If you click on the Tinder profile of any millennial, you will find traveling listed as one of their top three hobbies.* I am good for a weekend getaway, traveling internationally or randomly booking a cheap cruise. When opportunity knocks, unfortunately, "I was on a baecation in the Bahamas" is not an excuse for being unprepared.
I definitely agree that we all need to time to let loose or just relax, however, I make time for personal and professional development...even while traveling. Here are 3 things that you can do to help you better prepare for your next opportunity while on the road.
1. Attend a meeting.
If you are traveling in the states, google national organizations, like the Urban League, that have local chapters. Find out if they are having a meeting or volunteer event while you are in town. Often, I have planned to arrive on a Thursday evening (the price of the flights are often less expensive than flying in on a weekend anyway) to attend a meeting or event. Think outside of the box...local libraries often host free professional development classes. I've attended meetings for organizations outside of my field as well. As an example, I once attended a seminar on Emotional Intelligence hosted by a chapter of NABA (National Association of Black Accountants) in a city that I was visiting (mind you, my background is in Learning & Development and I've failed almost every class involving numbers that I've taken). If you are up to it, join an organization for a community service event. You will expand your network by meeting people, gain valuable experience and positively impact a community outside of your own. Sow the seed.
2. Download a book or podcast.
Whether you plan on laying out at the beach or are riding shotgun (or driving solo) on a road trip, use the time to catch up on your favorite (audio) book or podcast. I have books and podcasts in queue to read/listen to but there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day to get to them. However, when traveling, at some point you may have downtime, even if it's ten minutes...use it!
3. Conversation is Key
I'll be the first to admit that I avoid "talkers" on the plane. A week ago, I sat next to a guy on a flight that worked in aerospace. We began to talk and I learned more about his field and thought "How cool would it be to add Learning & Development in the aerospace industry to my resume?". It's not something that I want to pursue currently, but I gained a new contact (he subscribed to the blog and added me on LinkedIn, heyyyy Brett!) and learned something new. Talk to people on your flight, on your cruise or at your resort.
Are you a person that plans to do lunch with your contacts but never seem to find the time? Or do you collect cards at networking events with a promise to 'connect soon'? I use layover time between flights or long road trips to schedule touch base calls. I schedule 30 minute calls to catch up with associates, touch base with new connections in my network or to return calls.
Remember, the world doesn't stop because you are on vacation, my traveling millennial friends. Find time to invest in your development...even while traveling! What professional development activities will you engage in on your next getaway? Comment below!
*It is important for me to note that this information was obtained as a result of a random Google search and NOT from my late night perusing of said site or similar sites including but not limited to Match.com, POF, Bumble and especially not Christian Mingle. Just wanted to make that clear...carry on.