Why Every Business Owner Should Embrace Travel in Their Lives

Why Every Business Owner Should Embrace Travel in Their Lives

Why Every Business Owner Should Embrace Travel in Their Lives

Why Every Business Owner Should Embrace Travel in Their Lives

I have been on the self-employed journey since 2003, and I am not proud to admit that I was a workaholic.  Up at 4.30am and answering emails to clients (but scheduling them so no-one knew I was up that early).  I was often in the office by 7am and didn’t get home until 8-9pm at night.  Don’t get me wrong, I actually loved every moment of it.  I was building something special and for many years my work life did take priority over everything else (which I am not proud of!). 

As you enter different seasons of your life, your life changes.  At a blink of an eye, my beautiful baby girl was now a mature teenager, and I noticed that I was getting tired of living in the fast lane.  After selling my first business in 2011, I decided that my next venture (Green Umbrella) was to be a lifestyle business. It wasn’t intended to be the company that it has grown into today, as I wanted to spend time with my family and experience life outside of work.

In 2016, both my husband and the amazing GU team supported my desire to cross the French Pyrenees and walk the Camino from St Jean Pied De Port, on foot!  Yes! With a brand new backpack, my trusty gadgets and a smile on my face.  This trip completely changed my perspective on life and I encourage everyone to travel more.

If you are living life in the fast lane and you are not sure how to slow down, then I urge you to consider taking some time out.  Having a break, and not worrying about anything apart from putting one foot in front of the other has so many positives.  I now walk part of the Camino or embark on some type of “get away” every year for the following reasons:-

#1 – Travelling is simply healthy

As human beings, we tend to let our stress levels build up and just cope with the day to day things that happen in the office.   Stress can lead to a whole range of health problems such as depression, heart disease, obesity and high blood pressure, to name a few.  The minute I put on my backpack and set foot on the aeroplane, I feel all the stress fall from my shoulders.  I may experience some nervousness or excitement – but these are “good stress” which release some amazing hormones that flood through your body.

Being out in the fresh-air and away from your desk is healthy.  If you wear a Fitbit then I guarantee that you will probably complete more steps when you are on holiday than your regular routine.  Steps are healthy!  Walking is healthy!  Fresh air is healthy!  So go travelling for your health.  Health matters!

#2 – When you travel, you meet a variety of interesting characters

As a business owner, you will always be in sales mode no matter where you are.  On the Camino, I met many interesting characters and a few of them purchased my book when they returned.  I remember being on the train to St Jean and fixing a young lady’s iPhone and she was ecstatic that she could now connect to the internet for her forthcoming adventure.  On a recent trip to the Norwegian Fjords I met a man called James who was launching a video production company, and another lady named Caroline who, after a quick lesson, now knows how to use Facebook a bit more.  I was able to share my knowledge, and that in turn gave me a real sense of satisfaction.  You never know where that next business opportunity is going to come from.

#3 – You can carve out time to think

I recall having many light bulb moments about my business during my Camino walk.  It’s amazing how new ideas appear in your mind when you are not under pressure to think.   When was the last time you took time out to think?   I have certain “hooks” that spur me on to think about problems in the business that I can try to resolve.  These are all travelling hooks.  It does not need to be a trip such as walking the Camino, but it could be travelling to see a client, or driving the car to deliver a workshop or even walking the dog.  Whenever I am driving I tend to have a “productive meditation” session.  This means that I think of nothing else apart from a particular issue or problem in the business and it works a treat.  I strongly recommend reading “Deep Work” by Cal Newport who explains productive meditation a lot better than I can!

#4 – Travelling is inspiring

I love watching the world go by when commuting on a train, or witnessing the new land developing below me as I fly into a foreign country (I like the window seat!).  Rather than reading until the last minute before you need to offboard that plane, or answering emails until you need to disembark the train, take the time to look out of the window and spend five minutes watching the world go by.  The flight into Edinburgh airport is breathtaking, and there are some amazing views from the train as you head into London.  I once sat on the train to Euston and the person next to me gave me a history lesson of all the places that we were passing.

I have travelled enough to know that every flash of inspiration if channelled correctly can benefit your business in some way.


As you have probably guessed, I have the travel bug! However, my business does not suffer because of my neglect, instead, it thrives because I take time out to recharge the batteries.  My team now know the signs that I need to get my backpack on and they are happy to send me on my merry way!







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