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A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
Laozi, Tao Te Ching

There are so many reasons why we travel: for business, pleasure, rest and relaxation, to see the world, to visit family and friends. Maybe the most important reason is to change ourselves and allow our journeys to be as much about self-discovery as they are about experiencing new destinations.

Have a look at our list of 10 top ideas for making the move to move yourself in the direction of wonder and self-awareness.

S.Borisov / Shutterstock

S.Borisov / Shutterstock

Immerse Yourself in European Culture

Europe is thick with history and culture up for grabs in a dynamic mix of old and new. Lose yourself in one the continent’s several dozen major museums while admiring treasured artworks by the likes of Rembrandt, Picasso, da Vinci, Velasquez … and so many, many more European masters of art. Eat cheese, drink wine, amble down quaint cobbled lanes, tap into one of the safest and best-connected international rail networks, and see more countries in the shortest amount of time than is possible anywhere else on the planet.

Jon Bilous / Shutterstock

Jon Bilous / Shutterstock

Hit the Trails

Not a people person? Rather roam the wilds of a mountain range than the aisles of anything manmade? Then take to the trails and commune with Mother Nature. There’s the Appalachian Trail stretching from Georgia to Maine for weeks’ of outdoors living, the 211-mile John Muir Trail in California, and famed hikes in New Zealand, the Alps, and just about anywhere else with a decent sized patch of wilderness.

Alvov / Shutterstock

Alvov / Shutterstock

Set Sail

Join a crew and set sail for an island hopping holiday in the Caribbean, Greece or even the South Pacific or – if you’ve got the time – embark upon a grand seafaring voyage across an ocean for a time guaranteed to broaden your horizons.

Galyna Andrushko / Shutterstock

Galyna Andrushko / Shutterstock

Explore the Far East

Expose your senses to the rich traditions of Southeast Asia while seeing ancient ruins, modern metropolises, vast rain forests, world class beaches and everything amazing in between!

RuthChoi / Shutterstock

RuthChoi / Shutterstock

Discover India

Perhaps no other nation has inspired travelers more than India, where ancient folkways and spiritual practice, vast wilderness areas and expansive mega-cities, and a cultural and ethnic tapestry unlike any other on Earth beckon the intrepid. From its Himalayan heights to the Kerala Backwaters, India yields the sorts of wonders guaranteed to broaden your horizons and achieve a greater appreciation for humanity.

Jim Parkin / Shutterstock

Jim Parkin / Shutterstock

Volunteer Your Time for People in Need

Want really feel great about your next break? Volunteer your time doing something meaningful for those less fortunate than you could result in the most rewarding travel experience of your life. Be sure to do plenty of research to find the sorts of organizations and projects worthy of your support (and which ones to avoid) before taking on any charitable endeavor. But when you’ve found the right cause for you, go for it!

Vogel / Shutterstock

Vogel / Shutterstock

Ride the Rails

Travel in comfort and style across some of the world’s most breathtaking landscapes and let the wheels on the track lull you with their rhythm. The great train journeys of the world allow time to stand still as you take in as much of it as possible.

AustralianCamera / Shutterstock

AustralianCamera / Shutterstock

Road Trip

It’s definitely the best way to see the United States, and great driving itineraries from Norway to New Zealand mean the highway goes on forever. So roll down the window, turn up the tunes and watch the world whiz by your window on that epic road trip you’ve always dreamed of taking.

Maggy Meyer / Shutterstock

Maggy Meyer / Shutterstock

Go on Safari

Anyone who’s ever had the opportunity to witness big game African wildlife its natural habitat is sure to tell you it’s one of the most humbling and mind blowing travel experiences you can make. Top safari destinations such as Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, and Tanzania offer the chance to imagine the world before civilization and develop deeper respect for the earth.

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Shanti Hesse / Shutterstock

Fly Round Trip Around the World

Plan a route to all the places (with airports) you’d like to visit flying in one direction that leads back to where your journey started and go see the world! Round the World (RTW) multi-stop itineraries can be a lot cheaper than you might imagine and yield the sort of memories that will last a lifetime.

What life changing trips have you taken? If you could drop everything and go anywhere right now where would it be? How would you get there?

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About the author

Chris Osburn

Chris Osburn

Chris Osburn is a freelance writer, photographer, consultant, and curator and the driving force behind the long running and award winning blog, tikichris.com. Originally from the American Deep South, Chris has lived and worked all over the world and has called London home since 2001.

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