The art of experience travelling.

What does experience mean to you?

By Kasey Donnelly16th June 2021

The experience traveller.

If you ask people about the kind of things they want to do at some point in their life, most will say to travel the world. And as cliche, as it is – it’s a dream many share.

The idea of adventure, journey, and new experience is exciting and exhilarating. However, the term 'experience' can mean so many different things for different people. In this article, we have taken a look into what kind of experiences travellers think about, and that we will see more of it in the upcoming years.

We also are asking you to think: What does experience mean to you? Are you travelling as a thrill–seeker? Are you someone with a craving to experience new cultures, language, and cuisine? As a definition, an experience is something that leaves lasting events and changes on yourself. It is not just simply travelling from A to B, but what the road that your travelling teaches you about yourself along the way, and of course, this kind of experience can be close to home still. An experience is not only abroad and venturing to the other side of the world. An experience can be found wherever you are and with the right tools and mindset, you can have a fulfilling, life-changing experience anywhere you desire.

The traveller that doesn’t leave a trace – or a carbon footprint.

How big is my travel carbon footprint? With air pollution being a major world issue, you can understand why there has been a movement of eco–friendly warriors in the past years leading up to 2021. And although the carbon statistics can be quite scary, the desire for experience and adventure across the world is too strong to abandon – and the eco-friendly traveller is conscious of this.

A huge benefit for this way can be seen in this example: You can still have luxury at a more responsible rate with the Maldives' 'Soneva Fushi' resort, ideal for the dream honeymoon destination. The villa is crafted from locally sourced materials as well as their surfing program being the first 100% sustainable surfing program out there, using 100% eco–friendly gear. This one for an example of why we believe a popular travel trend of 2021 will be eco-friendly-focused travel, as the luxury and quality you desire can still be included while benefiting the environment at the same time.

The Wellness fanatic.

If yoga, meditation, and holistic healing sound like something you would enjoy, a wellness retreat may be for you. The wellness retreat travel market has sky-rocketed in the past six years: there were 7.3 billion U.S. dollars in revenue made in 2015, and to reach 11.3 billion U.S. dollars by 2021. There is certainly a calling for the wellness industry, and with the growing age of social media domination, the influencers and celebrities of the world make us eager to have the same lifestyles that they have.

The wellness craze will most certainly be continuing to grow as a travel trend from 2021 onwards, with the world progressing in scientific advances constantly, people want to take advantage of what science and wellness can offer them; for example, the Kamayala wellbeing resort in Thailand offers many types of meditation, holistic treatment, and tailored catering for everyone. Its customers leave feel restarted/renewed, though, many of these kinds of resorts and destinations are more on the pricey side. This trend will be seen in the upcoming 2021 travel world due to the pandemic's effects, as people more than ever before and wanting to treat themselves and be focused on their health after such a long string of events of staying indoors and not being as active as usual. So, an opportunity to look carefully and nourish oneself will be highly desired in the upcoming 2021 by many.

Postponed - to - present.

There comes a time in life where you feel like you have already ticked off most of the life boxes, but those planned adventures you still daydreamed about where you went backpacking through Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand never happened. Then a worldwide pandemic breaks out, your perspective changes a whole lot. You realize that there is no age limit or a timescale on experience. An experience later in life can be just as great and mind-blowing as one twenty years beforehand. Who knows, maybe already living through some life experiences but you in a whole better position to appreciate travel. In August 2017, a survey was done on over-5os, asking what their top regrets were not doing so far – and 91% confirmed it was not travelling enough. A concern for these postponed travellers is fear of judgment, but there is no age limit to travel, travel is there for anyone at any time in their life. And after a worldwide Pandemic stripping us from all our freedoms, anyone would want to race to the chance of seeing and experiencing all the places they dreamed of and never were able to go to before.

The liminal traveller.

The jump straight out of university into what you soon realise is the actual adult world can be one of the scariest transitions any young adult will face. Their hollows walls of the university are swapped with the looming presence of graduate jobs, first-time buyer housing prices, and the endless tuition fees yet-to-be paid … So, what is the obvious solution? Travelling of course.

