Our most recent T+L Twitter Chat on life-changing trips covered what it means to take a trip that is truly transformative—one that is imbued with the ability to relieve tension, overcome personal challenges, or give of oneself.
We asked our travel experts if they’ve ever had a travel experience that changed their life. Several agreed that Paris was life-altering, “mainly because of the proposals,” said Booking.com. Ivanka Trump agreed saying that Paris serves as a point of inspiration in her “design of hotels, clothing, and accessories.”
In an eye-opening acknowledgement, T+L fan @Finding40Book, shared how impactful volunterring in Cambodia was—witnessing how “a $40 water filter impacted a whole village” to which “$1 never [felt] the same.” Hillary Kaylor agreed, mentioning how “Cambodia is an exceptional place, especially for voluntourism.”
When our panel was asked whether they ever used travel to overcome a personal challenge, Kaylor shared how some of her “best trips came after a downturn in the economy or a break-up. That’s when you’re most fearless.” For Trump, she visited Patagonia to spend time reflecting on the journey ahead and her future goals, before joining the family business. KIND Healthy Snacks emphasized that every so often, “we all need a break! It allows you to grow, learn about yourself, and new cultures.” Canyon Ranch further emphasized the point by sharing how "investment in travel and yourself is priceless."
For an easy way to imbue a trip with more significance, T+L A-List travel specialist, Jean Newman Glock, recommended finding time to exercise and to: “jump right in the culture. Visit local haunts, cafes, stores. The big sites will wait, coffee with the town chess player won’t!” Trump agreed, saying that “the most significant part of traveling [for her] is connecting with the local community and immersing [herself] into the culture.”
However you accomplish a life-changing trip, we think that T+L Digital Intern, Maria Pedone, made the point of transformation travel best—whatever you do, don’t forget to “open your mind!”
Gabrielle Blitz is the Associate Social Media Editor at Travel + Leisure.