My Bucket list: Learn, Travel and Giveback
Updated: Jun 5, 2019
One of my favourite things to do, is to tick off a destination on my bucket list. For most of us, including myself, many of these destinations are places I’ve seen on Instagram or that have always been top tourist attractions such as the Taj Mahal or Big Ben. However, as I have travelled, my bucket list has changed and expanded as I have heard about hidden gems from locals.
Being in the same space and place, doing the same things every single day can be mind numbing without you even realizing it. Routine and familiarity are great. Yet there is something so liberating from the disruption travel causes. Strangely enough, it’s from this disruption where you learn the most about life, people and yourself.
Personally, I have focused on experiential travel, which has taught me more than I ever could have imagined. It can be daunting at times to navigate your way around a city or town using public transport where you can’t speak or read the local language or to stay in a homestay in which life is much simpler than what you are used to. However, how you deal with these experiences is what shapes you. I have submerged myself in different cultures by living and working within them and by interacting with the locals on more than just a surface level. I have loved every second of the cultural exchange, whilst expanding my existing knowledge and cultural agility. These new experiences have made me ask myself big questions about my way of life, my purpose and my passions.
The most precious learning experience I have had, is learning about myself. It can be quite hard to push yourself outside your comfort zone in your everyday life. Yet, whilst travelling you have no choice. You are often thrown into uncomfortable situations and forced to deal with them. This has given me a new found sense of confidence and independence, knowing that I can deal with anything that comes way my, even in a foreign country. Through learning about myself, I have learnt that I can reinvent myself too. I no longer have those limiting beliefs placed on me by others or myself. I have had the opportunity to chase what I love doing with no judgements.
Traveling isn’t just about seeing with your eyes, it's about fully experiencing a new culture through its people, food, practices and language. Better yet, it’s about experiencing this new place through cultural relativism. This refers to experiencing a new place without judging it against our own culture, but viewing it in its own right. Although this is often tough, especially when traveling through developing countries, it helps us to accept what we are seeing.
Generally speaking, if you are travelling or well-travelled, you probably come from a privileged background. This isn’t always the case, but often it is. This is nothing to be ashamed of. Although I have grown up in South Africa where there is a large wealth gap, I have always been sheltered from the reality many people have to face. However, I only truly realized my privilege when I was living and working with in a low-income area of Thailand.
Although it is often difficult to face your own privilege without feeling guilty, one of the most enriching experiences you can have is giving back to the local communities when you travel. This has been on my personal agenda and travel goals for over the past year and has transformed and enhanced by experiential travel to new heights. This can be as simple and easy as buying locally produced goods, going on ethical tours, staying in a local homestay, volunteering and supporting self sustainable projects that aim to empower the local communities. Asia is booming with social enterprises making a difference across the region. Being involved and supporting them has been an enlightening experience.
Pursuing Goals Whilst Travelling:
There is so much more that can be taken away from your travel experience. Why not use your experience to accelerate your personal growth and gain skills that you can use to change your life back home? This has been the best thing I have done whilst travelling.
1.Make the effort to connect with inspirational people and learn from them.
2. Do things that you love and you’ll start to find your passion
3. Explore your potential by trying new things and ask yourself big questions such as: What is my purpose? How can I make a difference in this world/community?
4. Travel to a place outside your comfort zone. For many, this will be an emerging market. You may feel uncomfortable at times but you’ll grow like you never knew you could.
5. Grasp the opportunities that come your way
6. Practice gratitude and having a yes attitude
By pursuing these goals, I have grown into a person that I am proud of.
Journey of a lifetime
If all of this sounds like it’s calling your name then look no further than the Social Impact Journey offered by TribesforGOOD. Dive head first into a unique 7-day experience in Mumbai! The Social Impact Journey is a mesmerizing journey for individuals interested in the social impact space, entrepreneurship, innovation or India and its society as a whole. If you are looking to learn, travel and give back, this journey is for you! You will be introduced to the most fascinating, ambitious and inspirational social entrepreneurs! These individuals will tell their gripping story and share their innovative solutions to today’s most pressing social, cultural, and environmental challenges.
This is a bucket list must!
The applications for Social Impact Journey for 2019 are open now: https://www.tribesforgood.com
About the author: Kelsey has always been interested in the social sector. "I feel like I have truly found my passion whilst working in Vietnam, which is merging travel and social enterprises."
Kelsey is working with TribesforGOOD as a content creator.
Image Credits: Kelsey and Sarah Isaacs, from the project Street Sleeper.