Why Transformational Travel Is the New Way to be Truly Sustainable

what is transformational travel

Travel is one of the greatest investments. The places we go, the people we meet, and our experiences. After two years of standing still, I felt lost. My life once revolved around travel, meeting people, and feeling inspired, but my life was motionless when confined to four walls. Now that we’re moving again, I’ve heard about transformational travel and decided to give it a go. 

So, what is transformational travel? Unlike other travel movements, such as slow travel, transformational travel is about the lasting impacts once you’ve left the destination. 

My transformational travel experience took place in Wyaralong—a 1.5-hour drive from Brisbane. For two nights, I lived in one of Wander’s sustainable eco pods, set on a high point, with unobstructed views of Lake Wyaralong, the mountains and surrounding grazing land. The eco pod is also in a dark-sky rated area, which offers clear views of the moon, stars, and even the milky way spilling across the night. 

Before even arriving at the eco pod, the road trip itself was a transformational journey. Wyaralong is in the Scenic Rim’s heart, a playground of rainforest walks and plunging waterfalls of Lamington National Park and Tamborine Mountain.

On my trip, I took the time to park the car on the side of the road when I saw a lookout or spent an hour venturing through a rainforest to find a towering waterfall pushing tonnes of rushing water down below. The sounds of birds chirping, water flowing, and the jaw-dropping sights of the region instilled excitement and peace, which I hadn’t felt in years. 

After zipping through windy roads and chasing waterfalls, I headed to Wander at Overflow 1895.

They have five pods on site. I slept in a two-bedroom pod named Flintoff, which commanded views of the lake and mountain from the couch and every building corner. The pod itself is spacious, sporting a broody black colour palette. Inside, everything you need to comfortably live off-grid, including a kitchenette, full-size fridge, king beds, air-conditioning for the warmer months, and wifi (if you need it). Although I didn’t spend much time inside. Instead, my hours were spent simply breathing in the stillness and beauty of the environment.

As I learned later, this is an integral part of transformational travel. We’ve all found new ways to connect over the last few years, but we disconnected from our natural environment in doing so. It gave me a chance to light a fire, pour a glass of wine, and sit under the stars. This to me was power.

I’ve always lived my life freely, adapting to sudden changes, but the pandemic was a change I struggled to bend to. Being here, in the middle of nowhere, spending my days walking, sitting and doing absolutely nothing — that’s taking back control. It’s a type of therapy

Doing nothing is hard. My brain is always on so switching off and sitting was difficult. But this is what transformational travel is about, giving in to something new and being empowered by it. 

I believe a big part of transformational travel is the traveller. Change happens when a traveller is an active part of the outcomes and effects of that travel experience. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in the middle of nowhere or in the middle of a city; transformational travel can happen anywhere.

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