How Travel is a Secret Weapon in the Real World

Up on the blog today we are taking a break from our usual posts and welcoming our friends over from Sippin' Sangria, a website dedicated to travel, study abroad, and global experiences. The authors are Lexa and Caroline. Lexa is a Butler graduate from Michigan and she met her co-creator, Caroline, while studying abroad in Spain. The two have since shared many adventures in Spain, the US, and around the globe!

We are honored to collaborate with the girls at Sippin' Sangria and to bring more of Caroline and Lexa's voices to our readers at Sincerely, Spain through upcoming posts. Today, the girls are sharing how your travel experiences might just be the key to rocking life back home.

So, without further ado, here is their post on how travel is a secret weapon in the real world:

Lexa and Caroline in Budapest.

Moving to Indianapolis on the surface may not be as thrilling as backpacking across the world, but it has been its own kind of adventure. Instead of catching trains, we’re commuting to work; instead of bonding with foreigners at hostels, we’re grabbing beers with coworkers once it hits 5pm. While we might not be physically traveling, the lessons we learned abroad have been our secret weapon to thriving in our new city.

1. Rocking it out solo

Traveling taught us how to be independent. Whether it was taking day trips, trying new exercise classes by ourselves or going to new bars, we quickly learned how to be content and confident in trying things on our own while living in Spain.

Now that we’re home and maneuvering around a new city, the independence we gained while traveling has come in handy. We’ve found ourselves becoming unafraid of the unknown, and more often than not, embracing it. Taking on the city and trying out #adulting doesn’t seem quite so scary when you know you’ve conquered public transport in Budapest, survived freezing hostels in Italy and navigated driving on the left side of the road. Who wants to wait around for friends or family to be available when there are awesome experiences around you that you could be missing out on?!

2. Taking Initiative

Traveling has taught us how to look for exciting things around us instead of waiting for interesting things to happen to us. We keep a bucket list for our home city, so instead of waiting for some crazy festival to come to Indy, we actively search for live music, new restaurants/bars, and small, pop-up events.

TIP: Get involved with Yelp or subscribe to e-newsletters in your city so you’re always in the know of what’s going on.

Lexa and Caroline in Italy with a  friend for the sunset.

3. Having superior people skills

Remember how easy it was to chat with your hostel roommate at a local bar or how you became Facebook friends with the people on your group tour? We think it’s crazy how chatting with travelers can be some of the most memorable moments you have on your trip. Why? Because most people have their guard down while traveling because they’re more open to new experiences and relationships with others. So bring out that carefree, traveler attitude!

Once you’re out of college, it’s much harder to make friends. You’re not constantly meeting new people, attending the same events and having class together on a regular basis. Schedules can be challenging and to be honest, it’s just tough to meet new people. Nights out or mutual friends are now your chance to form new friendships, so it’s time to pull out those conversation skills you learned while traveling.


4. Nailing a Job Interview

A typical interview question is, "How do you handle challenges or overcome obstacles?" Candidates can easily drum up a story from college on how his/her marketing group had to work with a tough client to pass a class. Guess what? Everyone has done that. Show your interviewers a little flare and personality by telling them about that time you lost your luggage in Switzerland and only survived off of 50 euro for the weekend.

How to use this skill: Showing how you navigated a mishap in a foreign country speaks volumes about your character and how you handle stressful situations. Another plus is that it happened in the real world. Not in a classroom setting, for a grade or as part of an internship. It's a unique way to show off your level-headedness and problem solving skills on the spot, while also giving them a taste of who you are as a person, not a student.


Pressing pause on traveling doesn’t always mean you have to lose who you were abroad. It’s easy to fall into the rut of life if you don’t push yourself to continue seeking new experiences and new connections with people.



Thank you Lexa and Caroline!! We’re definitely on board with what the girls have to say when it comes to applying your travel experience to real life (we also wrote this post about how we believe that your study abroad can “work” for you). What is the biggest way your study abroad or travel abroad experience has impacted you? Let us know in the comments!