On the Road Again

Memorial Day has come and gone and that means one thing-Summer is here!  For you lucky readers, summer can mean vacation, but due to budget and time restraints, some vacationers turn to the old fashioned road trip for summer adventures.  The phrase “road-trip” probably conjures up visions and memories (or perhaps nightmares) similar to what was experienced in National Lampoons Vacation: broken down car, miserable long hours with family sing-alongs and stale roadside sandwiches.  While we can’t help with the stale sandwiches, there can be valuable career and life skills learned on the road resulting in a productive adventure.

1. Patience– At some point in the trip you’ll either hear or want to say, “Are we there yet?” Life can be stressful, busy and rushed so relish in this chance to just slow down and enjoy your surroundings, company and appreciate the moment. Patience is an extremely valuable skill to master and will lead to healthier physical and mental well-being in all aspects of life.
2. Time Management– Wherever your destination, there is likely some form of an agenda or schedule that needs to be followed- just as in our career. While a road trip should be a casual and relaxed experience this can be a good opportunity to practice sticking to a schedule. Plan ahead, be on time and don’t get too distracted or off-track by stopping at the world’s largest ball of twine!
3. Teamwork– Everyone in the car generally has a job – driver, navigator, food/stop spotter, DJ, or overall entertainer, but it’s everyone working together that makes the trip work.  Teamwork is what makes your office function as well so prepare for your roll, do your job well, don’t let the team down and keep that car moving!
4. Think on your Feet– Even though there is a plan and preparations have been made, something unexpected is going to come up. This is the perfect opportunity to practice problem solving. Stay calm, think it through and make logical and smart choices. Life is not perfect and rarely goes according to plan, but how you react and solve these imperfections is a valuable lesson to learn.
5. Adapt to your Surroundings– It may not be exactly what you had hoped for or what your ideal situation would be (camping versus Cabo?) but learn to appreciate what is around you. Just as in our careers, we need to learn to live in the moment and appreciate and learn from what we have and where we are at the time. Every situation is what YOU make of it.

Take some time off this summer to hit the road and enjoy it for what it’s worth! Fun can be had anywhere and you just might even learn something to help in your career. Just don’t let the license plate bingo and stale sandwiches bring you down!

Looking for road trip ideas?  Check out these links for some great nationwide trip suggestions!

MSNBC Great American Roadtrip

Fodors Best US Roadtrips

10 Best Roadtrips in America

12 Great Getaways

Travel Channel Roadtrips