Those of us fortunate enough to have travelled know how impactful the experience can be. The old saying that travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer couldn’t be truer, particularly these days when real, genuine happiness is a state more and more young people are struggling to achieve. Possessions won’t make us happy, at least not for the most of us, and not long term, but experiences can. Experiences become part of you.
Contiki’s marketing manager, Kele Scheppers, looks at six ways travel can make you a better person from engaging in sustainable tourism to saying ‘yes’ to new experiences that take you out of your comfort zone. It’s all about giving more than you take from this world, and in return letting the world give you so much more than just a stamp in your passport.
It encourages you to give back
“If we love exploring the beautiful blue dot we call home, we should care about keeping it safe. That’s why our incredible Contiki Cares experiences are all about protecting the places we go and the people we meet. As well witnessing some spectacular natural beauty and meeting some remarkable, inspirational people, you’ll have the chance to help support communities, protect endangered animals and back sustainable travel”, says Kele.
On Contiki’s Israel and Jordan Uncovered trip travellers will meet the women from the Iraq al-Amir co-operative in the Jordan Valley. The women who live here engage in numerous entrepreneurial activities, providing opportunities for the local community, preserving the area’s unique heritage and developing skills for unmarried women and girls: from creating gorgeous ceramic to hosting hikers who are making their way through the Jordan trail.
It encourages you to say yes
These three little letters make up one of the most powerful words in your vocabulary, and yet so often we respond with no. That knee-jerk “no” response might be easier, but saying yes creates a surge in oxytocin levels – the same chemicals evoked when we fall in love. When you travel you’ll be in a new place, often with new people, maybe speaking a new language, eating new food and most likely getting acquainted with local customs means you can get out of your comfort zone. Where else do you get the opportunity to say so much YES!?
It allows you to see cities in a new light
If 2018 taught us anything, it’s that maaaaaybe there are some warped perceptions out there about other people and places. Perspective is like gold dust, and travel gives you that opportunity to experience a place and a culture first hand, make up your own mind, and understand all the things that make a city what it is.
It helps you disconnect from the world and understand why sometimes that’s a good thing
We love Instagram. We love Whastapp. We can’t live without Google, or YouTube. This is all totally fine, but sometimes, just sometimes, it’s so good to disconnect. Disconnecting from tech lets us reconnect with our environment and ourselves. We’re more present. Travelling is the ideal time to disconnect. “Not only can timezones, roaming and Wi-Fi physically inhibit you from gettting your notifications, it’s the perfect time to soak up all the awesomeness that surrounds you and give those new experiences your 100%” says Kele.
You can always upload the selfie later….
It lets you see that the only limits you perceive are set by you.
Most of the “I could never” moments that are limiting you have been imposed on you by you. What would happen if you went to the top despite your fear of heights? Or chatted to that other traveller even though you’re not sure what to say? Most of the time your heart rate will quicken, your fingers will start to tingle, and after you take that leap you’ll fly. That’s the edge of your comfort zone, and it’s where the magic happens.
Oh and if you try and you fail? Just have a laugh… it’s not so bad.
It allows you to see and learn from other people around the world
“Too often we exist in a bubble. Same places, same people, similar lives, similar viewpoints. Travel makes us understand other cultures, and it makes us appreciate all those things that make us different,” adds Kele. Often travel also makes you realise that while our lives may differ, our emotions and values are shared. When we understand, we’re more tolerant, and tolerance is one of those amazing things you can bring home from your trip and spread in your own local community. If we’re all doing that, we’re going to be living in a world of better humans.
We believe in real experiences. We create the moments that inspire you, excite you, challenge you, connect you with the world and stay with you for life. And we care about making sure these experiences contribute positively to the people and places we visit.
Our motto is Travel with no regrets.