Travel - Personal Finance Blog - transform - Zoe Financial

The Transformation of Travel

Elon Musk is promising we will be able to fly anywhere in the world in less than half an hour in the not so distant future. Insane if you think about it. Truth be told, modern travel is already nothing short of miraculous. The farthest reaches of the world are accessible in a mere number of hours; it’s as easy as ordering a ticket online and showing up at the airport. People are going places. Everywhere. All the time! The proof’s posted all over social media. As an industry, travel has morphed into something so vast and accessible that it’s tempting to classify it as a necessity.

Traveling across the world has become as much of an iconic travel experience as the traditional “great American road trip.” What about seeing the world is so powerful that it has changed travel from a rare treat to necessary experience? Michael Bennett, Ed.D., doctoral research identifies the critical elements of adventure travel experiences that lead transformational learning in adults. His main findings were:

  1. Adults are most likely to learn from experience.

  2. Experiential learning is a process that includes reflecting on events and making meaning from the experience.

  3. Transformational learning happens when— through experiential learning processes—we change our paradigms or perspectives of ourselves, others, or the world.

So crossing state lines and experiencing a different downtown can be a new experience; but the potential for personal change is even greater when you travel to a place like Kyoto, Japan or Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Places that change your paradigms. Places that seem to be different planets. You literally come back a different person.

The research also showed that transformational learning is a highly personalized process that is most likely to occur in situations where people:

  1. Are challenged to have extraordinary experiences that push their comfort zones.

  2. Engage in critical reflection of existing assumptions & paradigms as a result of these extraordinary experiences.

  3. Have guidance, feedback, and support that empower an individual to make changes predicated on reflection and meaning.


This break-through research shows us that the travel industry has evolved because consumers now demand: a highly personalized experience that challenges their comfort zones and forces them to challenge their existing assumptions.

Enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning chill on an Aspen-covered mountain, or savoring dinner as the sun sets over a crash of ocean waves is pretty nice. Learning how to surf from a local in Kauai by truly embracing and reflecting on the deep relationship between the surfer and the ocean. Nature forcing you to live in the present… Now THAT gives you the chance to break away from habits rooted in comfort and familiarity. The local guide providing feedback and guidance is what empowers to build self-awareness.


A Transformative Experience… with your money?

No one is born with a goal to retire. If consumers now demand a transformative experience out of the travel industry..we are not far off from people demanding the same from the finance industry. After all, our relationship with money and wealth changes throughout time and is very personal! Our mission at Zoe is to guide people through their journey of self-discovery and awareness when it comes to their relationship with money. And when they are ready, to connect them with the right “surf guide” that will nudge them to think differently about their money and ignore what E*trade commercials tell them they should strive for. To push them outside their comfort zone a bit so they can unearth their money values and align them with their short- and long-term goals. It’s early days on our [Zoe] journey… and we hope we will be able to be a part of yours.


If you enjoyed this post, check out the first post in our Wealth Is Personal blog series here.

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