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So, what is transformative travel? If you search the term on Google, you’ll find it has a wide variety of other associated terms such as mindful travel, purposeful travel, deep travel, and so on and so forth. Transformative travel being a core pillar of the blog is a topic I wanted to touch on and explain in a way that can make more sense to those who may not know what it means but are curious. Maybe you have had an experience on your travels that gave you an epiphany or clarity around something you weren’t aware of before, or maybe you just want to know what this term means because you’ve heard it before – regardless of your question, I got you!
So without further ado, let’s get into what exactly transformative travel is!
What exactly is transformative travel?
While the term transformative travel may have many different definitions, each decided on by the traveler experiencing the transformation, one thing is certain amongst this, and that is this: transformative travel is a travel experience or an experience within the journey that has changed something for someone, on a deep and personal level.
Whether it’s a realization that inspires you to take big action in your life such as changing your job to something more fulfilling, more you, because you had a conversation with someone who told you about their exciting and fulfilling job.
Or perhaps it’s an increased level of awareness and gratitude for the things you have at your disposal in your home country, such as clean running water, a heater for the wintertime, or an abundance of possibilities and options that you have – this is up to each individual.
How do you experience transformative travel?
Experiencing transformative travel can sometimes be accidental, as in, you go on a trip and you just happen to come across something that leaves you thinking and inspired to change something in your life, or simply reflect on an area of your life, current habits, and your environment (home country). Sometimes you can also plan a trip with the intention to travel with the purpose to connect to the local culture and locals, in which case you may prepare yourself before the trip, and then upon your return home, while on the trip itself, you may do immersive activities such as cultural cooking classes, activities that bring you face to face with local communities, retreat events with planned activities etc. Upon returning back home, you may have set progress in which you will get to reflect on your experiences, and how they made you feel and how you can take those experiences and adapt them into your everyday life, in whichever way you’d like.
As you can see, there is more than one way to experience your own transformative travel, either planned or not planned. I can only speak from experience, so I’ll share that when I travel, I usually don’t plan out all my activities, and I oftentimes like to roll with whatever feels good to do that day. I find that is when inspiration from appreciating the moment and where I am hits me, and I am able to take things slow enough to really commemorate certain scenes, emotions, and situations, and thoughts into my head, by taking photos, and/or writing them down.
When does transformative travel actually begin?
It begins even before you step on the plane. Those moments of prep for your trip as you’re packing or even buying last-minute items for the trip, etc. they all help kick start the experience.
Even when you’re planning out your trip itself, and booking hotels and activities, and then you’re packing your suitcase. This is when you can start setting those intentions that you may begin to set for yourself, and the questions that may arise.
Intentions: A purpose or objective that you are setting to experience on your travels.
I’d really like to try something new, maybe the local dish.
I’d really like to go on a day trip outside the city
I definitely want to people watch at a cafe in some square somewhere
Having a set of questions (pre and post-travel) can really help you guide the experience a bit, especially if you’ve never set intentions for travel, have experienced or become aware of transformative travel, etc.
So in order to help you out with that, and really jump start this experience to life, I have created The Transformative Travel Pre & Post Journal Prompts.
A FREE workbook designed to help you with pre-travel and post-travel questions that are not intimidating whatsoever (you can enjoy your trip however you’d like and still be able to get some new idea, inspiration, clarity, etc.) so that the clarity around those moments you experienced abroad can come to life, and continue even while at home.
The importance of transformative travel
Perhaps you are in search of something different, and something you can get lost in navigating. You are in search of a new experience that will gently force you to return to relying on your senses to navigate the world and thus being inspired by the place that you are visiting.
One of the beautiful things about transformative travel is that travel has a way of stripping us to our bare senses in terms of figuring out how other cultures and countries function and how to function ourselves (like ordering a coffee and not knowing what the local etiquette is – we’ve all been there ?). All the while, also heightening our awareness of things that we just weren’t aware of before in our usual environments. That’s the sweet spot.
Transformative travel is important because it’s self-development in the purest, most exciting way! At home, you may feel bogged down, maybe even a bit jaded with life, and drained from your work/life routine and non-existent balance that you view travel as a literal escape. But then you return back home, back to the routine you tried escaping, to begin with, and then what?
And let me just leave these mental and physical benefits of transformative travel…
- A change in latitude is a change in attitude – one of my favorite quotes that describes how different weather, sights, smells of dirt, ocean, or bustling city has an effect on our mood and
- More opportunity for physical movement
- Exercise creativity and imagination
- Spending time in different environments encourages
- Increased alert and awareness of your surroundings
- A push
- and so much more…
How to create your own transformative experience
Like I mentioned before, if you really want to prepare your next trip to be a transformative one (you don’t have to go that far to experience it by the way) then I encourage you to download this FREE Transformative Travel Pre and Post Journal Prompts designed to open your mind to the intentions, growth, and learning potential from travel. Leave me your name and email down below, and I’ll send it you right away!
Have you experienced a transformative travel experience? What was it like? What was your biggest takeaway, and what did you learn about yourself? If you haven’t experienced it yet, you’re only a few questions and moments away from diving in.
To more travel moments like these ✨