Transformative Travel - Travel Trend 2017

People often ask me why did you decide to get into the travel business? It's simple. To me travel is the ultimate "learn." Travel has the power to transform people through life-changing experiences. You pick it - personal growth, empathy, compassion, curiosity, self-reliance - all can be empowered through the travel experience. Through travel we learn more about the world we live in and about ourselves.

So what is "transformational travel?" I'd describe it as fully checking IN to a destination rather than just checking it off! Participating rather than spectating. Taking a journey on the inside in addition to the one you're taking on the outside... It requires journeying into the unknown - exploring a new place and culture, taking on a new challenge - learning something about BOTH the place you are visiting AND about yourself - returning home, changed because of the experience.

Many times this involves up close and personal interactions with the local people. In Bhutan a visit to a local library where kids walked for miles to play on computers and read books reinforced my personal commitment to supporting local libraries and public education. A trip filled with physically challenging hikes in the National Parks of Zion and Bryce taught me as much about my ability to persevere as it did about the necessity of preserving these parks for future generations.

What it means practically in my job is planning travel that revolves around my clients interests and curiosity and then finding ways for for them to have unique personal and meaningful experiences that create lasting memories. Transformational travel changes the way we think about ourselves and others. Isn't that a great reason for traveling?

Karen Listgarten