Image taken from an aeroplane showing the wing of the plane, the land below and a sunset in the distance

Having just returned from a business trip in Thailand, our Managing Director, Ekrem Mahmutaj, is currently full of tales about the places he visited and the people he met.

A strong believer in the philosophy that travel opens up your mind, he’s also been using this trip to demonstrate how travel can actually offer huge benefits for business people. In a slight detour from our normal topics, why not read this week’s blog to see what you could be learning by taking a voyage.

Why Thailand?

As to why our MD went to Thailand, the simple answer is an opportunity presented itself so why not! Although it was based around visits to factories that make many of the materials and equipment used in the construction industry, the trip also factored in leisure time which included visits to temples, a boat trip, the odd spa treatment and lots of delicious Thai food!

Ekrem commented:

“While the experience was great in itself, what I’ve really taken away from this (and other opportunities I’ve had to travel) is perhaps more valuable – a kind of professional growth that comes from seeing other ways of living and doing business.”

Top ten travel gains

1. Empathy: Travel throws you into different worlds that offer a vibrant tapestry of cultures and perspectives. By interacting with people from all walks of life, you can develop greater empathy. This ability to understand different viewpoints and behaviours makes you a stronger team player and communicator, no matter the work environment.

2. Adaptability: Travel arrangements do not always go exactly as planned. Whilst this can be frustrating, navigating unexpected situations can teach you about tackling challenges head-on, being adaptable and bouncing back quickly. This kind of adaptability is a goldmine in the business world.

3. Problem-solving: From navigating unfamiliar streets to deciphering cryptic travel signs, travel hones your problem-solving skills. These skills translate beautifully to business scenarios where creative solutions are often the difference between success and failure.

4. Communication: Travelling exposes you to a kaleidoscope of different communication styles and languages. Learning to connect and communicate effectively with people from such diverse backgrounds can take your interpersonal skills to the next level. Clear communication is your secret weapon in business negotiations, presentations and teamwork.

5. Global networking: When travelling, you could meet new people from all over the world, expanding your professional network. Building relationships across borders can lead to exciting business opportunities, partnerships and collaborations.

6. Creativity: Immersing yourself in different cultures ignites your creative fire. Observing unique practices and lifestyles inspires innovative thinking, a valuable asset when it comes to things like problem-solving and product or service development.

7. Time management: Juggling itineraries, flights, and activities turns you into a time management professional. In business, mastering time management ensures you’re productive and maybe can even meet those deadlines with a smile!

8. Cultural intelligence: Understanding cultural nuances equips you to navigate diverse business environments with confidence. Being culturally sensitive improves your interactions with colleagues, clients and partners, paving the way for successful collaborations.

9. Risk assessment: Travel will almost always involve some element of risk assessment, whether it’s choosing a safe neighbourhood to stay, planning an adventurous trek or deciding whether the menu option that comes with three chillis is a good idea or not! This skill translates beautifully to evaluating business risks and making informed decisions that lead to success.

10. Resilience: Whilst travel can be exciting, it can also throw uncertainty, setbacks and ‘out of your comfort zone’ feelings your way. Overcoming these challenges can develop your resilience, something which will help you bounce back from failures or setbacks in your professional life with confidence.

Letting the world teach you its life lessons

Although travel is often looked upon as the thing we do when we’re taking a well-earned break, if approached with the right kind of mindset, it can also be a valuable learning experience.

Whether it’s a family holiday or a business trip, the more open and curious you become during your travels, the richer your learning experience will be.

Share stories of our travels and what you’ve learned from them by commenting over on our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.


Feature image: Freepik