Why Do People Travel Nowadays?

May 3, 2024

Why do you love to travel?

Changes are, when you’re asked why you love to travel. you usually respond with one of these answers:

  • “To explore”
  • “For adventure”
  • “To meet new people”
  • “To see new places”
  • “To try new foods”
  • “To experience other cultures

When I ask that question to travelers and travel experts, those are the common and “pretty” responses I hear.

There is nothing wrong with any of those reasons, but most people say the first thing that comes to mind
about travel.

They say what they have heard, what is marketed to them, and whatever is talked about most.

They list generic activities and experiences that we are fed and sold by the tourism and hospitality

They parrot back sayings we see in ads from travel companies.

In this blog post, I’m challenging you to think more deeply about what you love to travel.

You’ll also learn why this question can be so powerful for your clients, as you work with your clients in the capacity of being a travel coach.

Sahara Rose De Vore

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The Common Responses

When I say “common responses,” you likely know what I mean.

The nightlife, luxury shopping, 5-star dining, water sports, tourist spots, beautiful beaches, spas, and the amenities of a cruise ship, resort, or hotel.  

But when I ask people to really think about why they actually travel – where their motivation for wanting to get away come from, or what drove them to start traveling in the first place, the responses tend to have a bit more depth to them.

Along with what they do and see while they’re traveling, typical answers includes exploration, adventure, meeting new people, seeing new places, trying new foods, and experiencing other cultures.

Scratching Beneath the Surface

I used to do the same.

Whenever I was asked when I was in an interview, why I decided to go on my very first
backpacking trip after finishing university, I would give my “pretty” answer of, “Because I always
wanted to do this thing called backpacking Europe that I always heard about,” and, “I kept on
traveling because I loved seeing new places.”

Those are true.

But these reasons aren’t why I really started traveling – or why I kept on traveling for over a decade to 84 countries.

Personal Experience: A Journey of Discovery

When I actually thought about it. I realized that travel meant so much more than that to me.

Why I started traveling in the first place was because I always struggled with an anxiety disorder.

During my last few years in college, I was struggling big-time with my anxiety and bouts of depression.

I was unhappy.

After I finished school, I was struggling with my identity:

  • Who was I?
  • What did I want to do with my life?
  • What career did I want?

I had no clue. Maybe you can relate.

I was only 22 years old, and I had been in school for the majority of my life.

All of a sudden, I was free to make my own life choices – but I knew that neither work in a corporate job (which would have made my mom happy) and climbing the corporate ladder to get a big title (which really would have made her happy), were for me.

What was going to make ME happy? I had no idea but, I knew that staying in the same daily
routine and mindset that I had, was not going to turn out so good for me.

There was a big world out there, and still so many experiences to be had.

Did I know that I would keep on traveling after Europe? Nope.

I thought that I would go for the month and a half that my Euro- rail pass allowed for, come back to Chicago, and “figure my life out.”

Little did I expect, travel WAS helping me figure out my life.

It was fulfilling me in ways that I never imagine… so why stop? 

I didn’t – and it lead me to the life and career I have now. 

Insights from Travel Experts

Last year, The Travel Coach Network did a study of over 400 of our travel coaches and experts (who are travelers at heart) on the deeper and more personal reasons why they travel.

The results were interesting.  

Without providing any response choices, we gathered all of the responses and put them into categories.

#1 Personal Development

In this category, the respondents said things like:

  • Seeking self-discovery
  • Personal fulfillment
  • To be the most authentic self
  • Transformation and empowerment

#2 Cultural Immersion

This category included all the responses where travelers wanted to interact with the cultures in each place. Their responses included statements like:

  • Exploring other cultures
  • Trying new foods
  • Immersing themselves into a new place

#3 Education

In this category, respondents said that they had a sense of curiosity to fulfill. That they enjoy learning the history of places, and learning more about what makes that place geographically.

Some of their answers included:

  • Curiosity about a place, people group or topic
  • Expanding their worldviews
  • Visiting historical sites in person
  • Gaining new perspectives

Evolving Trends in Travel

Since 2020, the travel industry has seen a shift towards more meaningful and purposeful travel experiences.

This includes considerations such as destination choice, travel companions, and the duration of trips.

So, shouldn’t we see that reflected in how travel is being talked about, planned, marketed, booked, and sold – beyond just using words like “transformative travel”, or “mindful travel?”

Though events that have happened since 2020 have shed light on things happening in the travel industry, I’d argue that they’ve been managed wrong all along.

I share more about why on this episode of the Travel Coach Network podcast:

Beyond Buzzwords: Embracing Intentional Travel

To truly leverage travel’s transformative potential, the industry must move beyond superficial marketing tactics.

An emotions-first approach can inspire travelers to seek meaningful connections and experiences.

We need to talk about travel like the truly personal and individualized experience that it is.

We should push ourselves as travel professionals to go beyond the buzzwords in our marketing and copywriting.

Conclusion: Why People Travel Has Always Been Unique to Each Person

This necessary change in the tourism industryto make travel more meaningful and personal, starts with us as travel coaches.

We’re here to inspire travelers to be more intentional with their travel experiences.

Tell me, why do you REALLY travel?

We’d love to hear why in our free Facebook Group – The Travel Coach Network and Global Community!

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