We are all guilty of getting in a rut with our daily lives and travel is no exception. How many of us take the same type of vacation every year? We take the yearly cruise or visit the same mountain retreat and then come home feeling unfulfilled or bored with the trip. The proverbial same old, same old. Well my wanderlust friends, things are about to change. How about you stop the yearly trips to the beach and plan all your trips this year with a purpose in mind?
Traveling with a purpose does not mean having a minute-by-minute itinerary or that you can’t branch off the path but it does give you a more meaningful experience and can bring unexpected life changing opportunities. When planning your getaways ask yourself what is the goal for this trip? The key is to have a specific purpose. By focusing on one type of activity, you will be able to immerse yourself and have a deeper connection with the experience and ultimately fantastic meaningful memories. Here are some ideas for traveling with a purpose:
- Volunteer– Whether it’s a humanitarian trip or an archeological dig, volunteering will definitely have meaning.
- Wine or food– If you are a wine lover but want to truly be a connoisseur, take a weeklong class. If food is your thing, find a cooking school or food tour.
- Sporting event- For every sport, there are events at all times of the season and in different parts of the country. Go and indulge in strawberries and cream at Wimbledon.
- Hiking? From the Grand Canyon to Camino de Santiago, you can always hike with a purpose in mind.
- Parlez-vous Francais? If you have always wanted to learn a language, try an immersion program. What better way to learn the language and culture of another country than by living with a host family?
- A history buff? Pick a topic and explore it in depth. There are parts of history in every state so the sky’s the limit.
- Always wanted to learn more about art? Visit museums and art galleries in a certain area and take a local art class.
- Looking for a spiritual awakening? Delve into the many retreats that are offered from yoga to mindfulness or make a pilgrimage to Bethlehem.
- If water is what you need- Look into the many trips surrounding water. You could paddle down the Colorado Rider, white water raft, scuba dive multiple reefs or take a houseboat through the lochs in England.
- Pick a subject and study it. Want to learn more about Arthurian legend? Take a literature class in England.
- Are you into growing your family tree? Visit where you came from and research family members in the town records.
- Totally hooked on a TV series? Go visit where it was filmed. I am totally going to take the Outlander tour with my daughter.
These are just a few ideas, but it’s important to make your trip meaningful to you and think outside the box. I know someone who loved browsing consignment shops and heard Santa Fe had amazing shops, so she took a long weekend and went there with that purpose in mind. She came back excited about all the treasures she ran across. As Dr. Seuss exclaimed, “Oh the place you’ll go!” just go with a purpose in 2019.
Debbie Martinez is a Miami Dade resident and Travel Editor for The Florida Villager. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.