Stop Worrying About Long Term Travel on your CV!

Lost & Found

I have to admit, I worried about the effect long-term travel would have on my CV.

I’ve have quite a few ‘gap years’, and in the past I’ve been creative with displaying and ‘hiding’ my travels. (In fact, I’ve had that many ‘gap years’ I don’t think I can keep calling them gap years anymore!). I worried that I hadn’t worked in the UK for a while . I worried that it would look like I had moved around too much. I worried I wouldn’t look committed. I worried I wouldn’t get a job!

Yet getting my most recent job, I spoke about my travels so much in the interview and used examples to back it up. They were definitely impressed by these situational examples and really valued the experiences I had gained through travel.

  • Travel teaches you how to problem solve. Problem solving is a great skill to have and something employers look for.  You know when something unexpected happens on your trip, or when you’re caught off guard? When your plans suddenly change or there is an emergency – that’s when you problem solve! Figuring out how to get from one place to another and by the cheapest means – that’s problems solving too! Problem solving also leads to creativity – another great skill to add to the list.
  • Travel teaches you how to get on with people. And I mean ALL people. From other cultures, traditions and beliefs. Funny people, smart people and down right annoying people! Getting along with people; small talk, openness, communication – these skills are invaluable.  You  know what it’s like, you rock up to a new hostel sweaty hot and tired, all you want to do is eat and go to bed, but travel forces you to be social to talk to people, to ask about them and to be interested in them. If you can do this after a 12 hour bus ride, you can do it with a horrible customer on a Monday morning.
  • Travel teaches you to be assertive. I think the word I used the most on my first trip to Asia was “NO“.  Employers want team players, but they also need you to be assertive. To be confident, bold and make decisions. Travel teaches you to become assertive, especially in situations where you may feel uncomfortable or pressured. If you can hold your own at Anjuna market in India, you can do it during a stressful meeting at work.
  • Travel teaches you about time keeping.  Yeah, Island ‘time’ is great. South African ‘time’ is even better, but when you miss a bus because you’ve become so laid back about timings – you realise time is important. And, you won’t make that mistake again. Travel teaches you about time. Time is all we’ve got, how you spend you days, that determines how you spend your life. Travel teaches you that time won’t wait. Just like that bus won’t wait for you. This works the same in a work environment. Travel teaches you not to waste peoples time. It’s precious.
  • Travels teach you to work hard! You will never meet a traveller that isn’t a grafter. Yes, we like to spend weeks on the beach but we worked bloody hard to get there! Employers want to see examples of dedication and commitment. There couldn’t be a better example than travel.

Travel helps you have a better grasp of the world we live in. It puts things into perspective. It teaches you gratitude. Never be afraid of talking about travel in a job interview, ‘to travel is to live’.

So, the next time you’re in a job interview, speak up about your travel! Be brave, use it as situational examples. It will make you stand out from all the other candidates. Travel is such a privilege, use it the best you can!

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us” – J.R.R. Tolkien

I’d love to hear if you’ve mentioned travels in  an interview, get in touch and let me know how you got on!

#FromABackpack

Going Backpacking? The sooner you know this, the better…

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So you’re going backpacking? What an adventure! Preparing for my first RTW trip, there were a few things I wish I had known before I left, and they might not be what you expect…

