Exploring the world has its perks. Find out now the four types of intelligence developed by traveling and why they matter.
Since 2013, I have developed my business in the online travel industry as an entrepreneur. My years of experience have taught me that to be successful you have to develop your spiritual, emotional, academic, and financial intelligence and knowledge.
Of course, as a professional in the tourism industry, I connect this idea to travel in my own experience but also creating experiences for people all over the world. I have found that people who travel find joy, growth, peace, and knowledge from every new trip, as well as new relationships in the way and adventure in every destination.
Why traveling incites development in these four areas?
First of all, let’s talk about academic knowledge. When we think about academics we usually think of school and high school, probably of college or university, courses and studying during long hours also come to mind. However, let’s go beyond that thought, and let’s think of learning by doing, let life and experience be our teachers, and traveling our favorite subject.
During college, I studied history, geography and learned about many fantastic places I could visit one day. Eventually, the opportunity to travel came along. I found out that there is no better way to memorize places, tourist attractions, gastronomy, cultural traditions, history, a new language, maps, and even street names than experiencing the destination.
Exploring for a few days grants you the experience to get to know the area as a locale, allowing you to wander around confidently as a kite soaring the sky. Later on, you are fully capable of recommending activities, explaining curious information, suggesting places and attractions to friends, helping others to make their most fantastical dream destination a reality, and reliving your own marvelous experience each time you talk about it.
You develop your academic intelligence while traveling when you look up several activities of your interest, invest time researching restaurants and places to visit.
And finally, after you’ve been there, you can give your personal opinion of it.
‘Traveling—it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller’
I can’t think of a more magical experience than when I traveled to Seattle in 2012 with the intention of living there for about a year while I studied or a more joy-inducing vacation than when I went to California in 2019 to get-together with friends I made during my Seattle trip.
During my months in Seattle, I visited a lot of magnificent places, constantly researching and asking about new restaurants and places of natural beauty. It’s thanks to these experiences that I can say without a doubt that Seattle is one of my favorite cities.
This trip taught me many special lessons and gave me the opportunity to visit great places that I can now undoubtedly recommend to whoever wishes to discover something new like food joints, showcases of architectural magnificence, and even some pretty good transportation tips, which are not to be overlooked when being Seattle (home to one of the most fantastic public transportation systems in the US).
Another example I can share is last year, during my California trip where I met some friends from Taiwan and Saudi Arabia, friends I’ve made during my Seattle trip. We haven’t met since 2013 and that made this trip a special one, we did a road trip all through the West Coast. I was so excited that I prepared all the routes, maps, reservations, and researched about all the wonderful things we could do, places to visit, and even restaurants to have some dinner or lunch.
Those experiences taught me a lot about gastronomy, geography, history, and tourism. In my Instagram about tourism @livingtripsofficial you can see the route map and even the hotels we stayed at.
Secondly, you develop emotional intelligence traveling because whenever you start to think of a new adventure you get excited. Sometimes, you can feel nervous or worried about how things could go, but by the time you arrive at your destination, you realize that the best things are ahead and your nervousness was just bottled up emotions.
Emotions and traveling are completely related, you live the trip and feel the emotions before traveling (controlling yourself), during traveling (managing new situations) and each time you remember it or see a picture of it (feeling grateful). Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, control, and manage your own emotions. You apply and train it by traveling, preparing the trip, and living new experiences.
One fantastic benefit is that of developing your communication skills which allow you to empathize with others and understand new languages and ways of communicating, sometimes, with complete strangers. Traveling also reduces your stress and anxiety, increases your ability to solve problems, opens your mind, makes you happier, promotes self-discovery, and makes you stronger.
You develop emotional intelligence while traveling because you vividly live every detail of your magical adventure and refresh your motivation, energy, and courage.
‘Travel brings power and love back into your life’
I was lucky to learn and live such things when I traveled to Valparaiso, Viña del Mar, and Santiago de Chile. This time I was by myself and was presented with the opportunity to reconnect with some special friends after a long time. I used to have an exhausting job, so those days traveling alone, meeting friends, and enjoying new places allowed me to recharge my batteries, boost my motivation, clear up my goals, and inject me with happiness.
What was truly special about this vacation was that all my hard work paid off, now I realized that the o’ so terrible job I dreaded was a means to an end and what an end it was.
