The ROI of Travel
Kelsey Low, The Growth Coach
Up until 2014, I was on a path of typical success. I went to college, got my bachelors, found a job, got promoted, made more money than I imagined, yet I was totally miserable. I was so stressed out that I had major health problems and became depressed. My vacation time got denied repeatedly and I felt trapped. It didn't help that I never turned off my work phone and didn't know how to say no and create healthy work boundaries.
I knew something had to change. I became on a mission to have balance in my life and a work a job I enjoy. I researched ways to travel, I started budgeting, and six months later, I quit my job and moved to Costa Rica to teach English. I coordinated with a company I found online and they helped arrange everything. I did a one-month intensive course to teach English as a Foreign Language (T.E.F.L.). I was so excited and terrified all at the same time.
Moving to Costa Rica created so much confidence in the ease of travel that I decided to keep doing it. I was shocked at how common and easy it was. I was also shocked at how many young people my age from all over the world were doing it too. I ended up backpacking through all of Eastern Europe and continued to teach English at adult schools in Guatemala and Peru. I did many work exchanges to cover my meals and apartment so my costs stayed very low. I did anything I could to make travel possible.
Today, I am a business and success coach, mentor and creator of Visalia Talks & Wine. The experience of working in corporate sales and management fueled my desire to help other people with their business and people management skills. Looking back, I'm thankful for the intensive experience I got in those two years.
I make my own schedule and require travel in my life. My mother is my partner and together we are The Growth Coach of Central California. I travel every chance I get, even while being in the first year of business. People ask how I afford it and I tell them, "I require adventure every 3 months and I make it a non negotiable" and that's the absolute truth.
Here's the thing- every time I travel, I am investing in the creativity of my business. When I travel, I get ideas, insights and inspirations that fuel and excite me to get back to work. I'll put the flight on my credit card and treat it as an investment. I consider the return on investment instead of seeing a price tag with no return.
It is June 2018 and this year I have traveled to Spain, Italy, Guatemala and many other places in California. Sometimes, it's a day trip to the Sequoias to get a fresh perspective.
When I travel and experience new cultures, my mind awakens to new ideas. My business reaps the benefits. Let travel be something you invest in the way you invest in your education.
Travel doesn't have to be international. It's anything that takes you out of your comfort zone and lets you experience something new. Go to the mountains, take a trip to the coast, explore California or the US. If adventure is something you crave, you don't have to leave the country in order to do so (although it's a lot of fun!) Start where you're at, not where you want to be.