Travel and Personal Growth: Tanisha Mackin On Why & How Traveling Can Help Us Become Better Human Beings

An interview with Maria Angelova


Don’t be afraid to try something new — experiencing something outside your comfort zone can help you develop mentally and emotionally.

Thankfully, the world is open for travel once again. Traveling can broaden our horizons and make space for people to become more open-minded. How can travel give us the opportunity for personal growth? What are some ways that travel can help us become better human beings? As a part of our series about “How Traveling Can Help Us Become Better Human Beings”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tanisha Mackin.

Tanisha Mackin is an acclaimed travel writer, bestselling author, and inspiring host of the family-friendly show “Tanisha’s Traveling Bag.” After the devastating loss of her husband in a mass shooting on their first wedding anniversary, Tanisha used travel as a source of healing. She found that travel helped her expand her horizons, gain a new appreciation for her own life, Build confidence and self-esteem, Make new friends and connections and create lasting memories. Tanisha’s story from grief to greatness is a shining example of how travel can make us better humans.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

I grew up in a regular middle-class family with my parents and sister. We were a tight-knit bunch who loved traveling together. I think my love of travel started with those family trips. We would always go on big adventures, exploring new places and cultures. I loved learning about different ways of life and meeting new people.

My parents were both government employees, but I always wanted to be my own boss. I didn’t want to work for someone else, I wanted to start my own company. I think entrepreneurship was always in my blood. My dad was a business consultant, so I learned a lot from him about starting and running a business.

I’m grateful for my humble beginnings. They taught me the importance of hard work, family, and community. They also gave me the drive to succeed in my own business ventures.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

My husband’s sudden passing changed my life. Through his death, I found solace in travel, which gave me the strength and courage to move forward. That was one of the many gifts he left me with, along with our beautiful two children. (add ‘he gave me the resources too’)

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

My dad will forever be the one person who has supported me the most in my life. After my husband’s passing, I experienced some of the most difficult times I’ve ever known. Words couldn’t justify my pain, but my dad was always there for me, helping me cope with all that emotional turbulence. His kindness and understanding gave me the strength to keep going, and I will always be grateful for his unwavering support.

It has been said that sometimes our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or takeaway did you learn from that?

Mistakes are not the end of the world. I believe they can be a valuable learning experience. When we make mistakes, we have an opportunity to reflect on what went wrong and figure out how to do it better next time. This is how we grow and improve.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

“Live life and travel” is a quote that resonates with me deeply. I believe that we should embrace every moment that life has to offer and explore the world around us. Traveling allows us to break free from our daily routines, learn new cultures, and gain fresh perspectives on life.

By living life to the fullest and immersing ourselves in diverse experiences, we can grow as individuals and foster a deep sense of fulfillment.

Traveling can be a powerful tool for personal growth. It can help us step outside our comfort zones and challenge our assumptions about the world. It can also teach us about different cultures and ways of life. When we travel, we are forced to interact with people from different backgrounds and learn to appreciate their unique perspectives. This can help us to become more open-minded.

Traveling can also be a great way to relax and de-stress. When we are away from our everyday routines, we can clear our heads and focus on the present moment. We can also enjoy new experiences and make memories that will last a lifetime.

If you want a way to live a more fulfilling life, I encourage you to travel. It is an experience that will change your life for the better.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I’m excited to announce Season 3 of my travel show, “Tanisha’s Traveling Bag.” The show follows my adventures with my son Diesal, a recent high school graduate; my daughter Destinee, a loving fashionista and new pageant participant; and my nephew Na’Kye, a recent high school grad who is an absolute joy to be around.

I’m also developing Tanisha’s Traveling Guides to help fellow travelers plan their trips. A well-planned itinerary can greatly enhance a travel experience. These guides will provide valuable information and assistance to others as they embark on their own journeys.

I’m passionate about sharing my love of travel and providing helpful resources to make it more accessible and enjoyable for others. I believe these projects can inspire people to explore new places, broaden their horizons, and create lasting memories with their loved ones.

A recent survey from Psychology Today showed that over 80% of participants found that travel helped them with problem-solving or decision-making. Why do you think this is true for so many people?

Traveling has always been a great way for my family and me to unwind and de-stress, especially during tough times. Getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life gives us the perfect opportunity to relax, reflect, and find clarity.

In a relaxed environment, it’s much easier to approach problems or decisions with an open mind and a new perspective. Being near beaches and bodies of water has a therapeutic effect on me. They soothe, heal, and calm my spirit.

The benefits of traveling go beyond leisure and relaxation. Travel provides the mental space necessary for individuals to tackle challenges with a refreshed outlook, ultimately enhancing their problem-solving and decision-making capabilities.

Do you think travel enhances our mindfulness, optimism, or sense of gratitude? How? Can you please explain with an example or story?

My family and I were going through a tough time when my husband suddenly passed away. I was also diagnosed with colon cancer at the time. I wanted to make memories with my children in case anything happened to me. Their memories of their father were cut short, and I didn’t want the same for them with me. Even though my family and friends were very supportive, we needed to heal.

Travel provided me with an opportunity to regain those positive states. It helped me find joy, light, and hope again. Planning your trips to focus on these things can be a game-changer for your mental health. Sometimes, travel can do this even if you don’t plan it that way, because it’s such a powerful tool for healing.

