you when it comes to sorting out those important money matters like paying your bills or saving up for a car or house.
6. Volunteering on international project work gives you the chance to use your skills and put classroom theory into action.
If you’ve got a specific career in mind, combining your overseas trip with a specialised internship is the perfect way to gain valuable practical experience and learn about how industry organisations work in the real world. At Camps International, we have partnered with organisations in Asia and Africa to offer amazing internship opportunities across a number of industries including business and agriculture, conservation, law and education. Our programmes offer real hands-on experience which will really set your CV apart from the rest.
7. It can open doors in the future…
…that you might never expect. Most people who travel will testify to the fact that the experience will stay with them for a lifetime. Even if your experiences don’t seem directly related to your career interests at the moment, you never know how they might influence your path later down the line.
8. Experiencing different cultures will give you an open-minded perspective
Your travel experiences will mean you’ll be adaptable to many different environments and situations. You’ll feel more comfortable slotting into your new work surroundings and future employers will recognise your flexibility and tolerant attitude.
9. It shows you’re a motivated self-starter.
It takes a lot of drive and dedication to plan, earn money for, and go on an overseas trip. It matters what you’re going to do though – spending your time volunteering on meaningful projects says a lot more about your character than a month partying on the beach.
10. Travelling with a group will teach you how to work well as part of a team.
Even better if you work on a project together. At Camps International, our small groups of volunteers work together on a range of projects within the local community, from improving access to fresh water in Borneo to planting food crops in a remote region of Peru.
Adjusting to new environments whilst carrying out project work can be challenging, but when everyone pulls together as a team it’s a hugely rewarding experience. You’ll value your teammates and also value your own place in being part of making a real difference.
To view our full range of life-changing travel and volunteer programmes, click here to request a free brochure.