Last week I talked about Family Adventure Therapy and how it is used to create an amazing family vacation. I’d also like to share some information about Transformative Travel and why I use the concepts when building trips for families I work with.

What is Transformative Travel?

Transformative Travel is travel that creates opportunities for connection, self-reflection and growth; gaining self-awareness; and expanding consciousness. It is purposeful travel that incorporates adventure activities, time in nature and cultural immersion in order to learn, develop, and grow as an individual and consequently, as a family.

I talk a lot about the concepts of Transformative Travel with my clients. When we travel we are ripe for change because we are already stepping outside of our box. Using these concepts is an easy way to create a positive family culture while you are traveling.

Some of the benefits of Transformative Travel:

  • Clarity in your relationships
  • Growth in self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Discovering new capabilities
  • Expansion of self-awareness and consciousness
  • Increased passion for life and greater compassion for others
  • Stronger connections to yourself and other family members
  • Gaining insights about yourself and the way your family interacts
  • A new perspective on what truly matters to you and to your family

From her book, Transformative Travel, An Enjoyable Way to Foster Radical Change, Susan L. Ross, talks about the four factors that can contribute to the likelihood of positive transformation through travel:

  1. Novelty! A destination that takes the individual away from known experiences.
  2. Activities that stimulate contemplation and emotion.
  3. Post-travel activities that help the individual reflect upon and extract meaning from their travel experience.
  4. One-on-one intercultural experiences involving in-depth interaction, otherwise known as cultural immersion.

Dr. Jeffrey Kottler, PhD wrote a research paper in 2001 called The Therapeutic Benefits of Structured Travel Experiences. In this paper he discussed how transformation could be achieved through thoughtful, planned, intentional travel. He noted that in order for transformation to occur:

  • The mindset must be ripe for change.
  • There must be insulation from usual influences.
  • We must embrace the unknown (face adversity, challenge, discomfort, fear).
  • There must be emotional arousal (positive or negative).
  • There has to be heightened senses (this makes us more vulnerable).
  • There should be movement through time, space and place.
  • There must be a commitment of intentions and reflection on experiences.

When I design an itinerary for a family, I talk extensively about what each family member likes and doesn’t like. I want to understand what each person needs in order to achieve the goals they desire as individuals and as a family. Planning travel is as much a team effort as is the trip itself. My goal is to create a trip that meets the needs of every family member and provides opportunities to connect more deeply, build self-esteem and foster rich cultural connections.

Let’s put it this way … much of our fulfillment these days seems to be based on Instagram and Facebook likes. But the world is one gigantic learning environment. My aim is to design trips that impact your family in a positive way. I want to help you create shifts in the way you interact with each other and the universe that do NOT end when you come home (or when you turn off your computer)!

I’d love to help you design a transformative trip for your family! When you are ready to explore the world with your family, you can schedule a 30-minute Discovery Session with me at

Let’s get out there and create some positive transformations in the world!

All my best,

Bambi Wineland is the mother of two internationally adopted children, a traveler, the Founder and CEO of Motherland Travel. Motherland Travel designs Heritage Journeys for families with internationally adopted children. The emphasis of these Heritage Journeys is on family bonding, building self-esteem and cultivating pride in a family’s multi-cultural heritage. Read more about her here >>

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