Travel Transformations: This Week on BootsnAll

At BootsnAll, one of the things we love about travel is that there are many brands of getting out and seeing the world. It’s not one size fits all, and everyone can travel in a way that suits their personality. We do, however, have preferences for certain kinds of travel – and traveling by checklist isn’t one of them.

We may make life lists and have travel goals, but – as we highlighted in the Indie Travel Manifesto – we value possibilities over a static to-do list. That’s one of the reasons why we like hearing tales about how people’s lives have been changed by travel – it’s almost never checking an item off a to-do list that brings about profound change. It’s often the smaller moments, the ones you don’t plan for, that may have such an impact on you that you don’t even realize it until much later.

So this week on BootsnAll, we’re focusing on the transformational power of travel.

Jennifer Miller talks about her grandmother’s death spurring her on in her quest to travel long-term with her family, and some of the highs and lows they’ve experienced since setting out on their journey. The phrase “leap of faith” comes up often. And every person who has contributed to our “How I Travel” series has talked about moments in childhood that inspired travel in later life.

Week 15 of the Indie Travel Challenge 2012 is all about travel transformations.

Saying that travel can change a person’s life can sound rather metaphysical – but it can also be quite practical. It can be something as simple as wandering the streets of Paris on your first solo overseas trip, utterly lost and too afraid to ask for help, when the lightbulb goes off over your head that you can duck into any Metro station and – just like that – be back on track, meaning there’s no such thing as being lost, although it may take you a little longer to get from Point A to Point B sometimes. (And yes, that’s exactly what happened to me in 1992, and it remains a seminal moment in my travel life.)

How has travel changed your life? Can you pinpoint a single moment – a day, an hour, a split second – when you knew that things had changed? How did that change impact your life, both on your travels and at home?

The Indie Travel Challenge is a year-long blogging project. Every Monday, we’ll post a new prompt, question, or challenge that bloggers can respond to via text, photos, or video. Respond on your own blog, and link back to BootsnAll so we can find and highlight the best submissions. 

Check out the Indie Travel Challenge landing page for all information related to the event. You can see the week’s daily prompt, follow the hashtag on Twitter, share your posts, and check out submissions from around the world.

Read more about transformational travel:

photo by Trekking Rinjani

Comments on Travel Transformations: This Week on BootsnAll

Adam Dudley
09 April 2012

One specific moment comes to mind when I think of a travel experience that transformed our life.

It was the spring of 2011 and we were two weeks into our first two-month “anti-vacation” (as we call it) to Sarasota, Florida.

My wife and I had just got rid of our house and 90% of our stuff…and…adopted a 20-hour a week work schedule.

We were driving down a beach street on an absolutely pristine spring day for Florida…warm sun, clear skies, cool ocean breeze, in the mid-70s…slightly buzzed from our visit to our new favorite craft beer bar just down the street from our rustic, botanical garden cottage.

All of sudden we both looked at each other and said, “Is this real? Is this really our life now?”…and…we proceeded to pinch each other to make sure we weren’t dreaming.

And we just laughed and laughed and grinned from ear to ear.

It was at that moment that we knew we had done the right thing by following our own hearts and intuition…and…by doing the opposite of what “normal” society had planned for us since birth (life in the rat race).

At that moment I think we both knew that our long-term travel lifestyle was going to be an ongoing thing…and…we knew that we would find ways to make it work and work well.

10 April 2012

For more years than I can count, my family has been driving to Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard for our vacations. I love Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard always enjoyed going there. But I always wanted to do more, to see more of the world and to show my children the world. After one such vacation where my daughters and I stayed and my husband could only get away for one night, I realized that I planned these vacations to please my husband and he was too busy to join us! So I decided that I was done with that and I told him that I wanted to take the girls to Italy – a place I have always dreamed of going. He said no, he did not want to go. So I said OK, we’ll go without you. And we did.

I planned for more than a year so that I could save money to pay for the trip. My daughters were 10 and 15 at the time of the trip and some people thought I was crazy. I spent 11 days in a country where we had never been before and did not speak the language. We did not go on a tour package – I planned and booked everything myself. It was an amazing experience for me and my daughters. This trip absolutely changed me. I learned that I can do this all by myself and it made me hungry for more travel.

After that I took my daughters to the Cayman Islands. In a few weeks I am going on another trip to Europe – I am going to Paris and Nice with a friend. My daughters have learned that they too can do this. I’m also taking my daughters to Maine this year – another place we’ve never been before. They now know that each year I want to take them to some place we have never been. We have many more adventures to plan.

11 April 2012

My backpack was stolen on day-5 of a 3-mo Europe trip, and it was perfectly liberating :)

18 April 2012

I recently spent some time in India and was asked by a “Non-travelling” friend if being around the people there bothered me at all.

I realized that it has been years since I even noticed a person’s color or race. It’s just not significant.

If they can give me directions is usually the most important thing :)

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