On traveling with purpose.

The surroundings of the memorial of the Heavenly hundred heroes in Lviv, 2019. Photo by Alexandra Mateus.

Every morning, you work towards your goals and save towards your dreams. Take away purpose from life, and everything you do becomes a lot less interesting and enticing.

Having a project — be it one primary goal or several smaller ones — adds fulfilment to any journey because the purpose makes for a more fulfilling life, in general.

Travel works much the same way, becoming immensely more satisfying when done for a reason or with purpose. That purpose can be more socially and environmentally conscious, more interested in the local culture, speaking with the people to learn their history, taking an authentic cooking class in a particular country, or learning a little of the local language to understand the culture.

Learning about a significant historical event when talking to locals and admiring unique references is also insightful to understand facts happening in that country. Above all, spread the word to friends and family so they too may become more aware through your travels.

Travelling with purpose improves yourself. It lets you become more understanding and more altruistic, more culturally inclusive, and more educated on world politics based on evidence rather than mainstream media scaremongering.

Travelling can do all of this, and so much more. It has the potential to change us, all of us, into better and more open human beings and considering the fact that travel makes us happier & healthier anyway, whether we choose to do so with purpose or not, it’s evident that the global picture becomes a whole lot brighter indeed.

Rather than simply picking the ‘cheapest place’ to fly to from your closest international airport, dedicated travel forces you to hone in on your most dreamed-about places, and that will ultimately make your journey all the more rewarding. Add a purpose to your journey, and you’ll instinctively become more aware of where you spread your hard-earned funds and what choices you make.

This is especially true if your own ‘purpose’ has an element of social responsibility to it. Purposeful travel is closely linked to responsible travel because conscious travelling makes us acutely aware of every single action and choice we make, even before we’ve booked our flights abroad.

Some examples are respecting human rights to being more environmentally conscious, buying souvenirs from respectable sources, and choosing the right kind of cultural experiences to enjoy.

Giving your journey a purpose will also make it more fulfilling. Adding meaning to your journey means taking a more structured trip with a focus, a goal, even if you only spend some of your time dedicated to that.

It makes the trip much more memorable and still offers all those breathtaking in-between travel moments that are spontaneous and unexpected. Travel without a single purpose, and you’ll probably find time simply slipping away, days blending and weeks flying by in a blur of sameness.

Senior UX designer • Traveler • Circular design • Material futures • http://www.alexandramateus.com/

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Alexandra Mateus

Alexandra Mateus

Senior UX designer • Traveler • Circular design • Material futures • http://www.alexandramateus.com/

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