Last week we talked about the importance of a Heritage Journey and understanding how it can impact your family and your adopted child. I also want you to understand how a Heritage Journey can be used as a tool for transformation, self-growth and building deeper connections both culturally and within your family.
What circumstances must exist for a Heritage Journey to be transformative?
In his book,The Therapeutic Benefits of Structured Travel Experiences, 
Dr. Jeffrey Kottler, PhD, discusses the conditions that must exist if you want to use travel as a tool for transformation:

  • Mindset must be ripe for change. If you want transformation and are ready for it, be intentional about your behavior – be open to it. 
  • Insulation from usual influence. Step outside the box. Get away from the norm. 
  • Embracing the unknown (facing adversity, challenge, discomfort, fear). When you step outside your comfort zone, there is great opportunity for personal growth and transformation. 
  • Emotional arousal. There is nothing like fear, anxiety, anger, excitement or happiness to help us remember experiences. Emotional activation is positive. 
  • Heightened senses. When senses are heightened, you are functioning at optimal level. You smell, see, hear and feel things with greater intensity. In this heightened state you are more vulnerable and open to how experiences can influence you. 
  • Time structured to promote novel experiences. Creating experiences rather than just taking a trip creates an opportunity that you would not likely have at home. 
  • Commitment of intentions and reflection on experiences. Writing down 
  • your intentions and keeping a journal are great ways to accomplish this.

But here’s the clincher … do you care?
Do you want your family’s, your child’s, Heritage Journey to be a tool for transformation? Do you want this trip to be an opportunity for building deeper connections, to build self-esteem, to foster rich cultural connections that will help your child develop a positive identity? 
If so, you have to be intentional about planning a trip that allows for it!
You can sit on a beach every day and watch your kids swim in the ocean – that’s fabulous and so relaxing! You can book an all-inclusive vacation and sit on your balcony drinking a beer while watching your kids play at the water park. That right there is a dream come true for someone who has put in two solid months of 60-70 hours a week. And there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with those kinds of trips!
But if your goal is personal and family transformation while you travel, those kinds of trips, aren’t going to get you there. If you want to build deeper connections, build self-esteem and cultural connections, you have to do more! You have to want to do more and you have to plan to do more – be intentional!  
Let me show you how. So come on back next week and I promise I’ll give you a few great tools to make your next trip (Heritage Journey or not) a transformative adventure!
Meanwhile, if you want to be intentional about trip planning, identify your goals. Before I continue next week, here’s an old blog post on how I decided what goals I thought were important to a Heritage Journey. Yours might be different but if you’re interested check out, Goals for a Trip to Your Child’s Birth Country.
Until next week …
When you are ready to explore the world with your family, please schedule a 30-minute Discovery Session with me at I’d LOVE to help! 

All my best,

Bambi Wineland is the mother of two internationally adopted children, a traveler, 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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