Between family vacation and business travel, I was in three different countries over the past three weeks, which offered some unique perspectives. At AP, we talk a lot about getting out of our comfort zones (in a mental sense), but there is something to be said for physically getting out of your comfort zone through travel. I believe there are four important benefits to travel and the accompanying change of scenery:

New Perspectives
When you get out of your regular environment, the conversations change and the new surroundings stimulate fresh perspectives. When I travel with someone who is in a new place first time, I’m always amazed at how the conversation transitions from the usual day-to-day nuances to observations and perspectives about where we are, new experiences, the culture, etc.

Getting off Auto-Pilot
When our world gets small, we get comfortable doing and talking about the same things. Essentially, we run on auto-pilot. When you travel and your routine is disrupted, there are suddenly a lot of new challenges and opportunities to figure things out and gain confidence through trial and error. A great example of this is navigating public transportation systems in new cities.

New Ideas
When you are in a new place, your mind is exposed to new things and your cognitive function is more active with your auto-pilot disengaged, stimulating new ideas. For example, the key a-ha moment for the idea for BrandCycle actually came about during a dinner and subsequent cab ride in Chicago two years ago.

Appreciation of Culture
Increasingly, we are all global citizens. Understanding the power of culture and its applicability in different areas is fascinating and can really expand our horizons personally and professionally. One of my favorite examples is how our British friends have turned the negative “waiting in line” into the much more dignified “queuing up.”


Quote of the Week

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

 St. Augustine


Have a great weekend!