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Transformational Travel as a Path to Personal Growth

As you know, I am a bit obsessed with transformation (did the phoenix give it away?). Everything I do in my life since my close call with death is from the angle of transformation. That’s how I knew I needed to incorporate transformation into every part of my life – because if you’re not growing, you’ll never reach your full potential. Cue – transformational travel.

Transformative travel photo

At Phoenyx Travels, we’re all about embracing transformation, which includes personal growth and self-love. It’s about breaking free from our comfort zones, seizing new opportunities, and transforming into the people we’re destined to be. Think back to those daunting moments (like getting lost in Ireland on your first solo trip ever) and how they turned into triumphs once you found your way again.

Without these uncomfortable moments, we would never experience how much we are truly capable of. If you had told me seven years ago that I would be walking and hiking mountain peaks, I would have laughed in your face. But by deciding to overcome the impossible, that’s where I am today. Transformational travel is about these moments of reflection and self-discovery, making life extraordinary.

Transformational Travel began with its roots in experiential travel which involved seeking out authentic experiences and connection with the culture. In 2016, the Transformational Travel Council was born promoting the idea of transformative travel in hopes of sparking inner growth and self-discovery through travel which will lead to a ripple effect to “raise.. the collective consciousness of humankind to regenerate and thrive”.

The 2018 Skift Report highlights the Council’s objective to inspire a unique travel style embodied by the “HERO” concept. The acronym stands for “traveling with Heart; seeking Engagement; having the Resolve to work through challenges; and leaving your heart, mind, and soul Open to the unknown.” By embracing the HERO travel style, personal growth and transformation are real possibilities instead of far-fetched dreams.

There are only two things that are promised to us in life – change and death. They are both completely out of our control, but there is a way to make it less painful. Who here is a control freak?

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No matter how much I fight the title, it is me. I am it. We are one.

I have fought change and pain my entire life and suffered immensely from it. From staying in a loveless marriage for the kids when I was young to my body and mind being broken from my accident and the painful path to healing.

Once I started accepting change, the pain that naturally came with it started to lessen. Coming at change with a perspective of transformation rather than fear changes everything. Voluntarily changing for the better leads to even better results.

Have you ever gotten back from a vacation feeling refreshed, but still feel that something is missing? Sure, sipping cocktails while lounging by the beach is great for relaxation and a tan (if you’re into that, I prefer my pale, pasty look).

A few days back to the day to day grind, it’s like the vacation never happened. Transformational travel changes all of that.

If you’re the kind of traveler who craves more than a getaway from daily life and seeks journeys that truly resonate with your soul, then transformational travel is the only way to go. For the open-hearted adventurer, the allure to explore remote places and untouched paths holds a charm that no 5-star resort can match. It’s all about ditching the usual luxuries for the thrill of exploring the unbeaten track.

Transformational travel isn’t your typical relaxing getaway; it’s about stepping out of your comfort zone, facing challenges head-on, and growing from those experiences. So, if you’re ready to swap those all-inclusive resorts where you don’t step foot off the grounds for exhilarating mountain hikes and authentic local interactions, then you’re in for an adventure that’s just as unique as you are.

Something that has taken me quite a while to learn is that you can ‘travel’ somewhere without having to book a plane ticket or a cruise. Transformational travel is awesome because it’s not about where you go, but what you do and how you grow from it. You can embark on a transformative journey simply by stepping outside your comfort zone, trying new things in your own town, or even through deep reflection and meditation.

Whether it’s getting lost on your first solo travel experience, camping, or finding inner peace through meditation, it’s all about reconnecting with yourself and the natural world around you. If you’re itching to start this kind of journey, why not try a weekend outdoors? Camping under the stars can really help you tune into the moment.

After growing up only doing RV camping, I learned how much more satisfying it is to camp and accomplish setting up a tent myself. It’s a whole different experience, more raw and connected to nature. There’s a sense of achievement in assembling your shelter and living more simply, even if just for a few nights. And for those ready to really challenge themselves, stepping out of your comfort zone can lead to some incredible, life-changing experiences.

It’s about the transformation that occurs when you open yourself up to new experiences and perspectives, no matter where you are. This kind of travel experience doesn’t just change your location; it changes you. Just remember, sometimes the most profound transformations happen when you’re solo and navigating tough situations.

The idea is simple yet profound: to merge the joy of exploring new places with the journey of inner self-discovery. Imagine soaking in diverse cultures, traditions, music, and cuisines, all while nurturing your inner self – it’s efficiency in its finest form. Stepping away from our daily grind and immersing ourselves in new environments and situations allows us to connect deeply with ourselves, connect with others, and live in the moment. As our lives get busier and more digital, taking a break becomes essential. Transformational Travel, which combines our love for adventure with the need to reconnect with our inner selves, is more than a trend, its a perspective shift and it’s here to stay,

Getting lost in ireland

My first solo trip ever was not just out of the country, but across the ocean to Ireland. I thought if I started somewhere that spoke English as a main language, there’s no way I would have any issues there. Man, was I wrong. Traveling from Drogheda to Antrim, I got utterly and completely lost. I thought I had prepared well by renting a GPS, but didn’t expect it to stop working once I crossed the Northern Ireland border. 

Terrible at reading a map and following verbal directions, my last wrong turn late into the evening somehow led me and my car in the middle of a farmer’s field. Almost immediately, the animals blocked me from moving in any direction. Frustrated beyond belief, I started crying when all of a sudden I heard a tap on my window. The farmer was so confused as to how I ended up here until I told him my story of stopping many times to get directions only to get stuck there. 

The farmer took pity on me and asked me for a piece of paper and a pen, writing step by step instructions on how to get to my location in terms even a dummy like me could understand. He wished me the best and offered a hug. Around 2am, I finally ended up at my destination collapsing on my bed from sheer exhaustion. 

So how does this fit into transformational travel you ask? Without the struggle of getting lost, I wouldn’t have made my connection to the farmer who was so incredibly kind. I also wouldn’t have ever learned to read a map that next day to avoid getting lost again. Whether it be getting lost, learning to drive on the other side of the road, or lost luggage, these travel experiences help us to foster inner growth resiliency at exponential speeds that we may never had in our everyday life. 

Wrapping up, it’s clear that the transformational travel goes beyond just a change of scenery. It’s about journeys that reshape us, like a transformational travel trip to sustainable locations like Costa Rica, Scotland, or Bhutan or just visiting wellness retreats in your own backyard. So, get out of your home and open your heart and soul to grow through experiences both lovely and challenging. 

Have you ever had a travel experience that changed your life? Let us know in the comments below!

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10 Comments

  1. This article is so interesting! You’ve put into words what I feel about travel and now when people inquire about why I am constantly on the go I think I will incorporate this concept into my answer.

  2. Very interesting read. Thanks for the information. I’m looking at having a vacation in the fall and am finding this helpful.

  3. Agree with Alyssa that all travel is transformative, but to travel with this intent brings it to a whole new level. Thank you!

  4. Great tips! Another way to commune with locals is by studying the language and participating in homestays. So great that you turned what could have been a bad experience into a positive. Brava!

  5. This is such an important topic. While all traveling can be transformative, traveling with the purpose of transformation is important too!

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