There are five reasons humans travel. How deep is yours?

Traveling comes pretty naturally to us humans. Whether it was due to hunting, migration, trade, conflict, curiosity; we have moved about the earth ever since we started walking on two legs. Not every person will go great distances in their lifetime, but each of us travels in some way.

Why do you go far?

Nowadays, you can group most of the individual reasons for travel into one of five categories. We have ranked them by increasing level of depth. Deep travel is a relatively new buzzword in tourism that aims to establish itself as threshold for meaningful journeys. It can be a useful concept to consider when evaluating why we are traveling in the first place.

Travel To Relax
escape from the every day obligations and do nothing for a little while

Travel To Play
enjoy and be entertained by sights, encounters and activities that are novel

Travel To Gather
meet with others who live someplace else, be it family, friends, colleagues or connections

Travel To Learn
practice skills, acquire knowledge and pursue personal growth 

Travel To Live
seek safety, access adequate resources, or find a place to call home

With Actuality Abroad, we practice a deeper travel by way of learning. This approach is a combination of mindset, habits and principles. Some basic methods in ‘traveling to learn’ can be adopted by anyone, in any context. Perhaps you already incorporate some of these into your travels. Here is our advice for those who are interested in traveling deeper.

  • Before you arrive, set some intentions for what you hope to gain from this experience. This could include practicing skills, acquiring knowledge or pursuing personal growth.
  • Maximize the amount of time you spend with people who live locally. Seek out opportunities to hear the stories of people who live differently. Ask questions and listen to understand, not just to reply.
  • Dig into the history. Find out how humanity and the environment evolved in this place and under what influences. Why are things are the way they are now?
  • Spend your days engaged in activities that reveal what is exceptional about a place, its people or their culture. What do they do really well here?
  • Build in time for reflection each day. Consider how this experience impacts your ideas of identity, belonging, wealth, power, prejudice, change and progress.

When you start traveling to learn, you can no longer settle for tourism-as-usual. It isn’t enough to just travel to relax, play or gather anyone. You yearn for something deeper.