Recently, I did a quick trip to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to open our (get this) 71st store! Being on the road made me think back to the days before being head Playa Boss Babe, when I would wake up, eat a bowl, surf all day long, and repeat in exotic surf towns all across the globe. Although I knew the travel bug life would not last forever, it created a significant foundation for my healthy lifestyle and career choices. Here are five ways traveling made me healthier and more career-driven and can do the same for you:
More Financially Savvy
We spend money on so many unimportant things. Brunch and the latest Adidas may be fun to buy in the moment… until your student loan payment is due the next day. If you have a monetary goal like affording to travel, you will save more money than expected and think twice about that bottomless mimosa. Once you’ve landed in your dream destination, you have no choice but to budget yourself for the activities you want to do, the food you want to eat, and that hostel or Airbnb you found ahead of time.
The key to financial savviness is spending money on experiences, not moments, and I learned that thanks to traveling.
Reduces Stress Levels
One study found that three days post-vacation, a traveler’s quality of sleep and mood had improved as compared to before. And, guess what? These gains were still present five weeks later!
This makes so much sense to me because traveling decreased my responsibility level, which is why those days were definitely more of a stress-free period in my life. I remember being in the clear blue waters, feeling really lucky to be a surf traveler. Those days helped instill gratitude within me. I learned the importance of a reset and had the proper time to look within myself and discover what I truly wanted in life. I don’t know about you, but I feel less stressed just (re)reading that!
Influence Business Ideas
I always loved the little shacks and huts that served up coffee and bowls on my travels. That super tropical, beachy feel within every destination was exactly what we wanted to portray in Playa Bowls. I never would have understood the acai bowl recipe or designed the stores the way they are today if it weren’t for my travel experiences. Being in those beach towns firsthand allowed me to tap not only into the sight, but also the energy of the location. Reflecting that specific vibe is why Playa Bowls draws in such a crowd.
Push Your Comfort Zone
You have to decide what activities you want to do while traveling -- does skydiving in New Zealand spark your curiosity? How about walking the Great Wall of China? What about connecting with wildlife in Cape Town? No matter what the activity is, it is always worth it to push your bravery a bit farther.
I was always very independent, but traveling helped me become even more autonomous. My goal with traveling was to push my surfing to another level, and that’s exactly what I did! I surfed bigger waves and gnarly reefs, becoming more confident in taking the right risks. I also had no choice but to make new friends along the way. Being with good friends and surfing in the spots I had always dreamt of surfing was an incredible time in my life, and it would never have happened if I didn’t push myself out of my comfort zone.
Realize & Discover Your Passions
As I said previously, my travel days consisted of A LOT of acai bowls. I ate them every day during and after my travels. Food is communication, and the bowls I ate during my travel days were just as bright and welcoming as the towns I consumed them in. Recreating acai and pitaya bowls was the one tangible thing I could bring back home, and that’s exactly what I did. Did I know these bowls would foreshadow my future career success while I was traveling? Absolutely not. But, my newfound love for this wonderfully healthy meal carried me through my post travel plans. Once you discover something you love and have fun doing it, the rest will follow.
Abby Taylor is the co-founder and CMO of Playa Bowls. In partnership with co-founder Rob Giuliani, the company has grown to over 75+ locations nationwide and over $40M in revenue in less than five years. This is the second installment of a regular blog that explores the Playa Bowls business story in the hopes of inspiring the next great entrepreneur.