TRANSFORMATION – loosely spells change. And change is difficult to accept and imbibe. However, once the change in any behavior pattern is accepted, it becomes a trend and the most sought after way of living, generally speaking.
Transformational Travel is not a phrase that has yet started doing the rounds in social media and the travel community. But, its been happening in some shades and textures and is also being promoted by some seasoned travel veterans.
Experiential or Transformational Travel is rooted in the purpose of learning new things, experiencing the offbeat, breaking and transcending old behavior patterns and incorporating the new learning. Giving back to the community is an important aspect of Experiential or Transformational Travel.
Humans, as a race hunger for change and are naturally adept at acclimatizing to it. Learned experiences and conscious transformations are imperative to human growth and evolution, reserved though we humans may be to them in the beginning. However, once it becomes a necessity or a bucket list item, we as humans love to indulge ourselves in it and want to be the part of the brigade that lives by it.
The Oxford dictionary spells “Experiential” as “something based on or involving experience” and “Transformational” as “connected with a complete change in somebody or something, especially a positive change”.
True to its meaning, Tranformational or Experiential Travel is purely based on experiences in a new avatar. The activity could be the same old mundane one, however, in a new avatar. For an example, you may choose to spend your vacation in a quiet and solitary offbeat spot in the middle of a beautiful forest of a village. Many a travelers have done it and in many adventurous ways. What makes living in a village in the setting of a jungle experiential is how differently and transformationally you can do it. You can choose to experience living off the resources around you and fending for yourself. Or, it could be living without electricity and Wi-Fi. Totally disconnected and just in sync with the surroundings.
It certainly sounds easier than done. Most of us being city slickers and cosmopolitan in our orientation are scared of the dark and that too in a secluded location such as a remote forest. Talking about being off the grid with no access to the internet is an altogether different deal and actually requires courage to go through.
Change if the essence here. It is our instinctive & primal reflex to adapt to change and evolve that works for us humans in general. Our social desire to stand out and be a “trend setter” in the minutest possible way contributes to this change becoming a trend, significantly albeit vainly (some might say). What ever the case is, travel and experiences were beginning to get run of the mill in the minds of few. Some with access to influence the travel community realized the potential of “Experiential Travel”. More and more people, after reading or hearing about their comrades’ experiences of the offbeat, were encouraged to take the plunge. Thus, began to exodus to “Transformational & Experiential Travel”.
It is all about letting go of your inhibitions and preconceived notions of a place or culture or its people and cuisine and just experiencing it first hand just like the natives of the place do. There are no rules. It is meant to transform and the exploration is meant to evolve you. Let it!
You wake up like the natives, you go through your day like the natives, you experience the place you are in just like the natives. There cant be any demands or levy just because you fancy them. This adulterates the experience. It is no more purely Experiential or Transformational as you will not learn much out of the experience. Hence, not much scope to evolve.
If we are not experiencing, we are not learning. If we are not learning, we are not evolving. Saturation has known to be carcinogenic. Do not allow it to set in. DO not to keep planning your experiences. Let it be. Let the experience take its natural course to unfold for you to really harvest it. Remember, any experience however small, becomes transformational when you can give back something. You should be able to leave your footprint behind on the right trail.
Free your mind. Experience. Everything else will follow…