Perhaps you’ve heard of transformational travel, defined by the Transformational Travel Council (TTC) as “Any travel experience that empowers people to make meaningful, lasting changes in their life.” This trend is taking experiential travel to new heights, but the concept itself is not new — Eat, Pray, Love, and hopefully find yourself along the way. Adults have long been in search of this clarity, or deeper sense of self.
The Right Path
I have only had one travel experience that I consider transformational, and I was young — not a child, but just as impressionable and naive at 24 years young. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, I had uprooted my life to live and work in western Ukraine. It felt like fate had played a hand in this very moment because my own great, great grandparents were born and raised in that very same place. I felt so connected to my past and yet so disconnected from my future — I was desperately seeking that “right path” everyone is so intent on finding.
I just wish someone had told me sooner that it’s about the journey and not the destination. It’s about the people you meet along the way and the experiences that challenge you to be a better person. It’s about realizing the world is much smaller than you thought and we are all far more alike than we are different.
Then again, those are lessons I really had to experience for myself, to grasp the full weight of what they mean.
Transformational Travel for Kids
So what if you’re a kid and everyday of your life is about transformation? How can we use this idea of transformational travel to raise our own children so they don’t have to wait to learn these very valuable lessons? For them, every waking moment is an opportunity to learn. They are like sponges, just waiting to soak it all in. Shouldn’t we, as parents, teach them that the “right path” can only be found by opening themselves up to the world…by never fearing that which is new and different?
Whether you call it adventure travel, experiential travel, or transformational travel, it is — at its core — a global education. Together we have the power to shape an entire generation of global citizens who can (and will) change the world for the better through acceptance, kindness and compassion.
As a human being I have to believe this is true. As a mom, I know it is.