International Travel: One of the Benefits of a Global Career

Although I speak and write often about the professional benefits of working abroad, an international career also offers a great deal of fun!  One of the best perks for me comes in the form of travel. During the course of my three years in Hong Kong, my husband and I managed to visit most every country in the region. We celebrated anniversaries and birthdays in exotic destinations such as Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Tibet – places that I doubt we would have visited had we not been regional residents. I was able to fulfill a personal dream as we took advantage of long weekends, business trips and vacations to explore the rich history, natural beauty and colorful cultures of Asia. Although we enjoyed some glorious resorts and were pampered at a few five-star hotels, we most frequently chose to get out and explore the cities, comb the countryside and experience the heart and soul of a place.

Many friends and family members also took advantage of our far-flung address and vacationed in Asia; we were able to share some of the local flavor with both our mothers and with my sister and brother, as we served as guides and fellow tourists in Hong Kong and beyond.

Luckily for us, Hong Kong is a regional airline hub, which made bargain tickets and package deals easy to come by. We spent weekends at the beach in Saipan, Panang and Cebu, and skied in Korea, which has the perk of natural hot springs that serve as an outdoor apres-ski hot tub. Using Bali as a starting point, we hopped eastward through the Lesser Sunda Islands, ending up on Komodo, home of the famous dragons – several of which even slept under our cabin. We climbed through the Cu Chi tunnels on the outskirts of Saigon and heard “the other side of the story” as told by our Viet Cong guide. After spinning the prayer wheels while circling the Potala, we shared tea with Tibetans and gazed at the Dalai Lama’s deserted palace. We took to the streets like locals as we bicycled through several cities in China, including Tianjin, where my father was stationed as a U.S. Marine in the late 1940s – and a place I felt compelled to visit. We marveled at the exquisite textiles, porcelain and other works of art now housed in the National Palace Museum in Tai Pei, Taiwan, but formerly part of the beauty and grandeur of the now empty Forbidden City in Beijing. My husband watched as I bunge-jumped off the Kawarau Suspension Bridge near Queenstown, and we swam with wild dolphins at dawn in Kaikoura, New Zealand.

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Therefore my most ardent piece of advice to anyone living overseas is this TRAVEL as frequently as possible and to the most exotic locales. It expands the mind. Besides, you will really need the break after all the long hours you will be putting in. I know how hard it can be to pull yourself away from the responsibilities of your job, but you owe it to yourself and your employer. You’ll also learn a lot about yourself and the big, wide world around you.

Taken as an excerpt from Get Ahead By Going Abroad: A Woman’s Guide to Fast-track Career Success.

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One Comment on “International Travel: One of the Benefits of a Global Career

  1. Pingback: Why Working Abroad is A Good Option — and How to Do It - Stacie Berdan