As Henry Miller succinctly put it: “One’s destination is never a place but always a new way of seeing things.” Seeing the world has the overwhelming ability to instill change in the traveler, to alter attitudes, worldviews, and perspectives. That’s the beauty of travel — while a trip itself may only last a week or two (or a month), its effect can last the rest of your life! And all you have to do just go and see what lurks on the other side.
So if you’re looking for some travel plans that may change your perspective on the world and maybe also change your life, here are five trips you can take:
“One’s destination is never a place but always a new way of seeing things.”–Henry Miller
Hang with Gorillas in Rwanda
After you gaze into the eyes of the endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda, your perspective on life will likely never be the same. Rwanda is one of only three countries in the world where endangered mountain gorillas live. As there are only 780 remaining on the planet, Rwanda lends a once in a lifetime experience to meet the awe-inspiring creatures in Volcanoes National Park face to face. The country lends tremendous insight into human resolve. From its rich diversity of people, music, and dance offerings to its safari opportunities and coffee plantations, Rwanda offers more than just gorilla spotting.
Trek to Machu Picchu in Peru
There is perhaps nothing quite like getting lost in the “Lost City of the Incas” to change your viewpoint on the world. Shrouded in mystery, the imposing Incan citadel, Machu Picchu sprawls across 12 acres, presenting gardens, aqueducts, terraces and staircases. The untouched ruins were built in 15th century, some 2,430 meters above sea level on a peak in the Andes Mountains. Today, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site that’s considered one of the greatest artistic, architectural, and land use achievements anywhere and remains the most significant remnant of the Inca civilization. You’ll be left wondering how the Incas achieved such a feat and experience a great deal of self-reflection in the process.
Get Lost in the Chaos of Mumbai, India
The sensory overload that is Mumbai showcases the epitome of modern India. Noisy, chaotic, flashy and yet spiritual and humble, Mumbai bears so many extremes in one city. Home to grand colonial era architecture, hidden temples, and rare bazaars, the city showcases a compelling juxtaposition of great wealth and extreme poverty. The cosmopolitan city of people from all over India isn’t the easiest to travel through from a patience perspective but it lends tremendous perspective on this enchanting area where so many of the world’s people reside.
Walk the Camino De Santiago in Spain
If you’re looking to have a life-changing travel experience, Spain lends you hundred of miles to do so. The Camino de Santiago or the Way of St. James covers two mountain ranges in north-central Spain and leads to the purported tomb of the Apostle Saint James. Acting as one of Europe’s main pilgrimage routes, many travel the Camino on foot, by bike, or car. While many routes of the Way of St. James exist, the most popular spans almost 500 miles from the French border with Spain to the city of Santiago de Compostela. You’ll walk through Spanish countryside and historic villages on a pilgrimage route that boasts foundations in the 9th century. While your feet will ache by the end of the nearly 500-mile journey, you’ll have a great deal of time to see a perspective change while wandering through northern Spain.
Go Back in Time in Havana, Cuba
Long an off-limits travel destination for Americans, recent political moves have made Havana and Cuba itself a possible stop on your travel itinerary. The capital city of Cuba once stood as the most important port in the Spanish colonial empire. Its previous role is still apparent throughout the city’s Spanish architecture. A place like Havana can instill a change in worldview as you watch classic vintage Oldsmobiles and Chevys rattle on down cobblestone streets. Its mix of decay and opulence, old and new world, communism and capitalism lends a trapped, back-in-time feeling you can’t find very often on this planet.
Have you had a life-changing trip? Share it with us in the comments below.