Let Go of Your International Travel Fears & Excuses

Personal development, much like professional development, the world’s eternal spin and laundry, never stops! SN’s personal development issue, produced each January, reminds you to take a breath and focus on you. 2019’s theme, travel, is an exciting, multi-faceted theme that it’s also very easy to make up excuses for setting aside! In her article, “Let Go of Your Travel Fears and Excuses,” Shannon N. Goff, freelance writer, pushes readers to embrace opportunities and discard the impulse to come up with “but”s. In this bonus web content, encounter reasons to let go of your international fears and let your travel flag fly!

But I’m afraid of language barriers. Don’t let this stop you—simply whip out your smartphone. Google Translate is an exceedingly useful phone app that you can download before your big trip and use while your phone is in airplane mode when you’re out of your coverage zone. Just select the desired language and you can “talk-to-translate” on the go, type in specific words, and scan things like menus and signs to see them automatically translated! Don’t worry about sounding silly, either. Locals probably already know you’re from out of town, and they’ll appreciate the effort of you trying to speak their language.

But unfamiliar customs or cultural differences are intimidating to me. This can also be a source of pre-vacation stress, especially if you’ve never traveled to a far-off destination before. But this is an unnecessary concern. Flip through travel blogs or tourist sites to gain information and ease your mind. Open your mind to new experiences and go on your trip ready to soak it all in. Know this, facing difficulties in a strange environment among new people can force you to learn and adapt to other situations you may face back at home. The way you face situations in a completely different atmosphere makes you more capable of handling the obstacles that arise once you’re back in the office or running your household. Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School, insists travel enhances creativity and your cognitive flexibility, as well as depth and integrativeness of thought (https://bit.ly/2mwd2Wp). It can also be wildly educational. Reading beforehand definitely helps you get acquainted with the customs but diving right in is like a cultural crash course! Try new foods, wear different clothes, visit museums and learn traditions. You’ll develop such an appreciation for where you go and a huge sense of gratitude and accomplishment as your trip comes to a close. 

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