Need More Career Fulfillment? Travel Before You Retire

Here are three ways that traveling abroad during you youth can enhance your overall professional reputation and performance


Graduate from college, secure a good paying job, accumulate assets, climb the career ladder, and give back to your community: check, check, check, check, and check.

You look up five years later and can’t help but ask yourself, “What’s next?”

You’ve followed all of the rules of success, which has given you a professional resume that could land you a six-figure job at any of the most reputable companies in the world, but there is something missing. You realize that you’ve spent the majority of life living someone else’s definition of success, without taking into consideration what success means to you.

In order for you to obtain professional fulfillment, you have to discover what sets your soul on fire and makes you come alive. It’s time to remove yourself from the chains of your comfort zone. Tap into unlimited possibilities that can transform your professional future. Start drafting your six-month action plan and book a one-way flight to another country.

I know this may sound ludicrous and perhaps appears disastrous for your career, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Traveling will give your career an instant makeover, providing you with the clarity and confidence you need to accelerate your career progress and increase your professional satisfaction.

Here is why traveling the world should be the next personal and professional development activity that you consider:

1. Traveling Elevates Your Career Confidence


Let’s face it—most people are stuck in dead-end jobs, because they don’t have the confidence to leave. But, if you are trying to get a promotion or start your own business, even more confidence is needed to convey your value and competence without stumbling over your words.

Confidence is key in the world of business. You can’t seal the deal without it, and you can’t move past rejection if your self-esteem has been shattered to pieces.

Nothing boosts your confidence faster than traveling to a foreign place, navigating in an environment where your looks and language clearly make you stand out as a tourist. These unfamiliar situations can all leave you with unflappable confidence, which will make you unstoppable and more comfortable when you return home. If you can climb steep mountains, eat foreign foods, and immerse yourself in an environment where you can speak the language, what can’t you do?

So, the next time you are asked to take the lead on that stretch assignment, you won’t be shy about saying yes, because you’ll realize that it’s not as life altering as navigating a foreign country alone.

2. Traveling Increases Your Income Potential


Education equates to financial power, if you know how to use what you’ve learned to get what you desire. Take every chance that you have to learn as much as you can, because that will determine your worth when articulating your value to a potential employer or client. The more you learn, the more you earn.

Traveling around the world gives you a chance to teach another native language, give consulting advice based on your area of expertise, deliver better business practices, enhance your social media strategies, and speak or write about leading news topics. These are all in-demand skills that people will pay you for, and when you can diversify your skill-set, you create more sources of income, which can increase your wealth potential.

Your collection of knowledge won’t help you advance unless you publicize, promote, and practice what you know. In order to get paid for what you know, you have to make sure that you market your skills and validate your credibility. LinkedIn is a great online resume that can be used to publish your skills and experience. Use your professional headline, summary, and work experience as a chance to publicize your skills. If you have the chance to deliver speeches or workshops, these are perfect opportunities to practice what you know and obtain feedback.

3. Traveling Globalizes Your Professional Tribe


How many people in your network speak a different language or are from different countries? Stop whatever you are doing to take a mental inventory of your network, as this is crucial to your future success.

Why? Renowned business leader Jim Rohn once said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” The people around you provide you with a glimpse of your professional future.

Start networking around the world—now. Your education may get you in the door, but your network will give you the extra clout that you need to soar. The best networking opportunities come when you travel. Traveling can give you access to a universe of professionals that you would have never met if you had stayed in your home country.

Every person that you meet can expose you to new ideas and ways of doing business, which will allow you to think outside the constraints of your social bubble. Think about the value of your social equity, if you are able to say that you are connected with people from all over the world. The world is a cauldron of rich and interesting cultures, and your ability to take advantage of that will determine your global impact.


  • Kinyata Horne

    I really like your article. I think it is very important to get yourself out of your comfort zone to accomplish or reach your goals. Networking is the key factor to putting you one step closer towards success. I also believe that a person who is not really social can start by networking with people within their community as a start.

    • Thanks Kinyata! Great insights. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is key to gaining knowledge and experiences that can take your career to the next level.

  • Cherice Price

    This is a great article. So many people believe they have to wait until retirement to begin traveling. I really appreciate your perspective.

    • Great point Cherice! You don’t have to wait until you retire to enjoy the benefits of traveling.

      • Tony

        Hi Charlene,

        Your article is definitely inspiring. I know a young man who is living this today and outs trying to do big things in Chicago. Email me and I can introduce you.

        Awesome piece!

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  • Tatiana

    Great article! Traveling and experiencing different ways of living outside of the box that we are used to is also a great way to expand our point of view and get clarity about who we are.

    • Thanks Tatiana! Stepping outside of your comfort zone is important to obtain clarity. There is power in knowing your strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes.

  • This is a good idea especially for those who just came out of school, military, jail, any where because it’s like starting all over again. These are the tools necessary to focus on so good job Charlene and hope you write more articles. Merry Christmas!

    • Thanks Pamela! These are definitely good skills to have if you want to be marketable. Merry Christmas!

  • Thanks Pamela! These are definitely good skills to have if you want to be marketable. Merry Christmas!

  • I love this article for this one reason: it is thorough!
    Thanks for the good insights. I will come back to this site to read more goodness because I now expect it.

  • Murci

    Great read, traveling is very important in today’s world. No excuse to not travel today. For Personal or Business

    • Thank you! It’s important to take advantage of opportunities that allow you to explore different parts of you. Appreciate your insights!

