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Why You Should Consider “Transformational Travel”

Like it or not, this movement’s here to stay.

transformational travel — At Travelnitch, we create opportunities for shared learning, so parents and children can explore the world together.

We deliver new and exciting experiences to encourage dialogue and provoke curiosity. For that reason, we have three primary goals: – Strengthen the bond between parent and child through a shared love of travel. – Forge a more meaningful connection between kids and the world around them. – Promote creative learning to inspire a lifelong passion for exploration.

transformational travel

Travel plays such an important role in our lives. It has the ability to change us for the better. It’s an experiential education that teaches us how to feel, think, act, and react in positive ways. Travel fosters creativity, builds confidence, and teaches us all to be more tolerant. My own kids benefit from travel every time we hit the open road. No amount of money can buy those life lessons.

Travelnitch is inspiring the next generation of explorers. We believe travel is a wonderful way to ignite the imagination and get kids excited about the world. However, we need your help to make this possible. Please spread the word and support our efforts to raise citizens of the world. Let’s go on this adventure together!

Maybe you believe it’s all just jargon—fancy packaging to fool you into spending your hard-earned dollars on a shiny, new trip—but terminology aside, this “trend” is not going away. It’s taking the tourism world by storm and there’s even a council in place to support its future growth; a collective born from mutual respect for the powerful impact tourism can have on both the traveler and the destination.

The Transformational Travel Council (TTC) defines this movement as “any travel experience that empowers people to make meaningful, lasting changes in their life.” This concept as a whole is not new; just ask author Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love). Adults have long been in search of this clarity, or a deeper sense of self.

So I ask, then: riding on the coattails of experiential travel, what is it about this movement that makes it worthy of our attention?

It’s not (only) about you.

Experiential travel begins and ends with you. What can you learn from the experience? What can others teach you? How will this opportunity make you a better person? You, you, you — kind of selfish, right?

Sure, some may argue that travelers bring along their own personal catalog of experience to share, but that’s not why they go. Experiential travel is all about the takeaway.

Transformational travel, on the other hand, is about you and every single person, place, or thing you touch along the way. It’s about awareness, predicting how your journey will affect others, finding ways to minimize the potentially negative impacts, and gaining a valuable perspective that informs how you relate to the world. It’s about breaking down cultural divides and finding those commonalities that bring us closer together.

According to the TTC, it’s about “Empowering humanity through travel.”

Here’s Why I’m A Believer

At the ripe old age of 24, I had uprooted my (lackluster) life to live and work in Ukraine as a Peace Corps volunteer. Why? Let’s just say I was selfishly seeking an experiential opportunity, traveling the world on the government’s dime, while adding to my uninspired professional resume.

Did I want to help people? Of course. I naively believed I had oodles of wisdom to impart as a 24-year-old college grad (no one is laughing louder than me right now). An idealist to the core, I was ready to transform the world, not myself.

This was my first and biggest mistake.

I wrongly assumed these people that I had never met before, that I knew absolutely nothing about, wanted to be changed. I wrongly assumed they needed my help and that I had all the answers. Looking back, I cringe at how self-righteous I was to make those assumptions.

Needless to say, my time in Ukraine was cut short when frustration got the better of me. I was chasing down an experience that didn’t really exist and it made me feel helpless, so I called it quits. I (selfishly) left behind people who were counting on me because my life in Ukraine wasn’t meeting my own imagined expectations. The truth is, I was weak.

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Me and babushka (Nadia) reunited after 15 years

This is where my own unexpected transformation began, forming amid the guilt and shame that comes from being labeled a quitter. It took fifteen years and a return visit to Ukraine before I was finally able to forgive myself for this weakness. Confronting my past and reuniting with friends after so much time apart, I finally understood the value of my time there. They never saw me as a quitter—when they looked at me, they saw family.

I was changed in profound ways through this experience. A once shy, insecure girl, this moment of weakness taught me how to be strong, to make peace with my mistakes, and to recognize there is value in learning from them. My time in Ukraine was truly transformative, and I now know that I left a positive impression on all those I had the good fortune of meeting along the way.

While I did not go into this ordeal expecting it to be life-altering, perhaps if I had, I would not have given up quite so easily.

Here’s Why You Should Give It A Try

Our world is so much smaller than it once was. Everything we do has a ripple effect. With a growing reliance on technology, our interconnectedness can either bring us together or tear us apart. Unfortunately, there is also a growing lack of humanity that stems from our ability to hide behind technology, casually offering up hurtful opinions without considering the collateral damage.

Transformational travel is offering us a new set of standards to live by—standards that combat stereotypes, nurture cultural differences, and place value on sustainability. These ideals give us a framework to fight for a more humane coexistence, but it also begs for accountability. It requires us to reflect on how we can travel with greater purpose.

Open yourself up to the world and it can surely transform you, but travel with purpose and you can transform the world.

Taking time to care about the how and why of your travels, you will undoubtedly find a deeper connection to those people and places you visit. They will walk away feeling understood, and you will always be welcome back. Will everything be unicorns and rainbows from that moment on? Of course not, but your meaningful exchange will lay the foundation for a truly global “community.”

You should care about transformational travel because it doesn’t really matter how pedantic it sounds, the movement is real—globalization is real—and it affects you each time you set foot outside. So I guess the only real question is, what kind of world do you want to live in?

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