We're all shaped by our transitions and transformations. It's written deep into the human spirit to seek out experiences that change us forever. But first we want to peek into the future – we want to know that the changes we'll undergo are going to help us discover our best selves. This dichotomy is at the heart of an emerging direction in adventure trips, the transformational journey. In a recent research article, more adventurers were motivated to travel by the search for transformative experiences than any other reason. Have you felt the call? Should an adventure travel trip be in your future?
A Tradition Older than History
Travel can be a powerful form of personal transformation. And the planning of a voyage offers a guiding hand for the wary would-be adventurer. From the earliest oral traditions to the latest epic cinema, we're acutely aware of travel's transformative power. We were wanderers from before written history, and the line is unbroken all the way to the present.
The Possibilities are Endless
Fast forward to today. Two trends are obvious. The world is more accessible than ever, safer and more comfortable than any point in our past. Interesting opportunities for adventure await on every side road. The case has been laid for giving adventure travel the gravitas and sincerity afforded to other transformational experiences. But many people remain hesitant and intimidated by the concept of “transformation”. To those I say, remember that a little planning and reaching into one's self to find courage are the hallmarks of great adventurers.
Answering the Call
If you find yourself craving the type of transformation that only a serious voyage has to offer, don't be afraid to call the desire by its name! By acknowledging that you are seeking personal transformation, you send a message (to yourself and others) that travel isn't always idle or relaxing – it can carry an edge and shake up the soul. Here are a few recommended strategies for nudging an adventure into becoming a life-changing event. Draw inspiration from Joseph Campbell's work on the Hero's Journey. Reach just a hair beyond your comfort when interacting with different cultures and choosing personal challenges. And always keep in mind: the destination is not the goal.
Are you ready for your next adventure?