A trip to save your soul – Times of India

Posted: February 17, 2020 at 12:43 am


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Recently, adventurist and minimalist, Ambi Moorthy, 29, cycled 250 (plus) km across villages in Kumbakonam, Chennai, in a span of three days. He says, What started as a self-indulgent hobby eventually helped me embark on a journey of self-discovery. I bathed at the water bodies on the route, visited temples and churches and sat in silence to admire their stunning architecture. But what I remember most was that every time the local kids would wave at me, or run after my cycle, Id give out a hearty laugh and out of nowhere a sense of peace would engulf me; it was an ineffable feeling, something that I never thought Id ever feel in our mad, mad world even on a holiday.

Transformational travel

Thats what transformational or transformative travel is all about. Its a journey that helps you connect with your soul, a sort of self-reflective, inward-looking voyage of your thoughts, while being away from your home. All over the world, transformational travel packages are being curated because like Moorthy, a lot of people, are looking for vacations that help them get in touch with their own feelings, something thats impossible to do in our daily lives with so many digital interruptions.

Transformational travel could include meditating on a beach in Barbados, backpacking solo through Argentina, doing a soulful chant in Chiang Mai, glamping in a remote part of Manitoba, or simply going on a solo walk, where you have time alone to reflect on your thoughts or words written on a mystery trail that make you think hard, and dig deep into your soul. In 2020, we have moved from experiential travel, where we would just mingle with locals or seek a new thrill. Personal fulfillment, while on a vacation, is now the ultimate luxury.

Travel entrepreneur Aditi Balbir explains why transformational travel is the new buzzword. Everyone wants to escape from global instability, the technological burnout. Its like we dont belong to ourselves anymore. We have lost touch with how we feel, and cannot even figure out half the time why we are anxious, irritated or feel disconnected with everything and almost everyone around us. Theres a sense of urgency in our need to escape these fast-paced lives, and hence we are seeking trips that inspire us, teach us something new, transform us, or just let our minds be still for a while, she says.

In recent times, there has been a dramatic shift when it comes to immersive experiences that foster learning. Now, more than ever, people are calculating their carbon footprints, taking trains when they can and eating local cuisine. Author Rolf Potts writes in her book, Vagabonding, Travel is almost inherently transformational if one embraces its uncertainty. I dont think something called transformational travel that comes with six days of travel, an itinerary and boxed lunches is bad, but when you open yourself up to serendipity and blunders, I think its a much more meaningful experience.

Looking within

Adventure travel expert Milind Bhide believes the big change has been travellers looking for authentic experiences. The Indian traveller is now looking for destinations that they can explore on foot or by cycle. Today, exploring a place has become more

about exploring ourselves. Even in culinary tourism and adventure activities (trekking, mountaineering, cycling and diving), people are looking for ways that can awaken something deep within them that was possibly dormant for a while.

However, transporting oneself to a different location is not transformational in itself; one must consciously seek out experiences that help you dive into the journey of self exploration while you are away from home. Unfortunately, just travelling to Koh Samui and spending all day inside your room wont cut it.

Mindful travel

Every time the local kids would wave at me, or run after my cycle, Id give out a hearty laugh and out of nowhere sense of peace would engulf me

Ambi Moorthy, Adventurist

According to a report by Megatrend, a research firm, the ever-evolving traveller still wants bespoke experiences; but personal fulfillment and self-improvement are now taking precedence Indian travellers are now looking for destinations that they can explore on foot or by cycle. Today, exploring a place has become more about exploring ourselves

Milind Bhide, Travel Expert

The transformative traveller is seeking something that allows one to elevate the tiny moments of life into evolutionary experiences. These experiences provide a deep sense of fulfilment on a highly- personalised level

Nitish Saxena, Travel Entrepreneur

How to create transformational trips

Plan Right: Consciously design the itineraries. In every trip, make sure there is physical activity, time amid nature and cultural immersion.

Get local: Make a point of learning a few words of the local language, asking questions about traditional practices or beliefs, and learning about the people who make the place you are visiting so special.

Head somewhere unexpected: A travel experience thats outside your normal preferences can be a powerful tool to help you get in touch with your inner feelings.

Excerpt from:
A trip to save your soul - Times of India

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February 17th, 2020 at 12:43 am

Posted in Self-Improvement