Personal Development: Tips on how to make travel a self-development choice

Despite travel having become more accessible, and about $63 Billion dollars (yup, that’s a B!) poured into the industry by the Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) community annually–particularly Black travel–there is still a lingering idea that travel is an expensive luxury reserved for the rich, white and bougie rather than an affordable choice for all. Simply put, this simply is no longer true. Travel has become more accessible and available to all. Taping into the beautiful journey and opportunity to see the world is something I wish everyone can create the opportunity to embark on. But, much like anything in life, attaining the wonderful life-changing impact of travel begins with changing the way we think of ourselves, the way we prioritize our goals and needs, and certainly we think about what we want to get out of life. Changing our mindset changes the way we move in the world, the decisions we make, how we live, and ultimately the quality of our lives. We are each the main character in our own lives, not the narrator! What role will you play in the story of your own life? Who will write the script if not you (with guidance from Almighty of course!). If travel is your goal, Go. Dreaming is half of it. The rest depends on what actions we take to make it happen.

Here are a few ways I have learned along my journey to prioritize travel as a conscious life tool and choice for selfcare, adventure and self-development!

1. Create a travel fund: You’ve hear it before, dreams don’t work unless you do. Prioritize travel as self-care & be intentional about making it happen. Find small side hustles (refer to our Side Hustle segment in IG highlights on this) and create a savings account to deposit a little cash each month. Take an inventory of where you could minimize cost and save a little more. While we are spending more time at home these days, try ordering out less and instead learn to cook. You’ll be surprised how quickly that $ will add up. Research the location you want to visit, estimate the cost and make a plan to save for it!

2. Plan your vacation days/holidays in advance: With more companies allowing staff to work from home, who will know that you are sending that 1AM email from beautiful Magoroto Forest in Tanzania. Look at a calendar and map out holidays and long weekends—these are great for quick local, national or regional travels. I like to use tools like Skyscanner, Kayak and Google Flights to see where flying to and from is cheapest on any given day!

@verydelphineat Magoroto Forest Lodge in Tanzania.

3. Work/Volunteer abroad: If you have a bit more extended amounts of time, have trade skills or speak another language, working abroad could be an option. The hospitality industry can be a great entry point: waitressing, bartending, nanny, etc. and they allow you to really immerse into the culture. English teaching programs or work ‘n stay programs are great options to consider. The beauty of technology is that there are many websites and services out there that allow you to teach virtually. Services like ‘Workaway’ that allow travelers to pay for their room and food by helping their host with household work needs, projects, or odd jobs are also good options to consider.

4. Choose more ‘affordable’ locations: Honestly, almost anywhere in the world is affordable depending on your much you are willing to be flexible. But generally, Asia is said have some of the cheaper travel options, while Central America, North Africa and Eastern Europe also offer some cheap options, all of which make it easy to country hop at an affordable budget. This is all very relative of course but opting to travel independently instead of group trips, using public transport, staying in AirBnBs or some equally 5 start worthy hostels like the ones here for example will reduce your cost.

Once at your location, let the travel experience grow you. As the legendary Anthony Bourdain says:

“Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks – on your body or on your heart – are beautiful“-Anthony Bourdain

But how, you ask?

5. Seek enriching/immersive experiences: Traveling impacts you if you allow it. This often happens when we fully immerse yourself in the experience. Do not let social media pressure you to travel in a particular way—create trips and experiences that are immersive for you! While staying at trendy 5 start hotels and restaurants is amazing, diversity your trips by emerging yourself in local cuisine and culture. And of course, support local businesses—this is a great way to really feel the spirit of a place.

6. Document your journey: Journal. How are you feeling? What did you notice during your trip? What did you learn about your environment? Yourself? Ask yourself these questions and write it down. I find that journaling is a great way to reflect. For others, photography or video may suit best—whichever your taste, do it as much as you can, respectfully and culturally consciously of your environment, of course!

@verydelphine at the Rock Restaurant in Zanzibar, Tanzania

We would love to hear about your travel experiences and how it has helped you get closer to the best version of yourself! Comment below or write to us!

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