There are plenty–it’s a skill that encourages and focuses on developing verbal interaction. That means knowing what to say, how to say it, and when. But mostly, it’s about agreeing with whatever is in the flow.
And when Miro and I read that there was an Improv class for English speakers, here in Lima, we immediately signed up. Besides being a fun activity we can share with each other, it’s occurred to us, as travelers, improv offers some unique benefits.
Traveling is inevitably a social activity. If you can speak the language in whatever country you’re visiting, then you can practice the lessons to be learned in an comedy class. But if you don’t speak the language, it’s about being open to the situation and communicating via all the tools you have at your disposal, ranging from pantomiming to your overall attitude. Yes, your attitude or outlook is actually a tool!! As a traveler, you need to be able to talk to people. You are not just visiting random destinations, you’re visiting the homes, workplaces filled with personal histories of real people. Understanding how to interact in a positive way and thinking on your feet, increases your chances of having a meaningful cultural exchange.
Many times, what commonly limits our social interaction is awkwardness that’s caused by little or no confidence. Naturally, this poses a problem for the traveler. How are you to ask for directions, or any sort of information, if you fear talking to strangers? This is one of the first things addressed in improv. It’s less about dialogue or the actual words spoken, it’s about an equal exchange of positive energy. I have positive energy and I’m passing that along to the person I’m with, we’ve created a meaningful exchange. Simple.
By putting yourself into a situation, sometimes out of your comfort zone, and practicing the “yes, and…” techniques learned in improv classes, you’re practicing the fundamental skills of social interaction–skills you can then apply in real-world settings, whether during your travels or just in everyday life.
Let’s not forget, improv also teaches spur-of-the-moment interaction, as well as the creation and development of new ideas. We’ve learned through many improv exercises to let go, go with the flow and not to be so contrived with our preconceived ideas.
When you learn to be comfortable with pushing a scene as far as you can take it, the most successful interactions are those when you make your partner shine. Give them more information to work with and support and hand off positive energy, you’ll be surprised with the outcome! We are and we’re loving it!
So, with improv helping you build self-confidence and churn out good ideas faster, I can see nothing but the utmost benefits to would-be the traveler. How about using these newly found skills when trying to decipher bad directions, dealing with a language barrier, or worse, trying to safely talk your way out of a potentially hostile situation. Perhaps one of best things that a traveler can learn form improv is effective teamwork. In improv, you’ll get used to being around a variety of different personality types in a variety of different situations. And conflict, whoa! Improv gives you the tools to deal with any situation in a positive way. So, find out for yourself and have some fun in the making. If you are a traveler, experience the benefits for yourself, and sign up for a class today!
If you are traveling to Lima and would like take the class we are taking or learn more information from our wonderful teacher, visit this site or send us an email and we’ll put you personally in touch with Lucho.
Lainie and her son Miro are living a location independent lifestyle, slow traveling around the globe and living in the present moment. Lainie writes about staying inspired, participating as a global citizen, volunteering, unschooling & natural learning. Lainie and Miro are both following their interests on the road, as the planet has been transformed into their classroom. Often you will hear Lainie say “we are blessed to be accidental world schoolers” and has become and an advocate for “life learning” at any age. Lainie & Miro have taken this philosophy to heart and are producing a series of family & teen oriented retreats in called Project World School.
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