Travel and tourism have both become vitally important and ever-expanding phenomenon in world affairs especially as globalization soar and technology becomes easily accessible. The fact of the matter is that traveling has become an essential activity in our lives - and covid-19 has proven how much we have taken it for granted to say the least. There are countless benefits to traveling and a few of which can be explored on our blogpost: Eight Scientifically Health Benefits of Traveling Abroad.
As travel and tourism becomes more commonplace and mobility becomes easily accessible and affordable, the true essence of travel has rather become somewhat superficial and ostentatious. It is a mixed feeling of trying to see what is real or authentic in somewhat manipulated images and contents especially with the rising popularity of social media and influencer marketing. As more succinctly put by James Buzard in his book, The Beaten Track: European Tourism, Literature, and the Ways to 'Culture' 1800-1918, “Tourism is a complex cultural phenomenon, partly because it is so thoroughly dependent upon the manipulation of images.”
As humans, we have always shared an innate trait – the desire to explore and travel the world. We need to approach travel from a properly therapeutic perspective and in so doing analyzing places, landmarks, landscapes, parks, nature, wildlife etc. according to their inner benefits. The problem has been that, we have been badly served by the travel industry especially with the rise of influencer marketing and social media; “which cuts the world up into material categories almost entirely unattuned to the needs of our inner selves or, to put it more grandly, our souls,” argued Alan de Botton.
With the rise of social media, influencer marketing along with guidebooks etc., we are inundated with advice on where to travel to; yet we hear little of why we should go and how we could be more fulfilled doing so. Few things are as exciting as the idea of traveling somewhere else. However, with the rise of these marketing tactics, the reality of travel seldom matches our daydreams. For instance, seeing an influencer post about the Statue of Liberty in New York City that is picturesque and has other desirable qualities that the influencer may have used to manipulate the picture versus actually visiting the Statue of Liberty and the behind the scenes involved in getting there to actually being there are often times the story that gets left unexplained.
Quite often, when one get inspired by these influencer posts, and one actually visits these landmarks, it becomes the tragi-comic disappointments - such as: the disorientation, the mid-afternoon despair, the lethargy before ancient ruins and so on and so forth. The fact that a lot of details get left unexplained and unexplored are quite what the point of these destinations might be when considered from the point of view of our psyches.
Therefore, at Trailblazer Travelz, we seek to create, curate, cross-pollinate journeys by taking a philosophical look at the ubiquitous but peculiar activity of traveling as a more pleasurable and therapeutic activity - especially one that deliver psychological virtues such as “calm” and or “perspective.” Unlike existing guidebooks on travel, and influencer marketing, we dare to ask thought provoking questions such as: what are some psychological benefits of visiting this site, what is the essence of travel, what culture or perspective shifts could visiting this country bring since a lot of bizarre stories have been told about countries specifically in Africa, how can the narrative be shifted now that one actually visited this place, – and how we could learn to be less silently and guiltily miserable on our journeys.
Arguably, “there are places that, by virtue of their remoteness, vastness, climate, chaotic energy, haunting melancholy or sheer difference from our homelands can exert a capacity to salve the wounded parts of us,” as Alan de Botton cannily observed. A great deal of insight and inspiration is drawn from some of the great figures of the past who truly embody the essence of travel.
We seek to imbue our groups the elation of travel again and again on every single trip - of what it means to immerse oneself into experiences that are enriching, fuel imagination and shift perspective. Traveling should not just be an activity to enjoy and then gradually forget about it two weeks later. Rather, it should be about traveling to this place to fundamentally reorient the personality. To seek inspiration, become more aware, alert, connected, and attuned to our inner self. In addition, “to be the call-to-arms to become a different person; a 5,000-mile, £3,000 secular pilgrimage properly anchored around a stage of profound character development,” argued Botton. All of us have equivalents. Things we care about that are not mentioned anywhere. Part of growing up, and learning to travel well, means daring to take our own interests a bit more seriously. Which is specifically the reason why all our trips are designed with flexibility, customized and personalized to the travel preference and style of our customers. After all, one-size never fit-all.
If we take a page out of the creators and purveyors of touristic literatures—the memoirs, travel narratives, fictional tales of tourists and other ephemera that incite what John Urry, The Tourist Gaze calls “imaginative travel” in the mind of the reader, engendering the desire for “corporeal travel.” We can become more mindful and conscious of our impact and further expand and accelerate the growth in this great industry and impact lives by exploring and discovering our world one trip at a time.