Gullfoss waterfall, Southwest Iceland Golden Circle

There’s something innately captivating about exploration. Voyaging beyond what’s familiar. Setting out to experience life and its many wonders. I’m learning that feeding that curiosity to explore is essential to growth.

About a year ago, Beehive’s president and CEO, Lisa Hannum participated in a Minnesota PRSA “Women In Leadership” panel, where she shared her beliefs on advancing women, leadership and equality. I was struck at the time by the conviction Lisa expressed for the value of developing a global mindset.

After experiencing my own taste of travel through study abroad, it became a personal value for me to seek a greater understanding of the world. And here was my boss supporting me to go do it. The seed was planted.

Slow, Mindful Travel

Last month, I packed a single backpack and created a loose travel plan, setting forth on a 9-day journey to Iceland, Sweden and Denmark. There were three words inscribed at the top of my itinerary: Exploratory, Authentic and Mindful. My intention was to invest in slow, mindful travel. The kind that allows you to fully, presently take in new landscapes and quaint corners cafés—delighting in the Danish sense for “hygge” and the Swedish appreciation for “fika”. Two words that in their essence embody a sense of contentment or joy, a feeling similar to that of a hug.

Outside the main entrance to Kronborg Castle, Helsingør, Denmark

International Networking

To conclude the Scandinavian leg of my adventure, I stayed with the most welcoming and kind family – relatives of Beehive’s own director of operations, Sandra Rulff. Wrapping up the trip with her family was gold, and such a good reminder that you may be better networked abroad than you know. And, you just might be invited as a guest visitor! What better way to learn about a distant culture than by spending time with those who live it every day.

Solo Travel is Bold, Adventurous and Inspiring

There is value in visiting new places with your go-to travel companions (those have been some of my favorite trips), but there is also something to be said about solo travel. It’s bold, adventurous and inspiring.

If you’ve ever considered planning a trip by yourself, be bold and do it—for yourself, your spark, your creativity. We are bound to grow when we expand our understanding of the world and our place in it. Your work needs it. Your friends and family need it. You may not know it yet, but you just might need it too.

Need Some Inspiration?

Check out my short video blog of Iceland to inspire your own globetrotting adventure. And, if you’re looking for ideas closer to home, here’s a list of five ways to expand your global perspective in the Twin Cities this summer.

  1. Take a trip to the Midtown global market. Holy Land Hummus’ gluten-free falafel is especially good.
  2. Plan a picnic or long-run at the MN Landscape Arboretum to see the latest origami sculpture display and wander the gardens.
  3. Read and cook your way through Elizabeth Bard’s memoir Lunch in Paris and gift this map activity book to the little one in your life.
  4. Meet your friends for Happy Hour (also known as the Swedish ‘After Work’) at FIKA, the American Swedish Institute’s restaurant and café.
  5. Take classes with some of the Twin Cities’ best instructors and yoga community at the Common Grounds Yoga & Music Festival on Saturday, July 7, in Loring Park.