It’s a new year, and the time to start thinking about what’s ahead (and planning for where you’ll go). Maybe you’re ready to discover a new place, maybe you want to revisit an old one.
Maybe you have travel resolutions to complete, a bucket list to cross off, or have no agenda whatsoever with your plans this year. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, we’ve got an idea for you. The staff here at Travel + Leisure spends a lot of time reading about, discussing, plotting, and enjoying trips. Every story we print or publish, in the magazine and across our digital channels, is meant to inspire, inform, or assist the act of travel in some way.
For this particular piece, we looked inward, polling our team about the journeys that they remember as most transformative. There weren’t any rules or parameters: just name the one that made you think, act, or approach life differently, and to tell us about it.
The responses are as varied as our team: trips that set us on new, enriching paths; made us approach our everyday lives in a fresh way; experiences that put us entirely outside our comfort zones while inhabiting our own selves a little more completely. We made these discoveries traveling alone, in strange places, under strange circumstances, with our families—or right in the path of the seemingly ordinary.
Whether we were navigating the world by sea for several months, backpacking exotic locales, exiting our regular lives for an extended leave, or even just visiting friends for a long weekend, these trips altered us in wonderful, lasting ways. We hope your journeys do the same for you. Here’s to many more ahead.