There is definitely something to be said about traveling with all your senses! It creates a much deeper and richer travel experience.
I recently received a newsletter from one of my favorite travel companies (and where I worked for many years), Asia Transpacific Journeys. They’ve been a leader in the travel industry for as long as I can remember and if it wasn’t for my personal passions around adoptive family travel, I’d still be with them!
But I digress…
The title of the newsletter was “Tantalize Your Senses, Tips for Immersive Travel in Asia”. I was immediately drawn in. I spent the better part of my early travel career traipsing around Asia; leading groups, planning groups and individual travel itineraries, scouting trips and loving Asia. My daughter is from China and if there is anything I’m certain about, it’s that the places from which my children hail, have become my first loves in terms of travel!
The newsletter goes on to describe an experience whose memory was invoked by a single picture. It was beautifully written and captured my imagination more than anything I’ve read in quite sometime. Do you know why? Because that’s exactly what I do, and what I talk about!
Vivid memories of special experiences will always come reeling back to you when you travel if you’ve planned well and if you remember these things:
1) Be present. Put down your cell phone and take it all in! If you don’t stop to smell the roses, you’ll never know they were there.And this goes for meals and relaxing time at the hotel. Regenerate by connecting with those with whom you are sharing this experience. Talk! And if you’re alone, journal. One of the fastest ways to recreate those amazing moments is by writing them down.
2) Know the destination and activities.Do some pre-planning or contact a reputable travel company to help you. When you know about the place you are traveling to, you can make the most of it. Understand the culture and immerse yourself in it. Know what sites you want to visit and make sure it happens. Are there any activities you want to participate in? If so, do it! The worst feeling in the world is to travel halfway around the world and NOT do something you wanted to while you were there!
3) Participate in adventure activities. One of the best ways to make sure an experience is seared into your memory is by making it into an adventure. Research shows that stepping outside your comfort zone builds self-esteem and confidence; strengthens problem solving skills and creativity; connects participants more deeply; strengthens your immune system; reduces stress; gives the adventurer an increased sense of When these things happen, it is not only good for your body and mind, but it creates lasting memories.
4) Always have a soft place to land! Don’t simply pick the cheapest hotel.Especially if you’re having an adventure. Your body needs time to regenerate and that won’t happen if you’re uncomfortable. Know the hotels, or have someone give you a recommendation. Making sure a hotel meets needs of everyone you are traveling with is essential to connecting, sharing and creating memories.
5) Take time to reflect and talk about your experiences! At the end of every day, think about what you did. Talk about your experiences. Did you know your body creates serotonin even when you are simply reflecting on significant experiences? It’s true. And serotonin makes us feel good! Journaling is a great way to reflect on your experiences – and the health benefits of journaling are well known. So spend some time every day reflecting on your experiences, especially if you want to have the ability to conjure up all those amazing memories at the sight of a single image! 
If you want to dig deeper into any of the tools I mention above, check out my blog posts on the health benefits of journaling, how the chemicals of connection work, or understanding the benefits of transformative travel.

I’d love to help you design a life-changing, memory evoking trip so when you are ready to explore the world with your family, schedule a 30-minute Discovery Session with me at

Let’s get out there and create some memories!

All my best,

Roasting marshmallows on Pacaya

Bambi Wineland is the mother of two internationally adopted children, a traveler, a writer, a Certified Professional Coach, and the Founder and CEO of Motherland Travel. Motherland Travel began by designing Heritage Journeys for families with internationally adopted children. The emphasis of those Heritage Journeys has always been on deepening family connections, building self-esteem and cultivating pride in a family’s multi-cultural heritage. Motherland Travel also uses the philosophies of transformative Travel for designing family trips with purpose – building rich connections, with each other and the world! Read more about her here >>

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