WOW. Just wow. We made it you guys! Five days loaded with incredibly useful information about creating a Global Life abroad and at home, as well as a stellar list of professional connections you should reach out to on social media. I know I am going to connect with the speakers on LinkedIn! I’ve decided to leave out my what I got out of it section today, to allow you time to ruminate on the profound concept of Global Living … Enjoy!

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Day 5: Enhance Your Global Travel

Beth Santos, founder and CEO of Go Girl Travel Network

*I was particularly excited about this speaker, because of my involvement with the Go Girl Travel Network. I am the Portland, Oregon Local Organizer and 12th international meetup hub for globally-minded women to meet, collaborate and give back to their communities. yay!*

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Top 5 questions female travelers ask: When asked to define a global life, Beth responded that the meaning can change when someone finds themselves more stationary or traveling more domestically, but it should include bridging cultural gaps and thinking with a global mindset and identifying oneself as a global citizen.

It’s important to challenge your preconceptions and be willing to be uncomfortable in new situations. Step outside the comfort zone and find opportunities at home that you can explore. Be adventurous and independent- surprise yourself!

When asked, “is women in travel really a market?” Beth points out that women are typically more economically minded and are more commonly making the travel decisions. In her experience, there is a level of trust that can be found in an all female group; getting information from trusted sources.

On being safe: men and women travelers should use their best judgement but don’t be overly concerned to the point you are missing out on opportunities. Stay connected with your people back home regarding you plans. Consider your loved-ones when you “go off grid”, share with them info about your itinerary.

Your unknown is someone else’s know! Connect with people who live where you are traveling. There are some great ways to save money and connect with people on a local level, such as: Airbnb and Couchsurfing for places to stay, and  Mealsharing and Vayable for meals and tours provided by locals.

Susan Salzbrenner, intercultural trainer, founder Fit Across Cultures

Using sports as a gateway to other cultures: Susan participated in an exchange program to the United States when she was in high school. Originally a dancer, she embraced basketball as a way to stay active and to connect with students at her new school. She noticed that professional US athletes who played outside of the country, struggled to integrate and thrive when playing abroad. She states that sports are a good connector for people, giving you connection and access to a culture, which also allows for language learning- new words, numbers, and terms used in that sport. Sports will give you access to coaches, fans, players as well as the local communities those people participate in.

Test out a new sport when staying abroad, it may have different rules or use different names; this is a good way to connect to the country’s history. Talk sports! have the locals explain the rules to a new game, go watch matches. What sport is popular in the area?-support the local team.

A global life at home: follow or play a sport not as popular, and connect with others who are into it. Look up a list of associations or clubs in the area you are traveling to, or on meetup.com. Individual sports such as yoga, hiking, or marathon training could still offer a meet-up type atmosphere to train or practice as you are traveling through. Most importantly, take precautions. Have insurance and have a plan if you get injured. Manage your expectations for the type of sport and the level at which you can play.

Norman Viss, founder Expat Everyday Support Center

Because of his involvement in the clergy, Norman has spent decades living abroad from West Africa, to the Netherlands, to the United States. He supports a ‘go global’ attitude when living abroad: stay longer, learn as much as you can, have an impact on the culture, and go deep in one place.

As a global citizen, it is important to emphasize that cultures have value and differences that contribute to the learning process. Be intentional about your experience and be open to learn and grow. When traveling for shorter periods of time, focus on your areas of interest and allow that to guide your trip ie: history, art, architecture, language, food, music…

When traveling or living abroad: find an informant, a local, to help show you the ropes. Someone who doesn’t mind explaining idiosyncrasy and answering your questions. Also, someone who will be honest with you if more serious themes arise about the culture. And, reach out to your networks! You may already be friends with someone who has an insiders point of view on a new culture.

Thank you to all who have been following along! I hope you continue to reference this information and you feel compelled to reach out to the speakers, where ever you are on your journey of creating your Ideal Global Life!

{Stay connected to learn about important updates regarding the 2016 Summit.}        

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