Instead of wandering aimlessly or visiting a destination to tick off a list of sites, travelling with purpose can make a journey infinitely more meaningful. Here’s why.
Long gone are the days of arriving at a destination and wandering aimlessly or simply ticking off a list of attractions – the future of travel is purpose-led.
Touted by seasoned travellers as the best way to see and experience the world, travelling with purpose can give meaning to a trip and make it infinitely more rewarding and fulfilling.
But what exactly do we mean when we talk about ‘purpose-led travel’?
Put simply, travelling with purpose involves visiting a destination to fulfil a mission, whether it be to support a cause, take part in a challenge, or achieve a specific goal.
The trip is underpinned by an intention or driving force – it could involve volunteering, contributing to a project, taking a meaningful gap year, raising funds for a charity, attending a workshop, completing a course, or even working abroad.
There are many ways to travel with purpose and you’ll only be limited by your imagination.
Here are a few ways a purpose-led trip will change the way you travel.
1. Travel with purpose gives your trip structure
Travelling for purpose is different to travelling for leisure – there will often be a structured itinerary, a leader or tour guide, or a schedule that needs to be followed.
Some travellers may baulk at the idea of having everything planned out but this structure is a positive point because it allows you to fulfil the mission you’ve set out to accomplish.
Having someone else direct the journey or set the pace for the trip means you can free yourself from the day-to-day planning and logistics, allowing you to completely focus on the task at hand.
Whether you’re volunteering, doing a trek, or participating in a travel study program, this structure will allow you to fully immerse yourself in the experience and give it your undivided attention. And who wouldn’t enjoy that?
Spend more time exploring and less time planning
2. Purpose-led travel changes your perspective
When you take a trip that is purpose-led, you’ll quickly realise the reason for travelling goes beyond being all about you.
Travelling to fulfil a mission shifts your focus away from your own desires and towards the people or project you’re working with.
Whether you’re raising money for charity, helping to build community facilities, or working at a conservation program, focusing on fulfilling the purpose is a great way to contribute to something greater than yourself.
Purpose-led travel also gives you the chance to be more of a traveller and less of a tourist. With less emphasis on ticking off key sites or only focusing on your wants, travel with purpose makes space for creating better connections with the people you meet and your shared goal for coming together.
If that isn’t a way to change your perspective for the better, we don’t know what is!
Be more of a traveller and less of a tourist
3. Travelling with purpose presents new opportunities
Guided by a mission, travelling with purpose can open doors, offer unique encounters and present new opportunities. It allows you to expand your world view and your life experience.
Perhaps you’re considering a career change and want to move away from your corporate job and into a more creative profession, like travel writing. Signing up for a travel study program, such as those offered by Wanderlust City Projects, gives you the chance to combine both travel and learning new skills. Think of it as a purpose-led trip with plenty of pleasure involved too.
If you’ve decided to volunteer for a wildlife conservation program, you’ll likely meet other likeminded, animal-loving people. If you’ve signed up for an internship in eco-tourism, you’ll get the chance to see the world and gain international work experience. If you’ve dreamed of following a creative career path, a study program in writing and photography will allow you to expand your creative network and connect with industry leaders.
Whatever you choose to do, purpose-led travel has the potential to open the opportunities and experiences you’ve dreamed of.
Written by Sharon Green for Wanderlust City Projects. Sharon is a journalist, copywriter and editor who has worked in mainstream media in Australia and the United Kingdom. She is also the founding editor of women's lifestyle publication SHE DEFINED.
Her favourite city in the world is London, which will always have a piece of her heart. Sharon’s top travel tip is to travel solo – some of her best adventures have come from exploring the world on her own.