Categories Opinion Column

The Nature of Journeying

Written By: Jesús Parrilla, Principal, Luxury Frontiers

In the past century, we’ve seen the explosion of technology bring about seismic changes across all industries—travel being no exception. On the upside, travelers have access to more information than ever, allowing them to book far-flung excursions with unprecedented ease and convenience, no travel agent necessary. But with constant connectivity, we’ve lost the romance of travel and the joy of the journey. What we’ve gained instead: bragging rights, envy-inducing Instagram feeds, and a sort of cultural arrogance over having been there, done that.

Ironically, we’re said to be in the age of Transformative Travel, an epoch characterized by a sort of no-frills, back-to-basics spirit, with travelers valuing meaningful experiences over flashy things and over-the-top service. But one need only turn to Instagram to see evidence contrary to valuing simplicity. Now, travel is seemingly all about ticking bucket-list places as fast as you can, capturing picture-perfect moments to share on your feed.

For Transformative Travel to actually happen, travelers must put down their phones and journey into the natural world, one of the only places where true self-reckoning can occur. Instead of seeking out de rigueur tourist sites or a destination’s most “Instagrammable” spots, visitors must venture away from the crowds and plunge into nature. And hotels, outfitters, and other travel companies must offer more enriching experiences beyond what is trending. Faced with the majesty of nature slowly unfolding the colors of its palette, the traveler will surrender to his inner self, entering into communion with the beauty that envelops him — whether it’s the sound of a river running wild and free or the sight of pure forest rain caressing a bird’s feather.

In this place, a confluence of unscripted emotions, sensations, creativity, discovery, possibility, and newfound awareness of time and space, is where the traveler begins to feel alive, reborn and transformed, free of filters and misrepresentations. He can feel the greatness of which he is also a part.

The nature of journeying is an open and conscientious invitation for travelers to put away, if only for a few days, the devices that enslave us and that curtail our ability to launch ourselves into the ultimate journey, the one that cannot be captured in an Instagram post: the journey of self-discovery and soul-replenishment.