Traveling obviously has a lot of benefits: discovering the world, annoying your Facebook friends with tons of wanderlust-inducing photos, carefree living, and unique experiences around the globe. Throw in a tan and foreign delicacies and you’re in for a treat.
Yes, the traveling life is quite enjoyable indeed.
But what about the other upsides? The ones that aren’t as obvious, that affect the traveler in a subtle but effective way?
Instantly Attractive Resume
A lot of people are scared to take a gap year or to go on extended holidays for fear they will have to explain this black hole in their resume — with all due respect, this is utter bullshit. As an ex-expat and frequent traveler, I have come to realize that employers have only been more interested in my application than they have been deterred by it. They ask a lot of questions on living abroad, favorite destinations, insiders tips, and really get to talk to you, instead of simply going over your resume in a matter of seconds. This means that your interview will stand out from that of other candidates, giving you a better chance of getting that dream job.
Valuable Life Skills
One of the main reasons why employers are so interested in travelers, outside the fact they are guaranteed to get free travel tips on demand, is the life skills travelers and freelancers develop when they’re abroad. I’m talking organizational skills (punctuality, effective task prioritization, capacity to work under pressure, ability to foresee problems, etc.) and personality skills (capacity of dealing with many different types of people, patience, adaptiveness, thirst for discovery, etc.) I dare you to find one skill among these that isn’t beneficial in all aspects of life.
Before you even think of mentioning it, yes, just about everyone can order a beer in Spanish. Even though English is a universal language that will get you by just about anywhere on the planet, knowing the basic four words of every language is not only a courtesy to the locals, but also a great way to expand your semantic field. These four words would be: hello, thank you, please, and goodbye. Don’t be that
moron person who thinks English is the only way to go.
Extended General Knowledge
Who was the last king of France? Why did the Hundred Years’ War last so long? Where are the Baltic states? What is neogothic architecture? They say travel is the only thing you buy that will make you richer… but I believe what they really mean by that is that it will make you smarter. Knowledge doesn’t have a price tag, and yet it is one of the most beautiful things in the world. And if you’ve ever typed “stupid people” on YouTube, you know precisely what I mean by that.
Vast Social Network
In 2013, there literally are no reasons to not stay in touch with someone unless you don’t want to. Facebook, email, Skype, you name it — this is the age of technology, people. This has the advantage of being friends with people you met abroad, whether they were locals or they were travelers too. Having a large amount of friends abroad might prove to be more than a number on Facebook: you get to have people from all over the globe, eagerly awaiting your visit in their hometown, just so they can show you around their favorite places and cook you a traditional meal. What’s not to like?
Are there other benefits you can think of? Has traveling brought you anything on the personal level?