The Travelers Journey
Designing an amazing experience, every time.
If you think about it our life is made up of experiences. Good experiences, bad experiences, and the ones we forget, the normal or routine experiences. Every happing in our life is composed of them, but we usually use the word experience when something ordinary becomes remarkable.
Oftentimes experiences shape our beliefs, our behaviours, and our actions. They make our life seem good, bad, or extraordinary. Perhaps the most frequented and best way to live new and remarkable human experiences is through travel.
When the sole purpose of traveling is to have meaningful experiences, one that inspires and makes our journey matter, then is best to look at it from Joseph Campbell’s eye, or the Hero’s Journey.
Call To Adventure
Curiosity and expectation.
It wasn’t boredom that lead Humboldt to his biggest expedition through South America. It was curiosity, a thirst of knowledge that would advance the human race forward. Unlike us, today, Humboldt was never pursued by the question ‘what am I to do here?’
We merely go to a place because we can. We go to it because something struck our curiosity, like something is calling us and we must go and find out what’s over there. This, usually, is a good start. This builds up anticipation which in turn creates more curiosity and thus makes the whole journey feel like a mission, a purpose.
Leaving your comfort zone.
When Magellan set sailed to the East Indies and ended up circumnavigating the earth, he probably felt outside of his comfort zone more than once.
Bear Grylls famously said that adventure should be 80 percent ‘I think this is manageable’ and 20 percent where you’re right outside your comfort zone. Still safe but outside your comfort zone.
In every good journey there should be a factor of uncertainty, a space for unexpected and exhilarating events to occur. Not only will this help you grow as a person, but more often than not, you find sheer bliss on the other side of that uncertainty, of that initial fear. In any case, it can always be a good story to tell.
Peek of the experience.
Joseph Campbell named this part of the journey ‘crisis’. It is when the hero goes through an ordeal and comes out stronger to defeat the ‘monster’.
The peek of any experience is usually followed by a ‘wow!’ or a sigh. Exceeding one’s expectations is a sure way to remember a moment, to make the whole a experience a highlight.
Once I was at a BBQ festival with a friend and we order a pulled pork sandwich, something we had been looking forward to for a while. While we were ordering we noticed that the hamburgers also looked delicious, but we stuck with our decision. As our meal was being prepared we noticed the man was placing a burger with a perfectly melted cheese in our bread. ‘No way!’ So we ended up eating a pulled pork hamburger.
Even though this might be an insignificant event to many, it was the highlight of our night, because it exceeded our expectations.
I’ve had many moments like this, but what’s important to notice, is that it doesn’t matter how big or small your peek experience is, exceeding ones expectations leads to an amazing experience. More so if it’s towards the end.
When Gandhi traveled through India he got to learn a lot from his people, he came to understand their current situation and struggles. As he returned from his journey he was already a different person.
I don’t think educating oneself through travel means learning new facts and dates you will forget. Perhaps the best way one can change through travel is by adopting new and better behaviours, understanding the fundamental similarities and the beautiful differences that we as human beings share. Discover something new about yourself. Developing more love and compassion for humanity and our planet. That to me is the ultimate change.
Instead of returning home with souvenirs and a bunch of photos, wouldn’t it be better to come back with life enhancing thoughts and new stories to tell. Wouldn’t it be more satisfactory to come back a different person, a better person. What if through travel we could really cultivate world peace.
However long or short, close or far away from your home an experience might be, when you live an experience through the Traveler’s Journey it will most likely be an amazing experience. One that has the power to change things for the better.
I like to envision a future where we all give more importance to meaningful experiences rather than mediocre experiences, or worst, materialistic things. I am quite positive about this, considering we are entering such a digital age we will need something to balance it out.
In any case, experiences can be use as a force for good. Imagine what our world would be if all 1.2 billion international travellers per year would have an amazing experience. One that could potentially make their life better in one way or the other. And one that would leave a positive mark upon their departure.
I hope that you are as enthusiastic and optimistic as I am about traveling experiences and are willing to share an experience with the world.