Life Changing Travel Experiences You Must Have
Travelling the world, seeing new places and experiencing different cultures is what makes travel so addictive. But, if you’re looking at enriching and giving your journey a shake-up, then we have twelve suggestions to help you experience life-changing travel experiences you can’t experience just by visiting a new place.
Up first on our list is travelling alone, because what can be more life-changing and freeing than doing something to the beat of your own drum? What makes travelling alone so empowering is relying on no one but yourself while getting to experience and discover at your own pace. It’ll give you insight, new life skills and a new belief in yourself that you can do anything. There are many places you can safely do this, such as Australia, Mexico, and Peru, to name a few, as these tend to be visited by a lot of solo travellers.
Slowing down when you travel will provide a sense of freedom and relieve stress while also building a more profound appreciation for where you are. Plan to use slower forms of transport if you’re visiting many cities and head there either by foot, boat or bike ride. Slowing the pace down will allow you to take in the world around you, letting you soak in more, and visit out-of-the-way places not otherwise accessible for busy tourists. We recommend looking at companies who will also send your luggage onwards so that you can travel between cities or towns at your speed.
While sightseeing is a great way to immerse yourself in local culture, you’ll discover a lot more by volunteering. Not only will you get to learn and see the warmth of a local community, but you could be aiding others or saving a sanctuary. Many places around the world need additional help, whether because of a natural disaster or war. Volunteering will change your perspective, give greater insight, and is also rewarding. Be on the lookout for organisations offering a volunteer programme, which can help you find a cause you’re passionate about.
When travelling abroad, take the chance to dive further into the place by taking a class or studying. Consider taking a language class, cooking or guitar lesson, or even dance lessons. Not only will you gain a new skill, but you’ll be able to take a slice of your travels back with you while gaining deeper insight.
Although a two-week trip is an excellent introduction to a country’s culture and sights, travelling for longer, such as three or six months, will help you fully immerse yourself in the country you’re visiting. Extending your travel helps to cover more ground, allowing you to explore slowly, spending longer in each place and not missing important details or sights you’d miss if you only had an hour or two. You can stop, speak to locals, take a class, go to a wine tasting, all the while not worrying about fitting it all in. It can be daunting, expensive and you may miss home, but it’s rewarding and helps reflect on the ideals you hold close to you, giving a greater perspective that’ll change you forever.
If you’re usually a reserved person, having a lot of structure to your vacations, then consider letting your hair down and throwing your inhibitions away. Not only will this be freeing and relieving stress, but it’ll also shake free some of the preconceived notions we have and aid you in letting go. Consider attending a local festival, where you’ll non-stop singing and dancing, or go skinny dipping or visiting a nudist beach. Be sure, however, to check local laws before doing the latter!
It may sound fun to travel with friends and family, but they aren’t always the best travel companions. However, finding like-minded people, such as yourself, who are passionate about a particular place or goal, will help elevate a trip you’d otherwise have done alone. This is especially important for travel plans where the location is more remote or difficult, such as climbing a mountain. You can find legitimate groups online, where trips are purposefully set up to bring like-minded people together, but of course be careful with your research - safety first.
There’s nothing quite like seeing an animal in its natural home, and coming face-to-face with one will be a profound and beautiful experience you’ll never forget. Depending on the animal, you’ll either be awed by it or be put in your place. From safaris to snorkelling with sharks to swimming with dolphins, whichever you pick, you’ll be forever changed.
Our phones have become such a fixture in our lives, so it can be refreshing to disconnect from technology and social media demands. When travelling, this is even more important because we can’t fully immerse ourselves in the place we’re visiting if our phones remind us of our day-to-day lives. Turning off and disconnecting not only helps relieve stress but allows you to connect with where you are, rejuvenating and inspiring you. Consider parting from your phone for a day or visit somewhere remote, such as the mountains or desert, to unwind.
If you’re after a creative travelling experience, consider setting up a blog, a sketchbook, a travelling vlog account, or even a personal video you want to share with those close. Beginning the trip with this creative purpose will help you think of things differently. Even the photos we take will be more unique than usual because of the goal we are taking them for. Not only will you get to share your trip with others, but it’ll also give you a broader perspective and force you out of your comfort zone. But don’t get hung up on being anything but creating and having fun.
When you’re after a deeper, more profound experience, consider travelling and seeking out a spiritual place. While many people view spiritual places as different things, such as immersing oneself in nature, visiting a temple, worshipping a deity or going on a pilgrimage. Depending on where you’re visiting, take the time to allow the spiritual place to become one with you, taking the time to ask yourself the questions which present themselves and learn more about yourself. Remember to remain respectful, removing shoes or covering your head if required, while dressing appropriately and not crossing over any off-limits.
As beautiful as places are in the day, there is something about the night. Wherever you go, ensure to take a walk, go for a drive or do some star-gazing. As the peacefulness sets in, your senses will become more alert, and you will find nature and animals are more likely to come out. You could consider booking a night safari if you’re visiting Africa’s game parks or walking the beach at night in the Maldives. Another option is to grab a towel and blanket, lie down on the ground, watch the stars, and see if anything else comes out to say hello (just make sure you stay safe if trying this one)!
There’s nothing quite like travelling, and with the addition of any of the above travel experiences, you could find yourself more in tune, at peace and more alive than ever. So, wherever your next destination is, consider incorporating one, if not more, of these to help enrich your trip even more—making a possibly amazing trip, life-changing instead. Which of these experiences are you most keen to try? Let us know on Insta or tweet us @justhooit, and don’t forget to check out how to make an offer on a hotel room with hoo.