Will Never Give Up Traveling the World! 

Heidi Burkhart has been a real estate entrepreneur since age 26. Today, at age 36, she still carries that entrepreneurial spirit as the president of Dane Real Estate, an affordable housing brokerage she founded in 2008. While many of her accomplishments can be attributed to hard work and determination, she also lists travel as a major contributor to her success.

According to Burkhart, in today’s age of social media and being constantly “plugged in,” the physical act of traveling is more important than ever before. “Travel gives me sanity,” says Burkhart. “I work so hard, and travel allows me the ability to completely unwind and check out of work. It helps me clear my mind and get a fresh perspective on everything.”

Image courtesy of Kim ten Wolde.

Burkhart believes the need to unplug applies to everyone, in all positions and across all industries. Despite a myriad of day-to-day responsibilities and other pressures, she feels that her travels are what have ultimately empowered her and inspired her to do her best work.

As a self-proclaimed “workaholic,” Burkhart says the idea of being completely absent from work is hard at first, but once you embrace it, “you will discover your groove and you will find that it is such a recharge to the mental system.” More than that, she says, it’ll give people a newfound love and appreciation for what they do, as the careers they have chosen have afforded them the opportunities to see the world “in all of its beauty.”

Image courtesy of Luis Pinto.

Not someone who chooses to relax when on vacation, Burkhart opts for adventurous and high-impact activities, which require her to be completely focused on what is happening in front of her. “When I do all the adrenaline-rush activities that I love so much, I have to be very present, and I like that,” says Burkhart. “Again, it makes me forget about work and be in the moment.”

Burkhart believes that she has been able to avoid burnout and has been more inspired to think creatively and with a big-picture mindset because she is not afraid to take on crazy and extreme challenges when traveling.

To that end, Burkhart believes that the benefits of travel can be more than just unplugging from technology and allowing yourself to think differently. She credits travel as a way to gain an education that one can only be received from actually seeing and experiencing different cultures.

Image courtesy of Mudder.

“Travel gives me different perspectives on the world,” says Burkhart. “It humbles me. When I travel, I am constantly reminded that less can be more, and what we do have needs to be treasured.”

She continues by saying that travel can be an invaluable experience if you focus on relationship-building and being in the momeent. “Traveling brings me back to my roots,” she says, “which has been critical at numerous times throughout my career.”

Travel has also helped Burkhart in a more tangible way when it comes to her career. For her, ideas come to her when she lets her mind relax. “Some of my best ideas have been generated after seeing how others in different areas of the world approach real estate,” she says. During past travels, Burkhart has seen the urgent need for housing in countries around the world and also the stark contrast between rich and poor.

Often times, in experiencing such trips, Burkhart says that she returns with a different perspective on her work in affordable housing. “Through my own experiences, as well as through those with native cultures, I have been able to understand how different people, groups and government address housing issues, and I have brought those ideas back to the U.S., particularly New York City.”

And while travel has rarely fit into her schedule, especially after starting as an entrepreneur at such a young age, Burkhart has continued to make it one of the highest priorities in her life. “It is never the right time to travel when you are an entrepreneur,” says Burkhart. “Sometimes, I have to force myself to go. And in those moments, I have to remind myself that I have never regretted going on a trip.”

And, although she often times has to “work hard as heck” until the day she leaves, she wouldn’t change her dedication to travel and also encourages other entrepreneurs to make time to travel. “You only have one life,” says Burkhart. “The world is too beautiful not to explore.”