Travel broadens the mind – this statement has become extremely well-known, so know it’s close to being a cliché. Nevertheless, backpackers deserves attention, especially when looked at from a specific perspective. Travels don’t only turn you into a more open-minded person, and they also make you more skilled. They don’t just turn you into a liberal philosopher, but can also help you to gain lots of practical, job-related skills. You should consider it when wondering whether going for a backpacking trip is a good idea or not. Sometimes people think of traveling with a backpack as something that is just fun and nothing more. They couldn’t be more wrong and here’s why. We list six practical skills that can be developed through backpacking and later on used at work.
Backpackers speaking foreign languages
Backpackers speaking foreign languages is probably the most obvious one. Everybody knows abroad can help in developing language skills. Nevertheless, it’s worth underlining, because traveling is undoubtedly one of the best learning methods. Sure, courses, classes, and books can be great, but real contact with people who speak the language you’re trying to learn is priceless. Backpacking makes it even more efficient than most of other traveling styles. Why? Because you have to manage everything by yourself and because you constantly meet new people.
There’s no guide to show you the way through the city, so you need to ask around on the streets. There’s no organized group to hang out with, so you need to make new friends, friends from all over the world, not from your country only. You meet people in hostels, in cafés, you meet locals and other backpackers, and they speak a variety of languages. Many people struggle with
You meet people in hostels, in cafés, you meet locals and other backpackers, and they speak a variety of languages. Many people struggle with the language barrier, and even if they attend the best courses and develop excellent grammar skills, they aren’t able to have a conversation. Traveling can help to solve this problem quickly and with ease. If you have this barrier, once you get on the road, sooner or later you’ll have to overcome it and start talking. It’ll simply become unbearable to be surrounded by amazing people and unable to communicate with them. Besides, travelers are usually supportive towards each other when it comes to speaking languages, and locals are excited to hear even a few words of their language spoken by a foreign visitor – it’s very encouraging!
Backpackers communication skills
Backpacking is an excellent way to practice your communication skills. Even if you begin your trip as a timid person, the chances are that you’ll quickly become more open. You’ll be, in a way, “forced” to be around new people. You might avoid talking with them, but they’re next to you all the time. Sooner or later it becomes natural and finally approaching strangers (or being approached by them) stops being awkward.
Moreover, backpacking gives you a chance to learn about cultures and individuals. Conversations with new people, exploring countries and cities, listening to stories of other travelers and locals sharing their experiences – all of that opens your mind. It also makes you more tolerant of differences between us and appreciative of similarities. It simply gives you a chance to get to know people and understand them better, which, of course, positively affects your communication skills. You learn how to express yourself so that even those coming from a whole different culture understand you. Also, you find out how to ask the right questions to understand what others try to say. You learn how to be transparent and clear. All of these abilities are extremely useful at work, no matter what occupation you choose.
You learn how to express yourself so that even those coming from a whole different culture understand you. You learn how to ask the right questions to understand what others try to say. You find out how to be transparent and clear. All of these abilities are extremely useful at work, no matter what occupation you choose.
When you’re backpacking, you always move from one place to another. You change environments all the time and have to adjust to what’s around you. It’s an incredible flexibility practice. One day you’re sleeping in a hostel with a bunch of European backpackers, the next day you’re Couch Surfing with an Asian family, a week later you’re camping on the seaside with some travelers you’ve randomly met in a bar – that’s a typical backpacker’s trip scenario. After a while, finding yourself in various situations becomes easy. Such an ability comes in handy in many jobs. Modern companies tend to appreciate the flexibility, especially if they’re fast-developing. They’ll be happy to hire you knowing you don’t mind performing a broad range of tasks.
Backpackers tend to travel on a budget. The budget thing is a crucial part of backpacking as a concept. For backpackers it’s most important to meet people, spend time with locals, learn about cultures from the inside, not to enjoy luxury and expensive attractions (not that there’s anything wrong about that, relaxing holidays in a fancy resort can be excellent, they just wouldn’t be called “backpacking”). Even though many wanderers like to say they aren’t focused on money, they are – it’s just that they focus rather on saving than spending it. It means they must be economical.
When traveling on a tight budget, you’ll have to prioritize. If one day you have a dinner in a nice restaurant, the next day you’ll buy food on a street market. You won’t be able to attend both a dance class and a concert; you’ll have to choose one. Sometimes, when your account is in a poor state, you’ll have to find things to do for free and skip all paid attractions. Doesn’t sound like fun? Well, it can be! You’ll have to get creative; that’s one thing. Besides, you’ll have to be practical about spending money. Developing the ability to manage your funds is great. It comes in handy everywhere, all the time, whether you’re at home, on a journey or
When traveling on a tight budget, you’ll have to prioritize. If one day you have a dinner in a nice restaurant, the next day you’ll buy food on a street market. You won’t be able to attend both a dance class and a concert; you’ll have to choose one. Sometimes, when your account is in a deplorable state, you’ll have to find things to do for free and skip all paid attractions. Doesn’t sound like fun? Well, it can be! You’ll have to get creative, that’s one thing. Besides, you’ll have to be practical about spending money. Developing the ability to manage your funds is great. It comes in handy everywhere, all the time, whether you’re at home, on a journey or working.
Money transfers for backpackers
What backpackers also learn during their traveling adventures is the best way to be economical and practical even when you’re running out of money, and you need to receive a money transfer from one part of the world to the other. For example, if you’re facing a financial crisis during one of your trips and you know that it would be for the best to borrow some money from your friends or family, you wouldn’t go right away to the bank to receive the money your family sent you. Experienced backpackers know that the best solution for this is to register with an online money transfer provider, such as HiFX which is used by millions of backpackers from all over the world, and get your money fast and safe, without having to pay additionally for fees and administrative costs.
Booking tickets, looking for accommodations, finding the best routes – dealing with these things requires quite some organizational skills. Even if you’re traveling like a free bird, just spontaneously moving from one place to another, you still need to be well-organized. You must be prepared to survive in various conditions and deal with potential problems. You need to pack well, sometimes do some planning, be able to estimate the time you need to move between different destinations, etc. Also, you might be terrible at it at the beginning, lose your flights or buses, overpay for accommodations or end up in terrible hostels, but once you make a few such mistakes, you’ll start learning. Finally, you’ll notice you’re becoming more resourceful, and that’s a trait you can use not only during your trips but also at work.
Curiosity and readiness to learn new things
Traveling makes people more open to whatever is new, more enthusiastic and curious. Meeting people coming from various backgrounds can inspire you to learn about their cultures. When hearing a new language for the first time, you can realize it sounds amazing and feels motivated to start learning it. Meeting an actor, a cook, a carpenter or a bartender can help you to understand what they do is something you’d also like to try doing (and since traveling is connected with meeting many people, it’s entirely possible some of them will bring new ideas into your mind).
After a few weeks of on the road, you’ll start getting used to the constant change. You’ll seek new experiences, new knowledge, new skills. You’ll bring this curiosity back from the journey and even when you settle somewhere; you’ll most likely still be keen to learn. This enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge is something many employers appreciate.
What do you think of it? Have you learned anything through traveling? Let us know; we’d love to hear your view! And don’t forget to share this article with your friends, especially if they’re skeptical about the benefits of backpackers!