At some point in our lives all of us have watched a movie or read a book where the protagonist leaves on a journey, goes through certain life altering experiences, and returns a transformed person. We have however always dismissed this as another of those things that can happen only in fiction. But, if you were to believe travel experts, transformative travel is the next big trend in the world of travel and is already alluring people across the globe.
Transformative travel doesn’t always have to entail near death experiences; and you do not have to be left behind on an island or be robbed on a train to undergo a change. Transformative travel could simply mean being open to experiences that bring small, but permanent, shifts in the way you perceive things or live your life. Most transformative travels therefore focus on a change at a deeper level—a shift in the way you function. The best way to achieve that, say experts, is to expose oneself to new and novel experiences. Meeting people who are different from you and communicating with the locals to understand their culture and practices allows you to see the world in a new light. Going beyond what looks fancy in your social circle towards that which could add value to your life and the world around is the crux of Transformative Travel.
Travelling and living in the wild for example can expose you to the challenges of conserving wildlife, understanding the ecosystem of the jungle, and the interdependence of humans and wildlife. It also gives you a chance to be a part of it even after returning to your life—by spreading awareness, making monetary contributions, or even taking up projects or initiatives.
Things to keep in mind about Transformative Travel
- Plan Ahead: Preparing for transformative travel is important. Understand your needs and be prepared for new things and experiences.
- Give it Time: Transformative travel has to be immersive and cannot happen over day trips. You need to have enough time to be able to absorb the experiences and bring them back with you.
- Follow up: Journaling, keeping in touch with the community, committing time to follow up can help internalize the change better.
Travel for Food
For the longest time eating on your travel was a compulsion, and sometimes a collateral, of stepping out of home. One had to often make do with whatever he carried or depend on what was available outside. Today we travel just to eat.
Travelling to far off lands for unique culinary experiences is no longer unheard of. Exposure to cuisines from around the world, ready availability of information at your fingertips, and a surge of food shows have created an unforeseen interest in food. People are happy to cross continents to sample a specific dish, or recreate an experience they have read about or seen on a show.
Culinary focused travel can be of various kinds. From high-end, luxury dining experiences to exploring local and hyper local cuisine, from street food walks to sourcing raw ingredients with locals, from dining with locals in their homes to learning to cooking in their kitchens—there are countless possibilities. The destinations that offer culinary experiences are varied too.
When it comes to culinary travel exotic location often allure travellers – a trip to Basque country in Spain or a tour of the colourful markets of Morocco are often preferred over exploration of local cuisine. In the coming times though experts expect a greater interest in hyper local cuisines of your own country, state, even region.
Tips for Planning Culinary Travel
- Decide the location: The most important part of culinary travel is the destination. Ask yourself if you want to experience popular cuisine or do you want to do nice experiences.
- Understand the food: Study the food in advance to avoid last minute disappointments. The food you are going to eat should make you feel good, not make you uncomfortable.
- Learn about local culture: Food is very heavily intertwined with a place’s culture. Understand the culinary contexts, learn a few phrase in the language and
In 2015 when Hollywood stars Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux took their close friends along on their honeymoon, the Internet went into frenzy. Some loved it, others scorned it and most wrote it off as a gimmick. Just a few years later everyone seems to be going on their honeymoon in groups.
With couples spending quality time with each other even before the wedding, the concept of honeymoon is getting more and more obsolete with every passing year. The latest trend, especially among the millennials, includes traveling with friends and family to far off locations for extended wedding celebrations. Having a larger group to holiday is always more fun; the cost splits, and the family gets to bond and create memories.
Buddymoon however needn’t compulsorily happen only post wedding. Travelling in groups (minus the partner) has always been popular among the youth, but now buddymoon is gaining popularity with people of all ages. School and College reunions, weekend trips with girlfriends, travelling with work buddies and even taking up a journey with complete strangers are new and novel ways of self-discovery. Getting away from the trappings of everyday life and stepping away from the family or partner not only helps you get some space to relax and rejuvenate but can also improve interpersonal relationships.
Things to keep in mind while planning a buddymoon:
- Size of the Group: a small group where everyone is comfortable with each other always works better than large impersonal ones.
- Economics: Keeping in mind that the cost is not only be split equally but also suits everyone travelling can prevent disappointments.
- Location: The destination should have something for everyone’s interest.
Travel for Culture & Heritage
Nothing connects humans better than their culture—and nothing helps you understand culture better than travel. Getting to a new place and learning about its history and culture has been one of the main reasons for people to travel since medieval times. And it continues to entice us even today.
There can be many ways of exploring a city, state, or country’s culture – visiting the museums, enrolling for walks and tours, spending time with locals, and co-living are ways that let you see a place in totality rather than just look at its touristy parts. And so, more and more people across the globe are travelling to far off land to explore their history and culture like never before. This year, experts expect culture travelers to focus on more off beat locations, both domestic and international. Those who continue to travel to the popular places meanwhile would look at deeper, more immersive experiences of the places.
Tips For Immersive Cultural Travel
- Destination: Picking up the right destination is imperative – know what you want and why you want it.
- Research: Reading about the history, connecting with travel groups on social media, and looking for authentic experience should be on your list.
- Experiences: Choose experiences that go beyond the regular guidebook. Check local bookstalls for upcoming events, ask residents about their favourite eatery, cook with them, watch a local film.
Have you ever wondered where you come from, who are your forefathers, or what part of the world your ancestors lived in? Until some years ago it would have been hard to trace one’s lineage beyond a few generations but now, with DNA testing, internet, and easier communication channels, more people than before are learning about their roots — and travelling to their ancestral land. In the Indian context this may mean researching your familial history and retracing your forefathers’ movement through generations across India, its partitioned parts, or sometimes, even continents.
Call it curiosity or the need to connect with their homeland, Ancestry travel is on its way to becoming a major travel trend and is taking people across the world. Travel companies meanwhile are not only helping people find out their ancestry but also arranging for them to go to their ancestral countries. Indians settled across the world had always been coming back home, but with genealogy providing them accurate information of their roots they are not only returning to India but also discovering what all genes they may be carrying and travelling all over the world with a new sense of wonder. Indians who had so far been travelling to their native towns and villages are now discovering connections to places like Eastern Europe, Africa, Middle-east and even China.
Planning for Ancestry Travel
- Get your Ancestry Tested: If you are actually planning to travel to your genetic homeland, get the tests done in advance.
- Connect with Family: If you still have family in the places you plan to visit, connecting with them in advance is a good idea.
- Get a Guide: Having specific genes may not always mean you will know the place, having a reliable guide may help you overcome cultural and local roadblocks.