5 Tips to Keep Learning While On Vacations
Just because you're on vacation does not mean learning stops. As a matter of fact, when you're not in school or not in work, that's the best way to learn because you have free reign of how you should learn. This means you can learn whatever you want, whenever you want, and however you want.
Change Your Idea of Learning
Our society has programmed us to become institutionalised students that we sometimes forget that most learning does not happen during a lecture or before an exam. When we go to school, we learn from peers, from anecdotes, from stories and experiences. The knowledge and the subjects are there to help us develop, but students are a lot more than the subjects they learn.
Be Intentional: Want to Learn
In the same way you learned how to walk, via trial and error, and in the same way you learned to look left and right before crossing the road and saying "thanks" when offered a favor, through experience, that's how you learn most things in life. But rather than learning something by accident because you absolutely have to, a key to learning while on vacation and to being a lifelong learner and continuously improving yourself is by being intentional in your learning.
Whenever you enter a situation, be determined to take away at least one thing. This allows you to focus and avoid being overwhelmed by too much information. This also helps you remember your learnings since there's only one thing you choose to focus on. This does not mean you will ignore all other aspects of a situation; it just means that by being intentional, you are more conscious of your learning and you are more likely to apply it by making changes in your life.
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5 Tips to Keep Learning While On Vacation
1. Read books
One of the easiest ways to learn when you're on vacation is by reading books. Books are one of the largest reservoir of knowledge and by reading them, you are allowing yourself to learn from the experiences of other people. Though you were not able to experience situations yourself, reading allows you to vicariously live through others and provides you secondhand learning.
If you like to read fiction such as novels, comic books, or manga, don't be disheartened and think that only non-fiction books can help you learn. Stories are one of the most powerful tools for learning and most learners remember lessons better through narratives or stories than by reading about them in a factual way. They are also a lot more enjoyable, especially for younger readers.
Reading is also not limited to print copies. With so much information available online, many books are available online for download, either by purchasing an e-book or by reading free ebook samples. You can also choose to read blog articles like this one or read a magazine or news website. Any of these can be a source of learning. Just be careful since the abundance of information available online makes fake news as readily available as facts.
Avoid fake news or misleading information by checking your source, the author of the article, or looking at the citations of the page.
In this day and age when technology is a vital aspect of our lives, more people watch videos than read books or blogs. This is good because not everyone is a reader and a lot more people find it easier to watch videos than read pages of text.
If you're such a learner, Youtube is a great source of free information. In 2020, Youtube is the 2nd most visited site in the world and there are over 31 million Youtube channels available for you to choose from. But since Youtube is an open source and anyone can put information there, you want to be cautious of the videos you watch and the things you learn.
Not everything Youtubers talk about is true just as not everything that authors publish is fact. Be discriminate and know what to believe. Double check facts when in doubt and always take advice with a grain of salt.
3. Play games
While on vacation, one of the most enjoyable ways to spend time with family and friends is to play games. Whether you choose to play video games, board games, or parlor games, doing so will allow you to engage in critical thinking and analysis, both of which will help exercise your cognition and help keep your mind sharp.
Playing games in children is particularly helpful in building their creativity and cognitive function. Meanwhile, playing games with the elderly, especially mind games like sudoku or cross word puzzles can help prevent deterioration of the brain that come with age such as Dementia.
Another way we learn is through other people, either by watching other people, spending time with other people, or talking to other people. In the same way we learn from the experiences of others when we read books, we do it by interacting and communicating with individuals.
Each person has a unique set of experiences which paints the way they see the world. When you communicate with people openly and with the intention to understand them, you will find that there is so much to learn from them even when they are not intentionally trying to teach you anything.
The next time you find yourself stuck in a table with acquaintances you barely talk to, try to strike a conversation. When in a party with no one you know, try to make new friends. The best thing that can happen is you gain a new friend; the worst thing that can happen is you gain an experience and you learn.
One of the greatest abilities of human being is self-awareness and we exercise this function best when we reflect. But with how busy life has become and with how quickly desires are gratified with the enhancements of technology, a lot of us no longer take a step back from life to think about what we're doing.
When you want to learn, one of the most effective steps you have to undergo is reflection so that you are aware of what you are learning and you can apply it and actualize your learning.
Reflection can be as simple as asking yourself questions and giving yourself a few minutes to think. But there are other ways to reflect more thoroughly which will allow you to more thoroughly process experiences and better learn from your experiences.
You can journal. Writing is an active way of thinking; when you write, you give structure to your though process. Writing things down in a journal also allows you to have something to turn back to when you forget things. You can go over your journal a week or a year from now and relive your thoughts and learn from your experience all over again.
If you don't like to write, you can choose to type. Many people nowadays keep a blog for this reason. For those who don't like to type either, there are vlogs, video blogs, which allow you to record your thoughts through video.
Another method is by talking to a friend or confidante. Not everyone enjoys recording their thoughts on their own and some of us, mostly extraverted individuals, enjoy the act of bouncing their ideas around with a person they trust. In these situations, inviting a friend for coffee or calling them up for a chat is a great way to process your experience and help make sure you're learning. This is particularly handy if you're meeting up with people during your vacation.
Learn Everywhere, All The Time
A lot of the time, we're actually learning, we just aren't aware of it because we've been programmed to think that studying for an exam or attending a seminar is the way to learn. During the holidays, remember that learning can take many forms and changing the way you perceive learning and being intentional from wanting to take something from an experience is key to making sure your vacation is not only fun and relaxing, it is also a learning experience. Go into every situation with the intention to learn, and you will learn this holiday vacation.
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