It is the most popular solution to fill in the gap in the liminal stage between what you thought was the big wide world, to the actual one. It allows that young person the freedom to explore and experience culture, art, cuisine, independence and so much more. The liminal traveller will most certainly be an upcoming travel trend in 2021. After the restraints and setbacks, the pandemic has brought to the world, young adults will be dying to escape and discover the see what the world has to offer for them. The only issue for most of them being the financial side of things. The liminal traveller will usually stay in hostels and B&B’s, which provide the cheapest kind of accommodation. Another important need for this kind of travellers is safety. So again, the cheaper the better, but also factoring in a clean and safe environment. This is a type of experience traveller will change and evolve, but will always be there.

Travelling by faith.

To travel by faith can mean a lot of different things. For some, it could mean travelling to a sacred location and to pilgrimage for an amount of time or healing oneself in the saltwater of the black sea, or visiting the sacred city of Mecca. But there is also a market in faith travel this upcoming 2021 for postponed marriages. A recent example, a Hindu - British couple whose parents both moved from India to start a life in the UK. While the bride and groom have been raised in the UK, most mixed faith backgrounds take their roots to their background seriously and find it important to recognise themselves as both Indian and British and will teach them both nationalities important features whilst growing up. So, for their wedding, what better idea than to travel to India and experience their culture, history and religion in a way that will leave them with one of the best experiences of their lives. In a pandemic brimmed to the top with postponed wedding plans, many would jump to the chance to not only travel and experience India for themselves, but to also have one of the most important days in their lives in somewhere that is more than a destination, but somewhere they can go back to their roots.

The ‘D.E.L.I.M.E’ approach to experience travelling.

Let’s do things the slow way.

These types of experience travellers we have investigated above all have a shared similarity. Although they are all very different to each other, they all capture the same movement and ideas of ‘slow travel’.

1986 Italy, Italian grandmothers protested a fast-food shop opening by the Spanish steps by making vats of homemade spaghetti in protest right outside their doors. Their point was derived from these large corporations taking away authentic culture from different countries. Before we know it, McDonald’s could be all over the world and replace many of the family-owned, traditional cuisines.

Slow travel, regardless of what kind of experience traveller you think you are, is important for us all to try and follow as a keyway in making your experience travel the best it can be.

Here are six ways to go about slow travel the right way:

  1. Slow and steady wins the race = Rushing about frantically will not do anyone any good. Plan your days the night before of the locations you want to visit and do a few at the time spread throughout your holiday. No one can truly experience a location by trying to fit in twenty locations a day.
  2. The social media sin = We are all guilty for it – the hours scrolling, posting and tweeting we do each day. And in this day, it is understandable to want to, especially when seeing loved ones is harder than ever these days. We suggest limiting yourself to a time frame you should be on social media during your days, and after the original hard start of it, you’ll reap the benefits instantly.
  3. For the people = Ultimately this could be the most important part of the slow travel mentally. Visit locals whose B&B is family run or taste homecooked recipes their families have passed down for years. This is their home and food, identity, and culture. It is crucial to embrace, learn and listen and most importantly be respectful of their lifestyle, but also to enjoy and experience another way of life!
  4. Eco–friendly always = Travel with a slow mentality and try to use bikes, local buses etc. Slow-paced travelling will result in a slow travel state of mind.
  5. Giving back = Think what you can do to give back to local communities = Where you spend your money, whether it be a local restaurant/shop etc.
  6. Love the language = No one is expecting you to learn a language fluently within a week but having a few phrases up your sleeve and at least attempting to learn, shows great respect and interest to people who are from there.

So where do I start?

It is always the hardest part. You are probably thinking about what to do first and whether you can even discipline yourself enough in ways that are suited for a world before modern-day technology. The best thing is to just start. Whether that means finding the ideal destination for you or planning out how you will try and learn the language for a certain country, or whether it means simply practice using your social media less. The hardest part will be to start, but it will also be the best thing you do too.

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