Professional development

Learning: Travel Well

The benefits of going on a journey can be key to your professional development.

The benefits of going on a journey can be key to your professional development.

Too busy to map out some professional development? Take something many association professionals do—travel—and transform it into a memorable, meaningful learning experience.

Few leaders advocate this more than bestselling author and ASAE Springtime Expo keynoter Adam Braun. “Tourists see; travelers seek. Many people believe the true journey of travel is experienced externally, but it’s my belief that the greatest travel enables internal transformation as well,” he says. 

Frequently on the road for his nonprofit Pencils of Promise, Braun advises getting “to know the people, not just the sites, in each location through which you travel. Listen to their stories, ask for advice, and you’ll recognize that learnings you can draw from their local experiences are abundant.”

Approaching travel purposefully develops important professional traits such as creativity, courage, and curiosity. “These are inherently skills required for leadership, but they’re often developed and honed in moments of solitude while traveling,” he says. “I genuinely believe it’s one of the best things we can do for our professional well-being, even though the personal benefits are usually considered first.”

In addition to using meeting host cities as “campuses for discovery,” Braun taps blogs and websites such as TripAdvisor for user-generated content to leverage others’ travel insights.

Social media spaces are rich locales for travel-based learning too. ”Surprisingly, many photo descriptions on Instagram are increasingly being used for bursts of honesty related to shared learnings,” he says.”[I also] recommend Snapchat. … [In] 2016, I believe it will go mainstream and will become a leading place for cultural influencers to share their learnings while on the road.”—K.C.


Kristin Clarke, CAE

By Kristin Clarke, CAE

Kristin Clarke, CAE, is books editor for Associations Now and president of Clarke Association Content. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!