TRAVEL INTENTIONALLY, ENJOY THE ADVENTURE

Devata Destination Guide

TRAVEL INTENTIONALLY, ENJOY THE ADVENTURE

Devata Destination Guide

We Americans aren’t particularly renowned as world travelers. Apart from being notorious monoglots, our more well-travelled European (not to mention Australian) friends are frequently shocked to hear that an entire year of hard work typically only earns us a measly two weeks of vacation time (who decided that?). With so much work and so little vacation time we very often end up meeting our hard earned time off with one of two mindsets:

by Kent Drever

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by Kent Drever

author image

We Americans aren’t particularly renowned as world travelers. Apart from being notorious monoglots, our more well-travelled European (not to mention Australian) friends are frequently shocked to hear that an entire year of hard work typically only earns us a measly two weeks of vacation time (who decided that?). With so much work and so little vacation time we very often end up meeting our hard earned time off with one of two mindsets:

1.The Maximizer: I need to pack in as much as physically possible to maximize the time that I do have. I’m going to backpack through four different countries in two weeks! It’s all about packing in as many sights, pictures, souvenirs, and passport stamps as possible.

2. The Slug: I’m feeling burnt from being too busy and working too hard – I need to relax as completely as possible. I’m heading to a nice tropical beach to park myself on a chaise lounge and drink cocktails for a week. It’s all about escaping the stress of the real world and doing as little as possible.

While these are, of course, extremes, they help illustrate two main motivations for how the average working individual will choose to plan their vacation time. Sadly, the first one represents an emphasis on form over substance – these are the vacations that leave you wishing you had another vacation so you could actually slow down and recover. The second more relaxation-based vacation can be absolutely necessary at times, but what it lacks is the challenge and adventure to grow you as a person.

Please allow me to introduce you to a third type of traveler – the Adventurer.

The Adventurer doesn’t travel to drown out the real world in piña coladas or to maximize the number of insta-worthy pictures he or she can take (because with enough photos you can milk your TBT to make that trip last all year on social media, right?! No.) The goal of the Adventurer is neither of those; his or her goal is to pursue experiential learning and personal growth by deliberately putting themselves in challenging situations.

I think at this point a personal example would be appropriate. This past year I had (or rather created) a gap between jobs that afforded me some time to travel in Central America. If I chose the Maximizer route I would try to hit Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama all in one month. The Slug would pick one resort or beach and spend the whole time there. I chose the Adventurer route; I had wanted to do a yoga immersion for some time so I chose to enroll in a five week classical hatha yoga immersion at an Ashram in Guatemala. It was a huge, scary commitment and upon arriving I was absolutely terrified – would I be able to survive ashram life for five whole weeks? Turns out I did.

Moreover, those five weeks turned out to be extremely challenging, peaceful, frustrating, and transformative in different moments. Overall it was an extremely healthful, growing experience, but certainly not an easy one. Growth is never easy, but it’s always worth it. Coming from the experience I can say with absolute certainty that I’m better off for having challenged myself with a leap into the uncomfortable unknown than I would have been just sticking to what was comfortable.

So, what do you want to challenge yourself with? Think of a skill or hobby that your normal schedule doesn’t permit you to explore fully. Plan your trip from there. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to dance, spend a couple weeks in Cali, Colombia doing a dance intensive. You’ll live, taste, and experience a magical aspect of Latin culture that you could never understand by just passing through. Has meditation been on your to-do list for years now? Take a meditation retreat. Outdoorsy types, finally go buy that tent and book a week to get rustic.  A good friend of mine wanted to get her skipper license, so I suggested she do it somewhere she’s always wanted to travel to. The opportunities are endless.

The next time your two weeks (or more!) come around, stop and think about what your intention is for traveling. What do you need right now? Maybe it’s a week to do absolutely nothing. That’s okay! But maybe, with a little gumption, a little bravery, and less money than you’d expect, you’re ready to take on the role of the adventurer and travel for personal growth. If it scares you a little bit, then good! That means you’re going to grow from it. Happy adventuring!

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