7 Ways to Turn a Vacation into a Life-Changing, Transformative Journey

If you are a beach goer and just look for a vacation to sunbath and party, this article about life-changing, transformational travel will not speak to your soul. But if your beach could be in Sri Lanka bordering an Ayurveda wellness retreat center, or on an African island post-safari, whose luxurious stay supports local conservation efforts, then keep on reading!

Life-Changing, Transformational Travel: Detach from Your Busy Lifestyle And Dive into Your Mind- and Heart-Expanding Vacation

The average beach vacation-seeker desires family or couple time, playtime, or a complete detach from a busy life. Nothing wrong with that at all. But if you are of the mind that your precious vacation time can also lead to mind-expanding, heart fulfilling, boundary challenging, dream realizing transformation, then a little more goes into trip preparation than simply picking a beach hotel or all inclusive resort.

Transformation comes from stepping beyond our physical and emotional boundaries and comfort zones. Great travel creates transformation. Click To Tweet


“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate.” ~ Famed Travel Writer Pico Iyer

The world, our lives are busy, sometimes to a point of feeling chaotic.

We can be so pulled into work, or digital devices that we are less connected to our family, community, planet, ourselves. Today’s travelers have evolved from the sightseers of old to seekers looking for ways to reconnect, learn and understand other cultures, be challenged, make something better, and further understand ourselves.

The question is, how do we Google all that?

You can’t obviously, but you can follow a few guidelines to enrich your next vacation by building in life-changing travel experiences.

Want to know to create life-changing travel? Here are some guidelines. Click To Tweet


Into the Wild.

Immersing in a wildlife experience is a great way to take you out of your element, literally.

Seeing animals in the wild, be it in Africa, Alaska, or even here in our own country can bring you back down to earth to connect with our planet. Even better is to choose places where your presence- and dollars- fund conservation efforts.

Become You By Traveling to a Destination that is Not You

And Now For Something Completely Different.

Go to a travel destination that is entirely different from your own. Yes, it takes a bit of courage to step so far out of your comfort zone.

The reward in it could be a shift in perspective, and you may see commonality even in others’ strange ways.

I know a mother and son who traveled to a Muslim country, and were a little unsettles at first – until an invitation to join in a soccer game became a universal language for the son, and for the mom it was cheering on the sidelines with women wearing the hijab.

An arranged invitation to eat with a family fostered understanding for them that they had more in common than differences.

Challenge Yourself.

Physical challenges teach us we can do more than we thought.

  • Adding a hike, walk, or some biking to your trip can foster a greater confidence in your daily life.
  • A challenging cultural experience, like not knowing a language, can be off-putting, but approaching new situations can broaden perspectives.
  • Spiritual challenges can be sought as well; adding a meditation retreat or a monk’s blessing can be soul-fulfilling.


Rather than go, go go…..stop.

When you take time to have great experiences in your travels, take the time to also reflect on what you discovered about yourself.

If you journal, great.

If you just need to sit with an “ah-ha” moment, make sure to do that.

When we give time to internalize the experience and its lessons and meaning, it is bound to stay with us longer.

Look for Inspiration.

If you are a Creative trying to create, stepping out of your environment can bring on new ideas.

A graphic designer client was feeling particularly burnt out and in need of a career change. She took a break from her city life and went on a sabbatical in Chile. The time she took washed the tension from her soul which opened space to take in new ideas. She incorporated many of the tenants mentioned in this article.

Travel for Good.

One way to look at travel is it is a way to have a positive effect on the world, if done the right way. (You can learn more about sustainable tourism and its tenants ecotourism, responsible tourism, and ethical tourism in my blogs series.)

You can support local communities by having experiences offered by local enterprises; take home souvenirs of locally made handicrafts, stay in eco lodges and hotels where the local community is a stakeholder, or choose a wildlife adventure that funds conservation and protection of endangered species.

Follow Your Passion.

What is it you love to do, but don’t have enough time to become proficient?

What have you dreamed of trying your hand at?

Passions and interests incorporated into a vacation allow us to be doers, not just see-ers.

From learning or fine-tuning photography skills under the tutelage of a National Geographic photographer to cooking with an Italian nonna in her kitchen to interning with a winemaker in France- travel can add more dimension in our lives.

What activity do you love that you’d like to take on the road and try in new places, like biking or hiking or horse trekking or sailing?

Travel can be the time to do those things that make us happy, and by doing them in a new place, we deepen our learning and take home new skills.

By looking at vacation time and travel in a new light, you can have life-changing, transformational travel experiences.

PS: Don’t forget to pack the right things to make your travel easier.

waterfall, symbolizing life-changing transformational travel, custom tailor made vacations by Enlightened Journeys Travel

But how do you find these life-changing, transformational travel experiences, and who do you rely upon to realize your dreams?

Step 1: This is not the time to crowd-source.

Your dreams, after all, are yours.

Take the time to write down what you think is missing in your daily life, what you’d like to add to your life, accomplishments you’d like to do just for yourself.

Step 2: Do research.

Do a little research into where you’d like to go and what you’d like to see in your lifetime.

You can base your travel dreams on a destination or any activity.

Step 3: Talk to an expert.

Find a travel professional you can trust with these dreams, who not only has your best interests at heart, but is well-connected in the world to make those dreams happen for you.

You require an advisor who can open hidden doors to experiences and providers that aren’t available to the general public. It takes skill and knowledge to custom-design a personal journey, so look for a Travel Advisor who works with you rather than sells a product.

I am happy to be of service to craft just the right personal journey for you and your loved ones. I specialize in experiential and adventure travel and focus on transformational journeys that change lives and make the world a better place.

If you’d like to have more ease in your travel planning, I’d love to help!

You can stay informed and inspired in planning your travel in 2018 by reading more of my blogs. You can also follow me on Facebook. Twitter @enlitndjrntrvl, and Instagram @enlightenedjourneystravel. Sign up to receive the blogs and a newsletter filled with more insights and offers so you don’t miss a thing.

luxury travel advisor Theresa Jackson on one of her adventures journeys

At Enlightened Journeys Travel, we design handcrafted travel itineraries for your immersive journeys of a lifetime.

Keep exploring – Life’s an adventure!

I look forward to opening hidden doors in exclusive travel for you!