The thing is: the meaning of travel and work have both changed radically and the questions come from a wave in a turbulent ocean called the Internet.
Information is now accessible to everyone and people's trust and reputation have gone out of the papers and baking accounts to crowdsourcing data such as reviews. The internet has connected people all over the world in so many different ways that now we can re-imagine and design the way we want to live.
The answer runs on the Millennial generation (born between 1980 - 2000). Accounted for 1.8 billion people today, this generation counts for a quarter of the global population. Just in the US, they already represent 25% of the workforce. The rise of the numbers is so fast that by 2020, millennials will form 50% of the global workforce.
We don't want to work, we want to travel.
The consultancy company PWC conducted a study with millennials around the world, including those from its own staff, and found that this generation has a strong appetite for working overseas and 71% expect and want to do an overseas assignment during their career. Half of them said they would be willing to work in a less developed country to further their career. They are committed to their personal learning and development and value work-life balance more than financial reward.
The pursuit of experiences is not just on travel. A 2012 Net Impact survey found that young workers are more concerned with finding happiness and fulfillment at the office than ever before. The study shows that 88% saw a “positive culture” as essential to their dream job and that 86% felt the same way about work they found “interesting.” Fifty-eight percent said they would stomach a 15% pay cut to work for an organization “with values like my own.”
It seems like no one would be at the desk. The Future Workplace "Multiple Generations at Work" survey found that 90% of millennials expect to stay in a job less than 3 years, that means they would work in 15 - 20 different places in their lifetime. PWC also said that Millennials move quickly. Either to keep learning and moving upwards through an organization, either getting away quickly if their expectations are not being met.
But we don't want just to travel, we want to work and learn.
Millennials want a break from traditional tours and explore traveling as a form of education. They want to learn from their experiences, from the communities they visit, from the people they collaborate and share things in commun. They expect much more from a trip, they want to immerse themselves into the local culture and do things they've never done before.
According to WYSE Travel Confederation, millennial travelers already use their extended trips for learning purposes. Twenty-two percent want to learn a new language, 15% want to gain more work experience and 15% would like to study. These numbers have all increased since 2007.
And it looks like the wave will just get bigger. By 2020, 320 million international trips are expected to be made by youth travelers each year, a 47% increase from 217 million in 2013. The United Nations estimates that 20% of all international tourists are young people, nearly 200 million travelers that generate $180 billion in annual tourism revenue.
We are redefining the meaning of traveling and standard vacation in favor of extended, meaningful experiences. WYSE Travel Confederation found that travelers are not as interested in "the traditional sun, sea and holidays" anymore. They are exploring more remote destinations, staying in hostels instead of hotels, and choosing long-term backpacking trips
Let's blame the internet!
Millennials expect to spend their money and time on things they value and would like to learn. They want to fulfill their lives doing things they believe is good for all. They engage projects with purposes which they value. Everything is possible now with the internet and no one wants to spend their lives doing what they don't like to do, there is just no point for wasting time and saving money to achieve our dreams.
Now it's not a matter of what you can have, but who you could be. In the end, life is all about experiences.
This wave is bigger than me and you my friend, and it's coming very fast. We must run, or we must ride it!