  • Pack it Cubes’.  You need these in your backpack!! These are a luxury item but I know they are worth every penny! Living out of a backpack can take its toll; packing and unpacking every few days, messy hostels and long train rides!  It can be annoying when all you want to do is find a pair of socks and you have to unpack your whole bag .  With pack it cubes everything is organised and you lose a lot less! It also saves on space and enables you to be more efficient in your packing.
  • Always have two purses/ wallets. Its horrible to image and talk about, but travellers get mugged or have items stollen from their bags. Its part of travelling. If you have two purses, chances are you wont be left penniless, it’s also good practice to split your money up.
  • Its worth carrying around a sarong! These can be used for so many things! A blanket, a curtain for your dorm bed, a beach towel, a pillow, a jacket, a cover for visiting temples. So Many uses! They can be brought really cheap and are so useful! My travel guru friend @heelsinbackpack (heelsinmybackpack.com) talks about how great sarongs are, check out the link!
  • Location! Always choose location over facilities when it comes to accommodation.  When you are travelling you spend such little time in your accommodation, you can deal without wifi when you are in the centre of the action!
  • Keep  a journal! Even if you just write one sentence ‘this is what we did today…’ . It is a great memory! You think that you will remember everything but sadly you don’t and this is a great memory for 5 years down the line. There are a few trips that I didn’t keep a journal  for and I really regret it now.
  • Appreciate everyday! Some days travelling is hard. Exhaustion, no money, no ‘home’, these things can take there toll. But it is so important to appreciate everyday. When you are back at home, behind that desk you will remember each day with fondness and you will wonder why you were even sad. You’re travelling the world! Breathe it in, soak it up! Appreciate it!
  • Make friends! Life is about the people you meet! Its great to have travel memories and years from now when your at a dinner party, or sat at work someone will say “I’m going to India” and you will have stories bursting out the seams.  But people make the stories. Having friends all over the world will keep your travel stories alive and it will leave the door open for more to happen….
  • Do something that scares you everyday. It’s true what they say, you should do something  everyday that scares you because thats what makes us grow. Thats why travel changes us and develops our character, because its scary! It stretches you and pushes you beyond your comfort zone, but that is where the adventures lies and the stories are waiting….
  • Read books! Travel provides such a great opportunity to read! We lead such busy lives, rarely do we get a whole day to waste away on a beach reading, or spending 40 hours on a train. Read books you would never dream of reading. Read books that you swap with others, read books that remind you of place you’ve been. IT will change you.

Anything else that you can add? I would love to hear it :)

 

#FromABackpack

Backpacker Book Review: The Beach – Alex Garland

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I finally got around to reading The Beach. I didn’t want to be one of ‘those people’ reading a dog eared copy on the beach in Thailand so I kept putting it off (- that’s just me being a travel snob!). And now I’ve finally read it, I can’t get it out of my head!

The book is so much better than the film. I mean seriously better. I can’t stop thinking about it. You know when you finish a book and you look up and the whole world is just carrying on as normal. Yet somehow everything seems to have changed?

It’s the way travellers are described in the book, like we are special. We are different. We a group of individuals that fought for a life well lived. It’s a club anyone can join. But not everyone gets it. You know that feeling, that you belong on the road.

The book reminds me of the backpackers life. Even if it’s just because I’ve been to those places or I Know the names of the Island’s. I can picture them, you know. I can see myself saying, ‘oh Koh Pha-Ngan the new Samui’. It’s premise is so true, we all seek a places where know one has been but we follow the same path. But I love backpacking for this same reason, as even though it may not be a road less travelled, it was for me. It is for you. It’s still not normal to give up everything and travel the world. It’s the road less traveled for you and that’s all that matters.

There are some great lines in the book, I’ve listed my favourite below:

Escape through travel works

If I’d learnt one thing from travelling, it was that the way to get things done was to go ahead and do them. Don’t talk about going to Borneo. Book a ticket, get a visa, pack a bag, and it just happens.

Tourists went on holidays while travellers did something else. They travelled.

Trust me, it’s paradise. This is where the hungry come to feed. For mine is the generation that travels the globe and searches for something we haven’t tried before. So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite & never outstay the welcome. Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience— And if it hurts, you know what? It’s probably worth it.

Reading the beach has inspired me to re-read all my old travelling favourites. You know the books you discovered on the road. The ones you brought in back street in Vietnam from some street kids? Or swapped on a beach, or found in hostel. Shantaram, Holy Cow, Eat Pray Love, Memories of a Geisha, The Alchemist… you get my drift. I’m planing on writing some more thoughts and reviews, but I would love you to get involved. Would you like to write a Backpacker Book Review? Get in touch!