  • Whitney D.

    Wow! What an awesome article. Confidence is something that I struggle with daily and one of the main reasons why I’ve chosen to remain comfortable at my current job instead of doing what really makes me happy. I think a trip out of the country will be a priority for me in 2017!

    • Thanks Whitney! Your successful career will be even more rewarding once you take the leap to travel. You may be introduced to another side of you that you haven’t witnessed before. 2017 will be an incredible year for you!

  • Cierra

    This has definitely motivated me to travel and step out of my comfort zone in order to reach my full potential. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Mike F

    This is such a forward thinking article! The times are changing as we can now take breaks in employment to live fulfilling lives outside of the standard 25 year career with one company. I hope others feel the empowerment from being able to work on different projects and not feel disloyal to a previous employer. Thanks for all of the insight!!

    • Thanks Mike! Great point! The world is changing and requires an expanded set of skills in order to thrive in this economy. A good company would encourage this type of professional development because it allows you to add more value.

  • J Smith

    In the world of business and success, creating a learning environment is key to self development. When you have the opportunity to put such skills to use you must do so. It’s even more ideal when you can test out your skills while picking up new ones. What’s better than doing so in a completely different market?

    This article outlines the 3 core techniques that we need to utilize abroad to help us perform more effectively once we decide to work.

    Increasing your net worth by network is key, building confidence in what you do and understanding your business from the eyes of another will help you build a better level of confidence in your abilities.

  • Thanks for your insights, J! Testing your skills in the marketplace is key. We should always expand our possibilities by picking up new skills. These discoveries allow us to tap into more of our potential.

  • Sebastian Ortiz

    It is completely true that when you travel you have more potential to increase your income. The income of knowledge is always a gain you get to diversify and see culture from around the world and make your mind calmer and clear knowing your not just the only one with problems. Great job

    • Thanks Sebastian! This is true. When you travel the world, you open your eyes to issues that others are facing around you. Thanks for your insights!

  • Ashley Johnson

    I needed to hear that! I’m not near retirement age yet, but the information is helpful so much so that I can pass it on to my parents.
    Thank you for the lovely article!!
    Ashley Johnson

    • Thanks Ashley! This information is perfect for you since you’re not near retirement age. I believe traveling the world is the best career decision you can make in your 20s and 30s because it allows you to think in ways that will make you valuable in the marketplace.

  • Michael Williams

    Awesome article! I do believe traveling is a great way to enhance your career and life. When you take the confidence to step out your comfort zone you open your mind to creativity. Doing things nobody else ever thought of.

    • Thanks Michael! Traveling definitely expands your mind beyond what you know now.

  • Theresa Harris

    This article is on point! So many of us are “successful” based on the road map society define for us. I believe traveling to unfamiliar places offers the opportunity to reflect and appreciate the cultural differences.

    • Thanks Theresa! Great point! Being able to understand and accept others is what truly allows us to be successful.

  • Leona Hollis

    Excellent article!

  • Really great information. Thank you.

  • Thank you Sheryl! Glad the information was helpful!

  • June Alison

    Great Article! I can clearly see how broading ones horizons can qualify for huge change. Travel is usually not the first thought particularly for an average employee however most only see themselves as average when there is untapped potential especially for those who believe and trust God for success!

    • Thanks June! Great points! Most people limit their potential by doing what others do or becoming a product of their environment. Anyone can travel and reap major rewards from the experience.

  • Most importantly, you have to trust God and not lean on your own understanding. Thank you for your insights, June!

  • Amanda

    Traveling really does help open the door to new life changing opportunities and gives you a different mindset and revelation when it comes to achieving, discovering and fulfilling your dreams. its good to travel and find new connections and new opportunities. I always had a passion to help people financial but i never discovered how to do that until i moved to another state and i meet some people who showed me how to fulfill my passion in ways i never discovered or realized. I realized that not only did i want to help people financially but that i really just wanted to help people and that not everyone needs help financially but that everyone has a different need, and i learned how to help others meet those needs..had i not travelled i would have never realized that. It also gave me more confidence to fulfill my passion.. I was also put in position to earn more income and gain more experiance in my profession..So traveling really can open the door to success and more confidence.

    • Thanks Amanda! Great testimonial! You mentioned a great point. Traveling will give you the confidence to live your passion and seek more purpose in the things you do. I’m glad you were exposed to more of who you really and what you really want through your traveling experience.

  • Kenyatta C.

    Thank you for presenting this information. I agree with your perspective and will look into implementing this in my future.

    • Thanks Kenyatta! You are paving the way for a bright future and will be ahead of the career game.

  • This was a very informative and insightful article. I love to travel but I guess I never thought of traveling in this sense. This has encouraged me to seek more international travel. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Thanks Priscilla! Traveling is the perfect professional development activity for career driven professionals and entrepreneurs. I can’t wait to hear how you use travel to boost your business.

  • Karl Riley

    I agree with your points in the article. This year I flew standby to Sydney and Abu Dhabi, then my annual Trinidad carnival experience, then Dominican Republic, Quebec Canada with my family, Kenya solo and now Jamaica with famil. Each trip is unique and provides different experiences. When I think back on 2016 I met friends who spoke Arabic, Spanish, French and Swahlili, and of course English. Traveling openings you up to the parts of you that you haven’t discovered.

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  • Karl, you have had a wealth of travel experiences this year. That’s awesome! I’m sure that has impacted the way to see the world and what you want out of life. Thanks for sharing your insights!

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