Author and Travel Writer Jeffrey Kottler wrote, speaking of travel experience, that ““no other human activity that has greater potential to alter your perceptions or the ways you choose your life” Perhaps this is old news, thanks Captain Obvious, but I think for so many this is a novel idea. That travel can do something more than provide some nice memories and some snaps for your Instagram. If we dig deeper there is something more there. Something transformative.
Transformational Travel is not a new concept, but it is something that is becoming more understood and honestly, more necessary than ever before. It is the idea that travel can produce intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and existential changes in travelers when undertaken under the right circumstances in in the right mindset. Embark on a trip in this way and the experience can illicit actually a new view of the self, of others, and of the world around you. A personal transformation that puts you on a new path equipped with a new construct to then impact the world around you.
The value that Transformational Travel brings to the life of those who seek it out can’t really be measured, but it has a real and lasting impact. Yes, to make meaning from experience and create a new way of living is hard, emotionally and physically challenging, and often times draining on the spirit. But out the other side is a beautiful new world and the ability to start the cycle again with each new experience. Here are 5 outcomes of seeking out transfromative experiences through travel.
Personal growth and transformation of character
As human beings we all tend to need or seek out a better understanding of ourselves and aspire to be better or more complete versions of who we are. This is part of life. Travel is not the only way to explore growth and who we are, but it does provide a perfect venue for discovery. As we challenge ourselves, explore unfamiliar places and cultures, we are stripped down of our walls and more open to the experience impacting us. These experiences can produce life-long changes and new ways of being that few other things can.
Finding new meaning or a new perspective on how we define ourselves
Perhaps you are stuck in a rut. Bored of your career. Not feeling challenged or fulfilled with your life. These are common places to find ourselves. Embarking on a transformative journey through travel is an amazing way to seek answers to these questions. Who am I? What is my purpose? Where do I fit in this world? Learning about ourselves and about other people gives us a whole new understanding and perspective on how to think about the world. This can be a great way to find a new path or re-commit to something you have been doing for some time.
Opening the mind to new ways of thinking and being
Do you ever wonder why you do things the way you do them? Or why things are the way they are where you are from? So often we get closed off to other ways of thinking and being because we are around only one way all the time! By exposing ourselves in a meaningful and open minded way we can start to reconstruct the idea that things have to be done one way. There are infinite ways to live life, to do work, to interact, to love and when we see them first hand we start to see them as valid. This can actually change cultures and societies around the world, this concept of tolerance, understanding, and acceptance. Transformative experience provide that for those that seek it.
Creates community by connecting you with the world around you in a more profound way
Human connection is so vital in being fulfilled and having purpose in life. The core and central principle of Transformational Travel is that connecting to those around us in a deeper way can spark new ways of thinking and shatter conformity of ideas. When we seek those connections we begin to form a community, a truly global community based on understanding and shared experience. Once connected our desire and our responsibility to care for others is increased and our new sense of purpose often takes the character of that desire. We feel connected to the world so we seek to change it in some positive way.
Perpetual process where growth is unlimited by repeating the process
Transformative Travel is not linear, there is no beginning and no end. It is very much a circular activity, and in my case often a jumbled knot that that string of lights from Christmas Vacation. We move through the world, making meaning from our experiences, applying that new meaning to our lives, taking action, and then doing it again with a new sense of ourselves. Each and every travel experience is a new chance to be transformed and moved. A new chance to be reborn into a new understanding of ourselves. In this way, at its very core, Travel is Life.
Transformational Travel requires effort, preparation, and a willingness to accept the calling of that adventure and embark on the journey. You must have the courage to step out into the unknown and to overcome the obstacles you will face both in the world and in yourself. But once done you gain a new way of being. A new way of existing, and that can never be taken from you.