Benefits of the Laptop Lifestyle
- Travel matures you, gives you a broader world view.
- It teaches you resiliency and confidence.
- It develops your ability to face fear.
- It teaches you the truth that you are not in control, even when you think you are.
The first travel far away from home I did by myself was when I was in high school. I was an exchange student to Columbia, South America, part of my senior year. That experience really helped get me ready to leave home and go off to college. It built my independence.
Being a high school student in Colombia was my first experience seeing people at a severe poverty level – so much so that they literally were naked on the side of the street. It was also my first experience at living in very luxurious surroundings. At that time in Colombia one was either very poor or very rich – there was no middle class.
Travel away from home builds independence
People ask me if I'm glad I did that at age 16. Actually, if I had my way every single American student would be made to go live over in a different country for six months of their senior year or after they graduate from high school. It would help students to become independent and get them thinking about what they want to do in the world. Travel develops emotional maturity. It helps with separation from parents who are sometimes too enmeshed and finding it hard to let go.
Travel helps both a child and parents go through a personal development growth phase. It grows a sense of knowing that there's a larger place in the world than the current place that you fit in.
For me personally, traveling away from home that young changed my world view forever. It really popped me out of my little box. It showed me so much more than I knew of the world. I think about my time in Colombia often. It was a great step into adulthood.
The laptop lifestyle makes you better at your business
But travel doesn't have only a personal gain. When I travel I always talk to the entrepreneurs I meet, and watch how their business works in their culture. When we were in Peru I got to meet and speak with women entrepreneurs. They support their families by forming cooperatives for weaving, growing food, and making other crafts. I realized that they had things to teach us about how to work collaboratively.
Whenever I travel, I always come back with ideas that help my clients, that gives me a different way of looking at one of the issues a client is having. Sometimes while I'm away the solution for that issue comes to me.
The laptop lifestyle changes me, deepens my ability to be strategic and helpful to the people who are my clients. It lets me meet them in person for the first time. And sometimes, I meet people who become my clients.
You can read more about tips for becoming a mobile entrepreneur in this blog post.
When was the first travel you did away from home? How old were you? What did you bring back that has stayed with you to this day? I'd love to hear your story in the comment section below.