5 Lessons I Learned From Traveling Solo – Lesson 2: How to Adapt

When you’re traveling, sh*t happens! If you want to enjoy yourself, you have to be able to adapt. If you go to a new country bringing the baggage of your expectations from home, you’re setting yourself up for possible disappointment. Expect nothing and enjoy everything for exactly what it is and not what you think it *should* be. (I hate the word ‘should’, by the way…more on that in the future.)

The entire point of traveling abroad is to learn from new cultures and people. Experience life as they live it.

When I was in Barcelona, I completely forgot that they still held siesta each day. Siesta is a period of time from approx 2pm – 5pm where most businesses and shops close down so families can rest and spend time together. As I was exploring the city looking for something to do, my impatient American gene was in high gear as I couldn’t believe everything would just shut down mid-day. How dare they?!? 🤣 Then I took a step back and just appreciated it for what it was, a moment for the bustling city to rest. For families and friends to take a break from the daily demands of life.

I shifted my perspective and decided to walk around and experience the city’s stillness for a bit, then went to take a nap myself! (Naps are great 😴…why did I avoid them so much as a kid?) It was a phenomenal experience. I felt like I had the city to myself. Honestly, it’s a concept that more cultures should embrace. We have this “sleep when you die”; you’re only productive if you’re near burnout mindset and it’s wearing us down mentally and physically. I hope more of us learn to embrace stillness.

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Learning to adapt in new environments is an extremely valuable skill for both your personal and professional life. Change is inevitable. Especially if you’re on a path of personal growth and reaching your highest potential. Your relationships may change or end, your life is certainly going to change and your mindset will change.

In professional settings, a key trait that managers look for when promoting their employees to leadership positions is how well you adapt to change. How you handle that change is the difference between success and stagnation…or happiness and misery. Don’t spend your time stressing about change. Life is constantly changing as we cycle through new seasons of growth. Embrace it and adapt to each new season like the boss that you are!

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