Why do you travel?
“Almost a quarter of the teachers who have qualified since 2011 have already left the profession.” The Guardian
There is no doubt that teaching is one of the most stressful professions.
Although teachers get a great deal of holidays, these are desperately needed for rejuvenation. Days before a break, it is not uncommon to see educators holding on to ‘the end of the rope’. The coming time off is usually slated for catching one’s breath through some form of rest and relaxation, and sadly at times, to get one’s marking completed!
Many educators take advantage of school breaks to travel. This is particularly so for educators working internationally.
Although there is practically an infinite number of ways to plan a trip, many teachers opt for the default kind of ‘crashing somewhere on a beach to recover’. Understandably so! This routine travel planning often has at its root the desire to disconnect in hopes of recovering from the demands of work.
There are other ways to regain vigor and freshness during breaks.
Although scary at times, the unknown can sometime stimulate parts of our being that are waiting for the right moment to take center stage.
“Without new experiences something inside us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken.” – Frank Herbert
Experiences that touch us deeply have the power to reshape our lives, to ‘awaken’ aspects of ourselves yet unknown. Routine holiday planning is a sure way to minimize this potential. On the other hand, transformational travel opens up a world of possibilities for having powerful experiences that can change the way we perceive ourselves and the place we occupy in the world.
Transformational travel is the type that challenges us in different ways. It’s the kind of adventure that takes us out of our comfort zone. By breaking away from the known, we become more alive, we learn more and we dance more with life’s unexpected little surprises.
The following transformational travel examples may inspire you to ‘travel outside the box’ and bring about transformational experiences that will serve to accentuate your already rich life! Have you experienced any of these yet?
Book a trip to a random place you’ve never been to: Christina Noble had a dream that saw her going to Vietnam. Other than the media coverage of the war, she knew nothing of Vietnam. Without knowing why, she booked a trip from her native Ireland. At the end of her two-week trip, a single experience changed her life: she saw two very young girls eating ants off the sidewalk to feed themselves. Her book and film “Mama Tina” go into details explaining why witnessing this had such a transformative effect on her life. This trip was the catalyst to completely change Noble’s life who then went on to create the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation.
Take a remote area trip: British photographer Jimmy Nelson is a prime example of this type of travel. He is the man behind ‘Before They Pass Away’, a project that aims to photograph dozens of tribes around the world, tribes that have managed to survive outside of the modern world. His photographs are simply surreal. In a Ted Talk, he recounts some of his experiences living with the various tribes. Very few get to experience this kind of travel. It changed him profoundly.
“Traveling allows you to become so many different versions of yourself.” – Unknown
Travel solo: A famous example of this type of travel that many can relate to is reflected in the book and movie ‘Eat Pray Love’. The main character leaves her conflicted life behind to travel the world solo. The film offers a very powerful example of transformation. In many ways, the film is a feast of transformation. The thing about Eat Pray Love is that it offers an enticing road map to dive into solo travel. Just like the real-life main character (Elizabeth Gilbert), one’s personal solo itinerary has the potential to deliver a great deal of transformational opportunities. Your own story might be Cook Dance Volunteer!
Take a gap year and travel the world: The rat race has many convinced that taking a year off is not a possibility. It is simply a choice. You may have to give up some things but what can be gained may be more than you could ever imagine. That is what my wife Christine and I did a few years ago. We placed a map of the world on the table and identified all the locations we wanted to visit, many of which were ancient sites such as the Giza plateau, Machu Picchu and Easter Island. Armed with a one-year round-the-world ticket that covered six continents, we discovered the world in ways that had a transformative impact on our lives.
Traveling can have a profound influence and be life changing by broadening our perspectives. There is no better way to challenge many of our assumptions about people and the world than to travel and see for ourselves that, unlike what we see being reported daily in the media, the planet and its people are actually pretty awesome. There is a great deal more goodness and beauty than ever gets reported. In the end, it really is all about becoming a better person, creating a better world and honoring life. The world is waiting for you – what are you waiting for?
’21 Life Changing Travel Experiences’ is a FREE 50-page eBook that you can download from here.
Michel Leroux is a teacher who spent more than two decades teaching mathematics in eleven different countries. He is a co-founder of Educators Home Share (www.educatorshomeshare.com). He is currently redirecting his career into entrepreneurship, public speaking, and now sees himself as a change facilitator. He and his wife Christine are both travel addicts! They currently reside in Indonesia with their three cats.