Hardware Retailing

OCT 2017

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

Issue link: http://hardwareretailing.epubxp.com/i/877991

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Page 98 of 120

HARDWARE RETAILING | October 2017 94 1. Lisbon, Portugal Lesson: Stay true to yourself. Five years ago, I crashed while mountain biking and have felt skittish on bikes ever since. In the first month of Remote Year, I found myself on a three-hour bike ride up and down hilly sidewalks in 90-degree heat. Afterward, I vowed never to sign up for something I anticipated I wouldn't enjoy ever again. I'll be the first one to preach on trying something new that scares you, but everyone has things they don't love. 4. Split, Croatia Lesson: Recognizing the past is important. Split is a ghost town in November after its tourist-ridden summer. So, I hit the road. I visited Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and learned about the 1990s Siege of Sarajevo, toured the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and visited the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site in Germany. While learning about the past can be sad and sobering, it's important to be knowledgeable so we don't let the same mistakes happen again. 2. Rabat, Morocco Lesson: Understand people from backgrounds different than your own. I spent Eid al-Adha, one of the most celebrated holidays in Morocco, with a local friend and his family. Despite the language barrier, they warmly welcomed me to learn about and participate in their celebration. This experience radically altered my thoughts on Morocco. Though our cultural and religious norms are different, we now understand each other a little better. 5. Prague, Czech Republic Lesson: Appreciate the little things. I think fondly of Prague more so than the other European cities I visited. Even in blistering cold December, I simply enjoyed day-to-day life. I loved the easy-to-navigate public transportation, the local coffee shop around the corner from my apartment, cobblestone streets, detailed architecture, tender beef goulash, cheap beer…the list goes on. Finding joy in the small details that make up everyday life is important. 3. Sofia, Bulgaria Lesson: Be cool when things don't go exactly as planned. When an eight-hour bus ride turns into a 15-hour bus ride that leaves you stranded in a small Romanian town in the middle of the night with nothing in your stomach but gas station snacks, it's easy to get a little cranky. But when your negative attitude might impact the other 40 people you're traveling with, staying positive and adaptable keeps things from going from bad to worse. 6. Valencia, Spain Lesson: When the going gets crazy, embrace the crazy. During January, I traveled to the U.S., Switzerland, France and Sweden with stops back to Valencia in between. I was busy, but I made the most of it by being completely present wherever I was and making the most of every moment I had. Instead of always looking ahead, I focused on who and what was in front of me, whether it was my computer, a retail store or a friend. By Hilary Welter, hwelter@nrha.org F rom August 2016 to July 2017, I lived in, worked remotely from and explored 10 countries and 12 cities with 70 people through a program called Remote Year. At the beginning of each month, I traveled to a different city, while balancing working full time for the North American Retail Hardware Association. As I reflect back on all the cultures, languages, accommodations, remote work and travel madness, there are 10 lessons I learned, one from each city I called "home." Read more about my year at TheRedT.com/nrha-abroad. Lessons I Learned While Traveling 10 10

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