How Travel Makes You More Employable
When you hear the words “learn” and “travel” in the same sentence, it’s usually from the mouth of a privileged 20-something dribbling on about how they found themselves attempting to catch a train in India or a fresh-out-of-uni kid boasting about how many languages they can say “cheers” in.
But clichés aside, what if travel actually does teach you skills that will make you more employable? If you’re looking for an excuse to stop scrolling feeds and start booking flights, this could be it.
The ability to work in a team
To throw 15 youths with varying levels of inebriation, hygiene and sexual prowess in a room and telling them to get along should really be a disaster of Trump proportions, but that’s the reality of staying in a hostel.
From working out who gets the top bunk to navigating the anxiety-inducing social minefield that is, “How do I wake up the stranger who is passed out in my bed?” hostel living is sure to help you hone your interpersonal skills.
Between the Tetris of squeezing your leftover mac-and-cheese into an already overflowing fridge and trying to guess a café’s WiFi code, travel is all about problem solving.
Sure, when a recruiter asks you to identify a time you’ve used problem-solving skills to overcome a problem, they’re probably not looking for, “I only had 2 Euro and I had to get drunk ,so I demonstrated initiative and began minesweeping the hostel common room,” but knowing you have this ability should give you some confidence in your made-up answer.
When you’re catching flights, drinking away happy hour or meeting up with the babe you met on the free walking tour, you’ve got to be punctual. None of these are going to happen if you can’t get somewhere on time. The same goes for the free breakfast at your hostel. How else will you power through a day of taking selfies in front of iconic buildings and another day of talking about where you’ve been, where you’re from and where you’re headed?
Attention to detail
From spotting the stray pube you were about to step on in the shower to scouring the streets for the word “free”, attention to detail is necessary for surviving travel.
You might not have edited a 30,000-word thesis, but surely this attention to detail counts for something. After all, your attention to detail (hopefully) got you through Europe without a single bed bug bite.
What is travel if not learning to adapt to change?
You’ve gone from masturbating twice daily to only squeezing in strokes when the dorm is clear. You’ve adapted to your body changing from “does enough exercise to keep the self hate at bay” to “soft like Clive Palmer from weeks of eating only the cheapest carbohydrates.” You are the king/queen of adaptability.
These skills really only scrape the surface of how travel makes you more employable. So the next time your mum is on your ass about how travelling is ruining your future job prospects, you can educate her on just how wrong she is.
Cover by Gili Benita.