5 reasons to put regenerative travel in your gap year plan

no because traditional travel looks much more monotonous now than ever?

We see the same photos on our social media, and when we see that Instagram story of someone’s flight taking off, it’s almost like waiting for the other shoe to drop – you know that photo at Sydney Opera House is coming. It’s almost immediately that Versailles or the Leaning Tower of Pisa or Louvre is on your story again. Photos that look like you can get from Google Images, repeated over and over again, especially in this season of revenge vacation. 

sending love to opera house but this is the time of our lives to do something crazier x

Yes, many of these tourist sites have huge heritage value that educates us about topics like history and art. But as travellers, it is on us to think about what we actually want to learn during our trips and how we want to do it. Be conscious of what travel means to us. What our gap year plan means to us. If I am going to put thousands of dollars into doing it, should I not know the meaning it is bringing me? Is it an adventure? Is it a break from the hustle and bustle of the city? Is it an opportunity for me to discover other lifestyles in this world? A chance to create a positive impact on myself or even things bigger than myself?

There are the questions regenerative travellers – or as we’d like to call ourselves: Terraformers – actively ask our community. And with that, we are ushering in a new era of regenerative travel, that is, travelling while creating regeneration for the environment and communities. Here are 5 reasons you should do it.

1. Regenerative travel provides learning opportunities through practical experiences

In conventional travel, learning about another culture often takes place in grandiose museums or carefully-curated guided tours. Everything in mass travel is a curated tourist experience and leaves little room for authenticity and serendipity. Through regenerative travel, we learn from talking to villagers, from living with them and getting more than just a glimpse of what it means to live like a local. In these authentic experiences where we are connected with villagers, we eat and cook as they would. Perhaps somebody would get a burn on the finger while cooking, and that event could lead to more serendipitous experiences such as traditional healing rituals or foraging for medicinal herbs in the forest. All these cultural experiences would be a part of our core memory as we lived through them.

2. Regenerative travel can be cost-saving.

It doesn’t have to take much to create regeneration. Rather than spending on fancy hotels and AirBnBs, it takes a fraction of these accommodations’ cost to visit places that are just a bit more out of the way – where adventure awaits. With Terraformers, there are lots of tips from friendly community members from all around the world – Mongolia, Vietnam, Malaysia, etc. – to connect you with helpful rural locals who run homestays for visitors (Terraformers). All you have to do is join the community and learn humbly! 

while saving costs, we bridge gaps within humanity too (credits to the amazing kathy mack)

3. Regenerative travel protects the environment. 

Providers in the regenerative travel industry are locals who are passionate about protecting their traditional wisdom that often relies on their natural environment. Their forests, rivers and soil. Through regenerative travel as an alternative income, our spendings contributes to the sustainability and conservation of their communities, traditional customs and indigenous lands. In return, they share their centuries-long wisdom and authentic connection with nature, with us. We learn to be more protective of our environment through all of these regenerative experiences. 

Fansipan ranges in Vietnam – what stories lie within the forests, awaiting us? (thank you Raj for the photo)

4. Regenerative travel can push us out of our comfort zone.

If you’re like many of us who’ve grown up in cities all over the world, rural adventure and regenerative travelling can be a little uncomfortable at times. But nothing beats pushing our own boundaries and realising our fullest potential through once-in-a-lifetime adventures. Travelling is probably the most fun way for anybody to go through personal growth, there is a reason why solo travel is on the uptrend. Creating regenerative experiences while doing that just takes it up a notch and adds a little spice.

grow through taking the path less travelled – bold steps on unfamiliar terrains

5. Terraforming is a timely, new travel alternative.

If you’ve read until here, this is probably your first or second time learning about regenerative travel. Well, it is a relatively new trend that not a lot has embarked on. But we believe this is the time to travel differently. Different from how our parents have done and what our peers have preached. In this era peppered with outbreaks, climate change and challenges previous generations have never faced before, we can now revolutionize travel as a force of regeneration – “terraforming”. For the good of our planet and the people that depend on it. 

Terraforming is the hope for a better-travelled generation. (thank you Hai Tran for this lovely shot)

Join Terraformers Discord for more resources on regenerative travel and Terraforming. 

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alexis august

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