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This is an easy one for me. Right after college, I took a backpack trip and traveled around the world for a year. Upon returning to my native San Francisco, I had no idea what I would do to make a living. Travel, for me, was an eye opener. Travel expanded my mind, so I came up with an idea: I started the first travel agency in the U.S. specializing in discounted around-the-world airfares.
When I became a boss and owner of my own travel agency, I always sought to hire world travelers. After all, who can better sell around-the-world airfares than the people who have recently experienced what, for many, was a trip of lifetime? I always tried to take it one step further, so I sought out world travelers of all ethnicities, figuring that people who speak a second language or come from another culture were my most ideal employees and would make excellent sellers of travel.
Business Lessons from Traveling
Taking an extended journey around the world changes one's life for the better. Travel forces you to become social and adaptable. One has no choice but to walk up to strangers, talk to people and make new friends while on the road. Travel turns every introvert into an extrovert in no time. One learns how to think smart, to be quick on your feet and be aware of one's surroundings. Human interaction through world travel teaches us that we are not all that different from one another. These skills can transcend into the business world and workplace.
In the business world, you also have to think fast, be on your toes and interact with like-minded as well as disagreeable colleagues and business associates. Much of the same skill sets one uses to navigate through India, for example, can be taken to the job market. Travel makes you a well-rounded person. The skills that one learns while traveling the world can clearly give you an edge when you return and have to face the reality of getting a job or starting your own business.
How I Changed His Life
I was not only fortunate enough to change my life through travel, but by providing travelers with amazing discounts on airfare, I experienced firsthand the transformation of many from being vagabonds to becoming successful members of our capitalist working society. One traveler who had purchased a Circle the Pacific trip from me went on to become a famous travel writer, author and television personality. He still thanks me today for having found him an amazing airfare, and he tells people how I changed his life.
I became more open-minded and tolerant through travel, an all-around better person and, as many would say, a great boss. We all should leave our comfort zone and venture out and explore the world, especially at a young age. I truly believe that after college, every kid should wander out and take an extended journey. Jobs will always be there when you return home. With ambition, an outgoing personality and a little luck, you just may land that dream job that you always wanted.
The road less traveled is taking that leap of faith and traveling the world.
Follow Nicholas Kontis on Twitter: www.twitter.com/nickworldtravel
As originally published on Huffington Post Travel Blog and LinkedIn Pulse