Carl Jung once said, “The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it.” And we heartily agree!
Meaningful travel is the new (read: only!) way to travel, and we’re here to let you know why!
Almost everybody wants to travel – you’ll never hear anyone turning down a holiday or the chance to visit a new country. Travel makes people happy but travelling with meaning can really enrich your life and ensure you have a more positive impact on the world around you. Win-win, right?!
How to make your travel meaningful
To make travel more meaningful, you need to make sure you’re incorporating things that make a difference and give back! You’ve got the opportunity to change your life and the lives of those you meet, so why not grab it with both hands?
Need some ideas of ways to make travel more meaningful? Check out some key ones below:
1. Teach English
One of the best ways out there to ensure you’re having a positive impact on the the local community, is to help them fill a skills gap that they might have – e.g. as an English teacher! English is one of the most widely used languages across the world for education, business, and entertainment. By improving people’s skills in English, you’ll be increasing the number of learning and employment opportunities they are able to access. What a worthy thing to do!
2. Visit animal sanctuaries
We’re not talking about zoos or animal parks. Instead look for places that rescue animals or care for animals that can’t be released back into the wild. We’re talking elephant sanctuaries in Thailand, koala sanctuaries in Australia and turtle sanctuaries in Indonesia. Who would say no to meeting these amazing animals and supporting a good cause at the same time?
There are so many countries that need volunteers for a variety of causes including: teaching English, animal welfare, construction and many more! You’ll be able to find loads of volunteer abroad programs online, there is something for everyone!
4. Immerse yourself in the local culture
Leave the comfort of your hotel and allow yourself to be immersed into the world around you! You’ll get a deeper understanding of the countries you visit if you integrate into the community, participate in their traditions, eat local food, learn the language, and learn their history.
5. Learn something new
Travel should be all about discovering, exploring, and learning. It’s one of the best educations you can have! You’ll learn all about new cultures, learn more about yourself, and you could even learn a new skill – like TEFL! – that will help you to continue to travel for many months or years to come, and help enrich your life experience.
Why you should make your travel meaningful
1. Your memories last longer
We know holidays, or travelling in general, is memorable and really fun anyway, but adding meaning will make your memories go that much further. Just imagine how much more memorable it would be if you were teaching a new language to an eager child in South Korea, or helping feed the gentle giants at an elephant sanctuary in Thailand!
2. You’ll discover new things about yourself
By immersing yourself in local culture, learning new skills, and challenging yourself to take the road less travelled, you’ll learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible. (PSA: it tends to all be VERY positive!)
3. It will make you more independent
This is especially true if you choose to travel solo. With no-one to hold your hand or tell you how to do everything, you’ll have to figure it out for yourself (and, trust us, you will). You’ll start believing in yourself and your abilities more, and that feeling you get when you eventually master Tokyo’s rail system or learn how to ask a full question in Thai will be totally worth it!
4. You’ll change your life and your perspective on life
By seeing how other people live their lives, you’ll grow an appreciation and understanding of the life you have. You’ll also gain a new perspective on life in general, from your newfound knowledge of other cultures and countries. This knowledge and ability to see things from another perspective will help to make you a better communicator, negotiator, and a more compassionate person.
5. You’ll feel more fulfilled
Meaningful experiences are proof that you are doing something right and something good for the world. Soaking up the sun on a palm-fringed beach is amazing (and we would highly recommend it if you’re somewhere with a beach!), but travelling with meaning will make you feel a bigger sense of reward and achievement.