Transformative Trips To Help You "Find Yourself" - Full-Time Travel

Transformative Trips To Help You “Find Yourself”

Transformative Trips To Help You "Find Yourself"

By Esme Benjamin

Cliched though it may be, the concept of traveling to “find yourself” is rooted in travel’s unique ability to bring us clarity and direction when we need it most. During life’s messy in-between moments, when we are muddling through a transition or feel completely stuck, the experience of travel can help us discover more about who we are and what we want. If you’re looking for a trip that will aid self-knowledge (AKA one that will help you find yourself), book one of these growth-focused travel experiences, stat. 

Camp Grounded by Digital Detox: Get offline and live in the moment 

Perfect for: People who miss the simplicity and connection of their childhood summer camp 

If you often find yourself wondering what you’re capable of without technological distractions, perhaps it’s time you took a trip with Digital Detox. Camp Grounded is a nostalgic reimagining of summer camp designed for adults who value human connections over WiFi connections. Attendees go offline the whole weekend and all talk of work is forbidden. Instead, there’s a fun-packed itinerary of activities and “playshops,” from archery and acro-yoga to creative writing and music. Plus, campfires and s’mores galore, naturally. 

Find connection around the campfire at Camp Grounded | By Leon Contreras

Wild Women Expeditions: Channel your inner outdoorswoman

Perfect for: Fans of Cheryl Strayed’s ‘Wild,’ who want an accessible nature adventure

Female owned and run, Wild Women Expeditions hosts adventurous trips across 30 global destinations – from Tanzania to Mongolia. Join a diverse group of female travelers – many of them solo – on a horseback riding tour of the Scottish Highlands, a kayaking trip along the Italian Riviera, or a multisport adventure through Yellowstone National Park to name a few. If you love the idea of a true adventure involving an accessible level of physical challenge, a Wild Women Expedition is the one for you. 

Esalen: Explore all aspects of yourself on the Cali coast 

Perfect for: Hippies at heart seeking a holistic approach to personal betterment 

Probably the most famous holistic wellness center in America, Esalen has been offering guests workshops and retreats for “emergent transformation and internal exploration” since the 1960s. Esalen’s programming spans topics ranging from writing to meditation and sustainability – all with a new age-y spin – and its location, overlooking the deep blue Pacific in Big Sur, sets the tone for a life-changing experience. 

Could you do 10 days of silent meditation? | By Hope Film Photo

Vipassana Meditation Retreat: Quiet the mind with 10 days of silence

Perfect for: Those with a desire to take their meditation practice to the next level

Ever since Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey tweeted about his grueling but transformational experience with Vipassana, the 10-day silent retreat program has been firmly on the radar of mainstream America. Held at retreat centers across the world, Vipassana is a meditation technique taught to new practitioners over the course of 10 days. For the duration of the stay, attendees must remain silent and are not permitted to engage in anything that might distract them from the task at hand (learning to focus the mind with sustained attention), including smart phones, books, sex, or exercise (excluding a daily walk outside). It’s not for the faint of heart, but advocates like Dorsey say it’s one of the best ways to understand one’s inner nature.

SOJRN: Live and learn abroad while working remotely

Perfect for: Anyone who wants to pursue their passions without a huge life upheaval

Described as ‘work from home meets study abroad,’ SOJRN offers remote workers the opportunity to join a four-week deep-dive into a destination and its culture. Each trip (or “chapter”) involves jetting to a dream location for a month, with accommodation and a work space taken care of, and ample opportunities for learning during free time. The curriculum of activities connects to the destination (think wine in Tuscany, fashion in Paris, philosophy in Athens, wellness in Bali, Spanish in Medellin), so you explore your niche interests while savoring a true slow travel experience at the same time. 

Read an interview with SOJRN founder Tara Cappel>>
Learn about wine in Italy with SOJRN | Photo by Anny Richey

The Art of Living Retreat Center: Find self-expression and wellbeing in the mountains

Perfect for: Those determined to make wellness a priority this year 

Nestled in the forested mountains of Boone, North Carolina, The Art of Living Retreat Center is a one-stop for all aspects of wellbeing. Browse programs by theme – happy, healthy, inspired or relaxed – and choose according to how you need nurturing. If you need a calming break from everyday pressures, a yoga and meditation retreat might be just the thing. Want to harness self-discovery through a creative program led by a noteworthy guest teacher? Try author/illustrator Mari Andrews’ upcoming creating from the soul retreat. 

Cairn & Sky: Stretch yourself physically and emotionally

Perfect for: Guys who want to focus on personal growth in a supportive environment

Wyoming-based Cairn & Sky offers retreats for all kinds of men, geared around personal growth and connection. Facilitators Scott and Jerry incorporate both physical and emotional elements into the experience, so an average day might start with a challenging hike in the mountains around Jackson Hole, followed by a journaling exercise and fire-side conversation. Group size is limited to 12 to keep the whole thing intimate, allowing attendees to comfortably open up and connect with one another.

