Informal Learning on the Road: 8 Tips for Job and Life


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We learn very few things that we learn at school or in courses. Learning happens “on the job”, in the family, in a club - or even while traveling.

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherGerman Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.

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Learning on the go

Still, holidays are for many to hang out, just let your mind wander, do nothing. This mentality will change in the future.

Because it is gradually becoming clear that nowhere else can you learn so much useful for life as on the go. After all, it is not for nothing that it says "Life is a journey." And: “Travel forms”. You just have to do it right!

Reorganize while traveling

Travel blogger Keith Jenkins, whom I met in Canada some time ago, introduced me to the idea for this text. He threw 2008 his job as a successful investment banker, to fulfill his long-cherished dream of a trip around the world.

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At first he had little worries about his expenses (after all, he was used to having a lot of money).

Travel makes you fit for life

But then he was surprised by the Lehmann crisis, got no jobs and had to reorganize. And Keith describes how his world trip made him practically fit for life afterwards.

New things were learned every day. Traveling alone, I became very self-sufficient. I organized my transportation, accommodation, and tours; planned my budget; learned to keep an eye on my expenditures and cut down when I needed to; and became better at time management. I started to appreciate and apply talents and skills which I took for granted, and enjoyed this new awareness. When I felt pleased with a new insight, I gave myself a pat on the back by treating myself to a delicious meal or a divine bottle of wine! Every day is a priceless lesson.

What you learn when traveling - 8 tips:

But what exactly do you learn while traveling? An overview:

  1. Time Management: Especially Globetrotters are usually not traveling by car, but by plane, public transport, ships or possibly with a rental car on site. And the public-Nah-traffic is not as well developed everywhere as in Germany or Switzerland. I remember, for example, that on the Dingle Peninsula in the west of Ireland the bus only ran twice a week. Then you have to plan the whole time.
  2. To organize: But not only the driving around wants to be planned. Even those who travel by car or on foot need to organize: for example, inexpensive accommodation. The more often one changes the place, the more exhausting it becomes.
  3. Budget Planning: Keith has described that beautifully. Especially traveling are very good for it. I also met people who were looking for a job on the way, because the money was not enough.
  4. Determination: Whether it is climbing a high mountain, hiking a long distance or achieving another goal, traveling teaches us to look at a project and implement it.
  5. efficiency: People who usually mess around in the office, suddenly develop unexpected efficiency on the road - after all, you want to get everything, but also everything in a short time.
  6. Relaxation: But also the opposite of all organizational stress is the case. Many people can only switch off on vacation, far away from all stress.
  7. To endure fears: Keith also describes this very impressively elsewhere in his book: When traveling, one learns to face his fears. For example, if you just rely on finding somewhere to stay somewhere instead of always reserving in advance.
  8. To be alone: And finally, one important point: the ability to be alone and concentrate on oneself. But at the same time makes it much more open to other people. In fact, not a few people are afraid of traveling alone.

Informally acquired skills become more important

All of these are skills that you can also very well boast about in your normal everyday life, in your professional life and when looking for a job - and that you often do not become so aware of.

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And these are challenges that you often take for granted when you're on the go, which you might otherwise be afraid of. Just think about it and learn for your own life.


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  1. Sandro Brakhage

    Thanks for the good presentation. It was indeed a pleasure to read that.

  2. Holger Prieske

    I would rather have expected, you get to know many other cultures and people, other problem-solving ways, or to leave things alone, to be serene.

    Instead, only “organization and project management when ordering a rental car”. Kind of boring.

    “Necessity makes inventive”, would be a finding that fits.

    • Simone Janson

      Hello Mr. Prieske, thanks for your comment.

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