As an online travel company, TravelShark interacts with many different people throughout all phases of their travels — from picking out a hotel to finding the best crepes in Paris. From these interactions, we have come to realize that travel means something different to everyone.
For some, travel means saving up for years and taking that long-anticipated trip to Disney World with the family.
For others, travel means stuffing the bare essentials into a backpack and buying a one-way ticket to a place as far away as possible.
For many people, traveling — on a budget, with your life savings, for a weekend, or for months at a time — is also inherently full of hope
Hope is why people spend months planning out every tiny detail of a five-day vacation. It’s why people throw caution to the wind and decide to follow their intuition instead of their itinerary. It’s why people still talk about the most positive aspects of a trip years after they’ve returned home.
As a company, we love being a part of people’s trips and seeing the different types of hope people take on their travels.
There are the small hopes: You hope your plane will take off on time. You hope that it will be sunny in Mexico. You hope it’s easy to find your hotel. You hope that you don’t take a picture of your thumb instead of an elephant.
There are the worry-hopes: You hope that you’ll be able to understand the language (or get by on your native tongue). You hope that you’ll be able to find that childhood friend of yours for dinner, even though neither of your phones will work in Buenos Aires. You hope the famous wild game restaurant people recommended in Calgary will have a kids’ menu.
There are the exciting hopes: You hope that you finally get to see that painting you studied in college. You hope you will meet a handsome stranger who drives a moped. You hope your kids will come home and tell their friends that it was the “best vacation ever
… And then there is something bigger beneath it all: the hope that travel will somehow change things. It will change your mood. It will change the way you see the world
. It might even change the way you see yourself.
While not everyone actively thinks to themselves, “Hey, I hope this next trip really changes things for me” (personal discovery and making sure no one gets a sunburn at the beach are not exactly synonymous), the concept of change is implicit in any trip. You want to escape, get away, do something different, do the same thing you always do but do it somewhere else. Travel is changing your location on the map with the hope that something else — something inside you — will change, too.
We asked experts, authors and readers like you to share their stories of Hope. Every day for the next month, you'll find new tips for optimism on Gaiam Life, the Stream of Consciousness blog and our social media sites: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. And don’t miss the GaiamTV.com Hope Film Festival, with FREE films all month long.
TravelShark is the world’s largest online travel network, with thousands of location-based travel websites for destinations around the globe. TravelShark connects global travelers with hyper-local travel solutions and memorable trips. TravelShark recently launched the Sharky Awards, recognizing unique and unexpected “finds” in travel, and TravelSharkPix, which allows people to share their favorite trip photos with fellow travelers looking for inspiration for their next trip. TravelShark is headquartered in Singapore, with a U.S. office in Boulder, Colorado. To learn more, visit travelshark.com.