It’s a truism that travelling broadens the horizons — but nevertheless, expanding your mind and altering your perceptions remain some of the most powerful motivations for taking off on a trip that’s out of the ordinary.
And if you’re not satisfied absorbing new experiences as they arise and hoping that they become catalysts for changing your outlook in life, thankfully there are more instructive ways of ensuring that your next adventure is as inspirational as you hope.
With that in mind, here are five ways to make travel transformational.
If you’re a bit of a linguist, living in another nation for a year will endow you with near-native fluency.
But you can polish your skills before you leave by downloading language apps like Duolingo to listen to on your phone before testing yourself in your favourite overseas spot.
And with many months of communicating exclusively in a foreign tongue under your belt, your new capability might even lead to a job as an interpreter or translator when you return home.
Switching to a new diet and having the discipline to treat it as a permanent lifestyle change can be extremely cathartic.
It might help you lose weight, combat a medical condition or simply exist in a way which chimes more easily with your conscience.
A specialist holiday is one of the best ways to start a new diet away from everyday distractions — the vegan retreats available at responsibletravel.com are an excellent example.
3. Yoga and meditation
Jetting off into the sunset might clear your mind for a couple of weeks but making time daily for yoga and meditation can ensure that you’re calm and collected for life.
If achieving a Zen-like state is one of your lifetime aims, attending a yoga retreat run by Shamballah in stunning Sintra, Portugal sounds about perfect.
Whether you can spare three days or a full week, it’s a wonderfully fulfilling holiday.
4. Keeping fit
If your preferred fitness regime is a little more energetic than pulling the cow/cat pose, there are ways to go for the burn on holiday even if you’re miles from a gym or sports facilities.
Bodyweight exercises like push-ups and sit-ups can be completed even in cramped accommodation, so there’s no excuse not to bash out a few after waking in the morning.
Plus, drinking plenty of water, taking stairs rather than elevators and exploring on foot rather than by public transport all contribute to staying lean and mean on your adventure.
Unless you spend your sabbatical stuffed under a blanket, your vacation is bound to be a learning experience in one form or another.
But you can also use a long-term break to earn a formal qualification which helps you switch careers when you return.
For example, studying for an MBA with a provider like Anglia Ruskin Distance Learning might help you set up your own business based on travel or any other industry.
That’s our list! Share your own transformational travel tips in the comments section.