Furthermore, traveling develops your financial skills. Understanding your own numbers is the first step to financial intelligence which includes the ability to analyze month by month your earnings and establish a plan to save money for emergencies and the many investments you’ll want to make.
Now, Financial intelligence is a broad concept, but the big takeaway is being able to understand results and improve them. The correct way in which a person starts to enjoy financial development by traveling is when they go from a state of financial survival to one of financial stability. In order to achieve this, travelers usually search for different ways in which they can diversify their earnings and travel more without depending on a single source of income or just a regular salary.
If you want to travel you must be a money saver, this way you discover the deferred or delayed gratification, the process in which you resist the temptation of an immediate reward in preference for a later one. Traveling makes you an investor, to invest with intelligence means to choose assets instead of liabilities. Your most important asset is yourself, and the greatest investment you can make is always on you.
Finally, you can find financial security, financial independence, and financial freedom, not everyone is open to discovering this way of being a traveler, but in my experience, any sacrifice makes you a better person and lets you invest in a better experience.
As a last note, we can surely say that traveling helps you become a better manager, which you’ll need if you want to get your numbers and budgets in check because running out of money is not pleasant.
Since I became an entrepreneur I have been developing these financial levels, and in my opinion, this is the most difficult part, this is the main reason why so many people struggle to achieve their dream trips.
Definitely traveling can develop your financial intelligence in many ways.
‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover’
Traveling and money go hand in hand, one must feel abundant to have abundance, and this is what happened to me when I visited Rio de Janeiro with my boyfriend in May of 2019. At the end of 2018, I made a big compromise with myself, with my business, I decided I was going to achieve a big goal I’ve had for a long time. So, while I was working 10 hours a day in a hotel, I decided to invest 4 to 6 extra hours after my job in my own company in order to diversify earnings.
After some months of hard work, I achieved my professional goal by breaking a sales record which rewarded me the money I needed to put my affairs in order and start again with a newfound purpose, to travel and make money while doing so. When I say that feeling abundant makes you abundant I’m being serious, it was thanks to my achieving this feat that I was awarded a fantastic trip to Brazil.
So with the money I was able to save, and my refreshed spirit, I grabbed my boyfriend by the arm and flew us to the sandy wonder that is Rio de Janeiro.
The fourth and final intelligence that you develop while traveling is the spiritual one. This specific intelligence is tied to the ability to understand a higher meaning of life, have and respect personal values, work, and develop our own purpose. Normally, people think it is a religion or a god, however, spiritual intelligence refers to feeling and believing that each person can create their own future, their own reality and have the potential to get whatever they want. Traveling develops intuitive knowledge, it shows that it is possible to achieve each and every desire and objective you have. You develop spiritual intelligence because you can feel the immensity of the universe.
I experienced this when I traveled to “Cataratas de Iguazu”. There was a very powerful energy surrounding that place which I can’t describe with words, all that comes to mind is that I started to cry and felt the power of the universe run down the waterfalls right in front of me, proving how small I was in the scheme of things.
As an entrepreneur, a digital nomad, and most importantly, a traveler, I have developed the four types of intelligence that have helped me find integrity in my life. Traveling teaches you about gastronomy, history, and geography. Traveling can improve patience, empathy, communication, and social skills, it increases your motivation and happiness, it gives you the possibility of living new experiences, decreases fears, sadness, or comfort. Traveling teaches you some key abilities such as saving, deferred gratification, diversification, and investing.
So why not travel?
To live with purpose and intention, to think big, have faith and confidence in yourself are some of the many rewards that you get when you travel. Life is not just cycles of repetition, it can be much more than that, it can be whatever you want it to be.
Many say that the world is a small place and though sometimes that seems to be the case, reality paints a very different picture, a most beautiful picture that’ll stay with you forever. so, if you can have the life that you want and realize that the world is a big place, that means that the opportunity that will change your life is right around the corner. so take a leap of faith, believe in yourself, and go out to have an adventure.
Geraldine Hinojosa is an entrepreneur by nature, hotel and tourism manager, hospitality consultant, community manager, and overall, a traveler at heart, lover of nature, wine, and all things gastronomy. Follow her adventures on Instagram: @geraldinehl