The ideal traveling experience differs among various people. For some, a trip provides the best opportunity to unwind. Others are eager to visit new places, learn about new cultures, test their limits or pump up their adrenaline levels. There are a few, though, who choose to experience an itinerary as a journey towards discovering their own identity, sharpening their vision and, perhaps, even finetuning the story that defines their life’s purpose. These people are the pioneers in the newest trend of the tourism industry: transformational traveling.
Whether you select a trip that already incorporates an agenda towards self-discovery, or you just wish to add this component yourself to every journey that you take, here are a few guidelines to remember:
- Perceive your trip as a means towards a greater end
Each trip represents a complete cycle: a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. As such, it is easy to misinterpret it for something independent, disconnected from the rest of our reality. However, if we accept that every experience is part of a broader scenario leading to the shaping of our character, then viewing a trip as a component of this unfolding allows us to decipher the messages hidden in the turns of the twisting path.
- Set intentions
No change will ever happen unless you wish for it. So, starting a trip with the clear intention to view it as an adventure towards self-discovery is the only way to guarantee that, in the end, you will discover, unravel, or understand something that had remained hidden from you for years.
Leaving your old life behind for a few days is easier said than done, especially in an era when technology is at our fingertips. Allowing ourselves, though, to disconnect for a while from social media and emails does not only silence the cacophony of over-communication, clearing the clutter in our heads, but, most
importantly, it gives us an opportunity to distance ourselves from who we are in our everyday lives. We stop repeating what we usually do or getting influenced by others and, as such, we put the basis for reconnecting with the core of who we truly are.
- Challenge yourself
No adventure is meant to be easy. The difficulty, though, is not a form of “punishment” but, instead, an effective way of breaking the protective shell with which we have learnt to embrace ourselves. Physical, cultural, emotional, or spiritual challenges become part of the journey, as they reveal something that we did not know or did not want to acknowledge. An open heart and mind are necessary, not to accept everything without discernment, but to appreciate the experiences and the gifts they are purposed to carry for each person separately.
- Commit to the change
A challenging hiking trip, a series of coaching sessions, yoga postures, books, or meditations are neither a panacea nor a guarantee of the inner growth which we aspire to experience. It is our commitment to change that ultimately paves the way, for there are many turns and twists ahead, and most are obscured with our fear of the unknown. Taking responsibility for who we are and who we wish to be is one of the first and most substantial steps towards self-development and self-discovery.
Transformational traveling is not for everybody. The question is: is it for you?