One of the fastest growing trends in world travel is the demand for trips that are considered “transformational.” It’s clear that more people are seeking something beyond the same old basic rest and relaxation vacation time.
Transformational travel is defined as going somewhere and doing something that can trigger a deep emotional impact or create a meaningful experience. People want to “break old molds” and get pushed out their comfort zones, says travel tour advisor Matthew D. Upchurch.
Transformational travel can take many forms. For example, instead of taking a week to kick back on a cruise ship and stuff oneself with rich foods, entertainment and glorious ocean views, people are opting to get their hands dirty in a remote Third World village while helping disadvantaged people improve their lives in some way.
Another increasingly popular transformational journey is visiting a remote village in a Brazilian rain forest to partake in a psychedelic drug experience called an ayahuasca ceremony. Ayahuasca is a powerful hallucinogenic substance used for thousands of years by Amazon shamans to explore the outer reaches of consciousness.
Upchurch said that people are seeking profound connections with people of different cultures in exotic locations around the world. If that means a grueling hike through mountainous terrain or a lengthy trek across a high desert region – so much the better.
The key is to be challenged and to confront people and situations that “blow the mind.” The journey must leave the traveler with an expanded perspective and emotional impact once they return home.