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What Is Transformational Travel And Where In Australia Should You Start The Journey?

What Is Transformational Travel And Where In Australia Should You Start The Journey?

AWOL asked Tara Harrison — former editor of  Travel Weekly and founder of Aweventurer — to share her thoughts on transformational travel and changing views on the way we explore the world.

We all know that travel can bring a renewed outlook on life. Changing your external world can alter your internal view.

Think back to the last time you took a trip. What memory, or moment, comes to mind? And did it change you? Awaken something? Perhaps there was a particularly stunning sunset that stirred up a dormant emotion within, or a kind local that made you recognise the universality of life.

This kind of experience is what we call ‘transformational travel’ – a shock to the system that leads to meaningful, lasting change in our mindset and behaviour. Whether you’re in need of a career shake-up, some clarity or recovery from a heartbreak, or looking for a new direction: transformational travel can hasten these changes. Transformational travel wants you to have a revelation while you travel.

Perhaps it’s the chaos of modern life, the permanent state of anxiety Covid has thrust the world into, or the constant quest we seem to be on to further our own selves, but transformational travel is fast becoming the most valued kind of travel for adventurers today.

The transformative travel method empowers travellers with new experiences, new learnings, inspiring scenery and a change to their routine and lifestyle. It means getting up every day at sunrise to learn photography, write morning pages, meditate or try yoga, or maybe it’s just watching the sunset.

It’s like Cheryl Strayed (famous for her book Wild) said: “There’s a sunrise and sunset every day. You can choose to be there for it. You can put yourself in the way of beauty.”

There is a growing movement to connect with nature and her cycles — you need only look to the crowds of moon gazers who assemble to watch a full moon rise. People want to be shook from complacency and have that wow moment in nature.

It was based on this type of transformational travel that I started my company, Aweventurer. The adventures we facilitate are designed to spark self-reflection and transformation to bring home with you and fuel new paths forward.

Australia has so many experiences that challenge, inspire, and kindle this feeling. I’ve shared my top four here, because an awe-filled trip may be the touch of magic you need to recognise your own potential.

My Top Five Experiences in Australia

#1 Watching the full moon rise over Mungo National Park’s surreal lunettes


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Imagine matching a lunar scape to a full moon rising. In NSW’s Mungo National Park, you feel like you’re on the moon while also looking at the moon. It’s as surreal as it sounds.

#2 Horse riding through Victorian High Country


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Victoria’s alpine country is the place where The Man from Snowy River was filmed, and there’s no better way to transform than spending five days as human and horse traversing valleys and rivers and being ensconced in nature. Watson’s Mountain Country Trail Rides is the way to do it.

#3 Hiking the Larapinta Trail

A rewarding and strenuous hike through Western Australia’s red centre is not as dry as you’d think. Post wet season, the MacDonnell Ranges are green with growth and the waterholes are full, making them a delight to swim in after a long day hiking.

The Larapinta trail will reduce all of your defences and you will transform physically and mentally from the challenge and camaraderie of anyone hiking with you.

#4 Watching the sunrise over Uluru and Kata Tjuta


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NT’s Uluru has a magic that’s impossible to articulate. It must be felt. Watching the sun cast its glow on these ancient and sacred natural wonders is an experience that can’t be missed. Every day it looks different – sometimes it’s all pastels and purples’ other days it’s more an orange and ochre blend.

(Lead image: Tourism Australia / Nicholas Kavo)

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