Do a mind/body reset at PachaMama | By Jared Rice

PachaMama Transformation Cycle: Dive into a total mind/body reset

Perfect for: Those without time constraints who are seeking profound change

Situated deep in the steamy rainforest of Costa Rica, PachaMama is an eco-village and retreat center that bills itself as “a platform for a profound voyage into healing, self-acceptance and expansion of consciousness.” If you’re serious about making some changes, this is the place for you. Of all the programs offered at PachaMama, the Transformation Cycle is the most intensive. Spread over five weeks, it’s a holistic approach to mind and body revitalization that incorporates a nutritional detox, group therapy, yoga and movement, a 7-day silent meditation retreat, and a sweat lodge ceremony.  You'll leave feeling brand new.

"This sculpture is called "Transmission" by artist Daniel Popper. Its a reminder that we are all rooted in love, unity and the divine. She stands a towering 28 feet tall and is located on Mojave Moon Ranch in Joshua Tree. The land is private property, so you can see it from the viewing platform off of Sunfair Road. And take it from me, it's best viewed at sunset."

Reel: @johnofah

There's more to Greece than the white and blue buildings and the surrounding Mediterranean Sea. If you're planning a visit, check out these places below!

📍Kokkinopilos. Preveza
📍Verliga Dragon lake, Thessaly
📍Ithaca island, lonian Sea
📍Aoos springs lake, Epirus
📍Lake Prespes, Macedonia
📍Balda di Stringa waterfalls, Epirus
📍Meteora, Thessaly
📍Pelion, Thessaly
📍Lake Zorika, Epirus
📍Mt Lakmos
📍Crete island, Aegean Sea
📍Gistova Dragon lake, Macedonia

Reel: @farawayfarers

Swim or kayak through the limestone cliffs of the Twin Lagoon, a must-visit destination for those traveling to Coron, Palawan, Philippines. It is called "twin" lagoon because it consists of two lagoons separated by a limestone cliff, with one lagoon on top of the other. The water in the inner lagoon is warm and clear, with a stunning turquoise color that makes it popular for swimming and snorkeling.

Reel: @travelifejournal

Take a dip in a series of seven saltwater lagoons located in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. The Lagoons of Baltinache are known for their beautiful turquoise waters and unique geological formations. The high concentration of minerals in the water gives it a unique buoyancy that makes swimming in the lagoons a unique experience.

Reel: @everchanginghorizon

Watching the sun rise above the clouds at Haleakalā National Park is one of the most memorable experiences you could have. Haleakalā is a Hawaiian name that means “House of the Sun” and is an awesome place to watch the clear night sky and stars fade away as the sun lights up the sky and the earth.

Reel: @girlchill_sunset

Just 1 hour from Shanghai by train, Cherry Blossom Valley is a popular tourist destination, particularly in the spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. The valley is named after the thousands of cherry blossom trees that cover the area and create a stunning display of pink and white flowers. The trees were originally planted in the 1980s by a group of Japanese experts who were invited to China to help with reforestation efforts. The best time to visit is typically in late March or early April. Get there early to beat the crowds!

Reel: @cyncynti

New Zealand is unbelievable. See it for yourself:

1. Fiordland National Park
2. A classic backcountry hut trip
3. Blue Pools walk
4. Hooker Lake
5. Milford Sound
6. Lake Pukaki

Reel: @kylekotajarvi

Surrounded by lush greenery, towering karst mountains, and the river flowing through, the Detian Waterfall is a popular tourist attraction and a symbol of the close relationship between China and Vietnam. It is the largest waterfall in Asia and the fourth largest cross-border waterfall in the world.

Reel: @sophoebelous

Escape to a serene and peaceful oasis away from the bustling city of Marrakech at Le Jardin Secret—a beautiful and historic garden where visitors can escape the noise and chaos and enjoy the beauty of nature. The garden was originally built in the 16th century and is home to many different species of plants, including exotic flowers, citrus trees, and palm trees.

Reel: @hypermiggzz

For a magical moment and bucket list travel experience, visit the end point of the annual monarch butterfly migration. Starting in August, the monarchs travel 2,800 miles south from Canada, making a temporary home amid the towering trees of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico, where the two most popular sanctuaries to view them are el Rosario in the state of Michoacan and Piedra Herrada in Estado de México. Standing in silence while thousands of delicate wings beat in unison is something you'll never forget.

Reel: @juliiathompson

There's just something beautiful about snow covered landscapes like this popular attraction in southwestern Utah. Known for its unique geology, @brycecanyonnps_gov consists of a series of natural amphitheaters, called "hoodoos," formed by erosion of the rock layers.

Photo: @nathanleeallen

As we experience a couple more weeks of winter, we can't help but dream of tropical destinations like Hawaii. The warm water, sunny skies, and consistent waves make it an ideal destination for surfers. Hawaii has a vibrant surf culture and community and is also a beautiful place to explore outside of the water, with lush green mountains, stunning beaches, and unique cultural experiences.

Reel: @christopherballadarez

1. @sequoiakingsnps, California
2. @canyonlandsnps, Utah
3. @olympic_nps, Washington
4. @whitesandsnps, New Mexico
5. Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona
6. Knik Glacier, Alaska

Reel: @nathanleeallen