In our Orienteering Class, we talk about many things related to adult life and careers. We had the good fortune to have a guest speaker this month, a homeschooling, blogging, expat, living in Scotland, to share about how travel has enriched her life and the life of her families. With the emerging “Gig Economy” and the ability to work remotely, people have more options than ever before to travel. So how can you use homeschool travel as career prep?
The benefits of travel in relation to building one’s career are great and something to consider as you plan your student’s course load, opportunities, and eventual career! I’ve gathered a short list of ways that travel enriches one’s life and, ultimately, career. If travel is not an integral part of your educational plan and path, isn’t it time to consider integrating into your overall strategy?
What are the benefits of homeschool travel?
1. Travel can open unexpected doors as you meet new people. Jobs are often learned about through contacts, and the more you have, the more options available to you.
2. Travel allows you to bond with people in extraordinary ways and form life long friendships. I have remained friends with my tarp mates from a month-long backpacking trip as well as my travel buddies to Greece, during a college trip.
3. Travel allows you to learn a new language – if only just a smattering. But getting up to speed on some necessary verbs and then practicing abroad or living as an ex-pat for a time is a great way to hone skills.
4. Travel increases your cultural competency, global awareness, and helps you gain a new perspective. The very nature of travel removes you from the known and comfortable and demands that you look around and experience life in new ways.
*In August of 2016, my family went on a trip to Alaska with my mom’s dad and her brother and his family. It was so much fun and so pretty there! One of my favorite things we did was take a train from Seward to Anchorage. On the train, they also served the BEST roast and mashed potatoes that I have ever had, so we certainly got “dinner with a view.” ~Amme (True North Homeschool Academy Student)
5. Travel allows you to develop Soft Skills- communication, leadership, flexibility and adaptability, time and distraction management, creativity, and teamwork. Travel demands soft skills as people get tired – physically from the trip, but emotionally as well, from the barrage of new experiences, places, and even languages.
6. Travel allows you to fail and demands that you fail forward. No trip is complete without a missed connection, showing up at the wrong time or place or lost luggage or wallet. Snafus are just part of an excellent travel adventure, and “failing” is to be expected. Learning to fail forward with good humor is an excellent skill to learn early and well!
7. Travel allows you to develop courage as you see, smell, feel, and hear the world in new and different ways. As you fail forward, courage rises to meet new challenges!
8. Travel allows you to learn management skills -if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Not packing necessities may mean that you go without. Having to show up on someone else’s time when you are experiencing jet lag or not stewarding the time allotted may mean you miss out on the not to be missed sight-seeing trip.
9. Travel allows you to become a better storyteller- your life becomes enriched with all of the experiences and memories that you gather and gain. We are people of the Word, and followers of the Master Storyteller. We should take the time to learn how to tell compelling stories, as well.
*This past January, we took a family trip to Washington D.C. and the surrounding area. Although our trip was during the Government shutdown (obviously we didn’t plan it that way – our trip was already scheduled, and tickets were booked when the Government shut down), we still had a fantastic time! All of the Smithsonian museums were closed, as was the White House, and several other historic sites. However, we were still able to visit several amazing places – my favorite being George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon. ~Amme
10. Travel allows you to gain confidence as you replace the fear of the unknown with a healthy curiosity. Traveling to new places means we don’t know what to expect, and we’ll need to pack along a healthy dose of courage to get through to the next thing.
11. Travel allows you to gain independence and interdependence as you craft your solutions and learn to rely on others, perhaps some of whom you just recently met- as part of those solutions.
12. Travel allows you to become a better problem-solver as you tap into and develop your creative genius. Travel demands on the spot problem solving and innovative solutions.
13. Travel rests your brain and fosters creativity. It provides a break from the regular routine, gives you new input, and rejuvenates and reenergizes you!
14. Travel allows for family bonding, and you support each other, problem-solve together, and create beautiful stories and memories together.
*Every summer, we drive up from San Diego to central Oregon and attend a family camp for 800+ people that is hosted by some of our friends. We often stop along the way to visit national parks such as Yosemite, Lassen, the Sequoias, and Crater lake. They are all unique and beautiful in their own way. We make many memories in the car on the long drives. ~Amme
15. Travel allows that you learn from geography – how places define and determine how people live where they’re at, what things look like, smell, taste, and feel like. Geography is of utmost importance in the Bible, so much so that people call Israel “The Fifth Gospel.”
16. Homeschool travel allows you to gain a deeper perspective on your home, and also reminds you of the beauty in the seemingly mundane aspects of life. It helps you appreciate the beauty and joy of home. There’s a reason why the adage, “There’s no place like home” is understood.
“We went to Colorado in 2016. My favorite memory was when we went up Pikes Peak. At first, all was well, until we were almost at the top. My mom and dad started freaking out! It was a 10,000 foot drop, and the van was 1 foot away from the edge. My dad was thinking of backing up, but thankfully he drove on until there was a wide enough place to turn around. Later on, we found out that every year people fly off that mountain and get killed in motor accidents every year and it is rated as one of the top 10 most dangerous roads in the U.S. We had a wonderful time in Colorado; there is so much to see!” ~Rupert
Travel builds practical skills, as well as Soft Skills. And, if you’ve listened to our podcast, you know, “we are hired for our hard skills and fired for our soft skills.” Travel builds your kiddos soft skills muscles, which are going to be more critical than ever before in the emerging world of tech and industry that our kids will be living and working in.
Where have you traveled recently? What’s been the biggest benefit of homeschool travel that you can see?