How Traveling Can Drastically Improve Your Interpersonal Skills

How Traveling Can Drastically Improve Your Interpersonal Skills
From Lifehack - March 13, 2018

Inherently, the seasoned traveler doubles as a social butterfly. They can strike up a conversation on a whim and somehow manage to find common ground with individuals from all walks of life.

Traveling on its own can be incredibly eye opening and enriching, but it will also equip us with skills that are necessary to be successful. Communication and interpersonal skills are attributes that can be learned and honed. These skills are applicable in everyday life and can be translated into professional environments.

We are inherently closed off

For my first lone traveling experience, I had just arrived to San Francisco for an externship. There was an issue with our train and we had to switch to a new train at the next platform. A gentleman who had been making polite conversation decided that it was now his mission to help me move my stuff to the next train.

Although well intentioned, I was appalled. I was not accustomed to the kindness of strangers, in fact I thought that he was trying to rob me or worse. Kindness is somewhat regional. And growing up in the tristate area, I had been conditioned to be extremely skeptical. Interaction with strangers seemed incredibly taboo.

Its shameful to admit, but social skills have fallen by the wayside. Weve forgotten how to speak to one another. The idea of striking up a conversation with a stranger is borderline terrifying. But more terrifying still, the lack of effective communication will ultimately lead to a lonely life.

Keeping the passion alive

A very wise man once said that before fully committing to someone, take them on a trip. This wise man is Bill Murray- and he speaks the truth. Traveling can be a very vulnerable time for many, often times it can bring out the worst in people.

But if you are able to overcome the inevitable hurdles that will arise during your trip, traveling has been proven to strengthen relationships.1 It gives yourself and your partner an opportunity to share in a common goal.

Just being in a different environment2, free of all of your day to day obligations that tend to get in the way will help to reignite romance and intimacy. It will give you both the chance to revisit some issues that would normally initiate an argument- in a safe, romantic setting.

Couples who regularly travel together have reported having more effective communication with one another than those who dont. 3

You will never see the world the same

The greatest epiphany one can experience as they submerge themselves into the travel lifestyle is the realization that not everyone thinks the way that you do. Not everyone lives the same way that you do. Different cultures harbor different philosophies and priorities.

Breathe, relax, enjoy

Growing up in a place where results are expected instantaneously, I didnt take well to the idea of waiting. I mean, whats the hold up? I placed my order and I want it now. Clearly impatience was smeared all over my face. The server who took my order asked me ever so innocently, Why do you look upset? You have a few extra moments to just enjoy life before you receive your food. He was so right. Why was I getting upset? I didnt have anywhere to be. So I took his advice. I drew in a deep breath, taking in all of the beauty that surrounded me.

Patience is a virtue. And when youre traveling, you have no choice but to be patient.

Learn to roll with the punches

Its not the situation- its your reaction

Alternate forms of communication


Continue reading at Lifehack »