What motivates you to travel? What leads you to research a specific destination? Is it because of cheap flights, the advice of friends or, perhaps the charm and lure of a particular city? None of the above or all of them together?!

Indeed, there are many reasons that influence your decision when it comes to choosing a travel destination. Most of us also like to plan ahead of time so we can get the time off work and get those early bird savings. However, there’s a new aspect that has been fundamental for a new generation of travelers – exploring with a purpose.

worldpackers

What would you choose? A city, a country or a specific purpose? / Photo by Daniel C. Martin

Every year, we’re seeing more and more purpose driven travelers exploring the world. An “awesome trip” is increasingly being defined as one that has a special meaning or significance. These travelers look for a unique experience, something that stimulates the mind, body and soul, and where they can embark on a journey of personal transformation. Such trips don’t have to be months long or take place in the most remote, far-flung places on Earth. Just by travelling a few miles from home or for a few weeks, you can have an experience that has a profound and positive affect on your life. Simply by conversing with foreigners, understanding their social interactions, or trying local cuisine can be a special moment. These are unique experiences that could change the way you view the world and yourself, (as it already has with some fellow #worldpackers).

The idea of just being a tourist, simply passing by, is not what these travelers seek. Instead, they want to make their mark. They want to contribute and have a positive influence, using their skills and knowledge wherever they wander. They are attracted to the idea of making good use of their learnings, discoveries and self-knowledge.

worldpackers

The landscape of your life? / Photo by Pedro Green

That’s why many who seek the purest pleasures of travel look to explore more remote places and less trodden paths. Just take a minute to consider what kind of affect you could have on a small town in Colombia, Vietnam or Mozambique compared to a city like London or Sydney? Your skills would be far more valued and have a greater impact in these lesser-developed village than a modern city metropolis.

Try and also consider the beauty of being in a remote location, not visited by tourists, not influenced by modernity and all it’s trappings. It’s a chance for you to experience the simplicity of life, to be part of a preserved culture with singular values and beliefs. And there lies a common ambition amongst certain travelers, where your purpose lies in helping a community. Such trips often mean taking a step into the unknown, which can leave us feeling excited, scared, anxious, happy, and everything in between. Yet that it what many of us want to feel because it is by entering into the unknown that we challenge ourselves and feel that much more alive when facing adversity.

We’re not saying that it is not possible to enjoy purpose driven travel experiences in big cities or more touristic destinations – it most certainly is. However, given the rapid rise of globalization, cities across the world are increasingly becoming multi-cultural melting pots. This means it’s becoming that much easier to see similar values and traditions from where you come from – whether you look for them or not. Thus, interacting with cultures that are less influenced by modernity and tourism is becoming that much more difficult to find.

Regardless of the destination you choose to go to, remember that wherever you choose to visit, it’s a new experience for everyone. You are experiencing a new world and in many places, you’re a new world for those people. You represent something different and are a part of this diverse world. It means together, we can appreciate each other and learn about our respective cultures at the same time.  So when it comes to purpose driven trips, you know where to start.

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