Surely not everyone who travels automatically becomes an exemplar of human decency. What are a few reasons why some people completely miss out on the growth opportunities that travel can offer?

Traveling is a great way to learn about yourself and the world around you, but it’s important to be intentional about your travels to get the most out of them. There are many ways to travel, and the best way for you will depend on your budget, interests, and goals. If you’re on a tight budget, there are still plenty of ways to travel affordably. You can travel by bus or train instead of flying, stay in hostels or guesthouses instead of hotels, and eat at local restaurants instead of tourist traps. And if you’re willing to be creative, there are even more ways to save money on travel.

No matter how you travel, the most important thing is to be open to new experiences and make the most of your time away. Traveling is a great way to learn about different cultures, meet new people, and see the world differently. So don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and explore!

Thank you for that. Now for our main question; What are your “5 Habits You Should Develop In Order Make Travel Into An Opportunity For Personal Growth?”

If you want to make the most of your travels and use them as an opportunity for personal growth, here are five habits you should develop:

1. Don’t be afraid to try something new — experiencing something outside your comfort zone can help you develop mentally and emotionally.

I love swimming, especially at the beach. It’s so relaxing and refreshing to float in the water and feel the sun on my skin.

A few years ago, I went on a trip to Jamaica with my family. We visited the Blue Hole in Ocho Rios, which is a beautiful natural pool surrounded by limestone cliffs. I was really excited to swim in the Blue Hole, but I was also a little bit nervous. I’m not a big fan of heights, and the cliff that you have to jump off of is pretty high.

But my family encouraged me to give it a try, and I’m so glad that I did! It was actually a lot of fun. The water was so clear and blue, and the feeling of jumping off the cliff and plunging into the water was exhilarating.

In that moment, I felt free, fearless, and stronger than before. It was a really empowering experience, and I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to do it.

2. Plan your trips with a purpose — This will help you make the most of your time and money.”**

Having a purpose for your trip can help you focus your planning and ensure you are making the most of your time. For example, you can list places you want to visit and activities you want to do in advance.

3. Research the places you’re visiting — This will help you be more knowledgeable about what to expect and help you plan properly. This is important because it can help you avoid any surprises or unexpected events during your trip. For example, suppose you are visiting a country with a different currency. In that case, you can research the exchange rate to know how much your money is worth.

4. Remain flexible — Things don’t always go according to plan, but that’s okay. In fact, it can be a good thing! Being flexible and adaptable can help you to grow and learn.

I learned this when I went glamping with my family. I had planned a full day of hiking and a campfire, but it rained heavily on the day that we were scheduled to do this. I was disappointed at first, but then I realized that it was an opportunity to try something new.

We ended up staying indoors and I got a chance to re-read some of my old books. It was actually a lot of fun! We got to catch up on some reading that we had been meaning to do, and we also had some great conversations.

In the end, I’m glad that things didn’t go according to plan. It was a reminder that it’s important to be flexible and go with the flow. And it was a lot of fun to spend some quality time with my family.

5. Make lasting memories with loved ones and spread kindness everywhere. Traveling gives you plenty of chances to spend time with family and friends and meet new people.

From your experience, does travel have a negative impact on personal growth too? Is there a downside to travel?

Travel can be a great way to grow and learn, but planning properly and choosing your travel companions wisely is important. If you don’t have a clear itinerary or are traveling with people who don’t share your interests, it can be easy to get disappointed.

A few tips for planning a successful trip: Do your research, set goals, be flexible and travel with people you enjoy being around. One of the best parts of travel is spending time with loved ones. If you’re traveling with friends or family, ensure you’re all on the same page and have similar interests. This will help make sure that you have a positive experience.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them :-)

I would love to have breakfast or lunch with Michelle Obama. I think she is an incredible woman and I would love to learn more about her life and work. As fellow authors, I would love to pick her brain about her writing process and what inspires her. I would also love to get her feedback on my own writing and my personal and professional goals. I think she would be a great mentor and I would be honored to have the opportunity to spend time with her.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

You can follow my travel adventures on Instagram at @tanishastravelingbag, read about them on my website, or watch my journeys on my YouTube channel, Tanisha’s Traveling Bag.

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent on this. We wish you continued success.

About The Interviewer: Maria Angelova, MBA is a disruptor, author, motivational speaker, body-mind expert, Pilates teacher and founder and CEO of Rebellious Intl. As a disruptor, Maria is on a mission to change the face of the wellness industry by shifting the self-care mindset for consumers and providers alike. As a mind-body coach, Maria’s superpower is alignment which helps clients create a strong body and a calm mind so they can live a life of freedom, happiness and fulfillment. Prior to founding Rebellious Intl, Maria was a Finance Director and a professional with 17+ years of progressive corporate experience in the Telecommunications, Finance, and Insurance industries. Born in Bulgaria, Maria moved to the United States in 1992. She graduated summa cum laude from both Georgia State University (MBA, Finance) and the University of Georgia (BBA, Finance). Maria’s favorite job is being a mom. Maria enjoys learning, coaching, creating authentic connections, working out, Latin dancing, traveling, and spending time with her tribe. To contact Maria, email her at To schedule a free consultation, click here.



Maria Angelova, CEO of Rebellious Intl.
Authority Magazine

Maria Angelova, MBA is a disruptor, author, motivational speaker, body-mind expert, Pilates teacher and founder and CEO of Rebellious Intl.