Who are the people that travel with Worldpackers and what are they like?
Gain a deeper understanding of the people who travel with Worldpackers, and learn how the Worldpackers community has inspired and re-defined my idea of world travel for the better.
Today marks year 4 for Worldpackers.
Of all the things that I've learned through being part of this incredible ever-evolving project, the thing that consistently gives me the most joy is all of the connections I've made — and continue to make — through Worldpackers.
Not just with my fellow co-workers, but with the entire Worldpackers community. The people who travel with Worldpackers — and the hosts who receive them — have inspired and re-defined my idea of world travel for the better.
I was able to see myself in these people and find a very strong connection of similar values and aspirations. I could identify in them the same desire to create the the type of world I had always envisioned.
If there is a common thread that unites everyone in the Worldpackers community, it's an appetite for growth and positive change through collaborative travel. If you're a world-packer, you believe that travel is bigger than yourself; that what you learn through travel can create positive impact and contribute to a better world.
In this article, I'm not going to talk about the age of the people who are Worldpackers, where they're from, or what their travel preferences are. Instead, I'm going to talk about their shared values, and why they see travel not only as a lifestyle, but also as a tool for transformation.
The following list details the values that unite the Worldpackers community. These values define and bind a global tribe of people who love to travel, and believe that travel is a universal right that has the power to create a better world.
1. Traveling just to create memories doesn't make sense anymore
Travel has become synonymous with connection.
Exploring the world is a great way to connect with other people and cultures, and discover what resonates with you. Experiencing other ways of life leads to a more expansive worldview, and gives you greater power to choose the ideas, values, and lifestyle you align with most.
In a world where technology enables so many new forms of connection, travel is still the best tool (offline, with fresh air and all) for self-discovery and empowerment.
2. Travel is a mission, not a pastime
Travel is more than just a pastime or hobby; it's a form of responsibility. Profound travel experiences teach us about the world around us, and it's up to us to integrate and use what we learn.
Travel sharpens your knowledge of world history and gives you valuable insight into cross-cultural differences; how they form, and how to navigate them. As your understanding of the world deepens, it's your responsibility to put your newfound awareness into practice as a forward-thinking, global citizen.
3. We learn through experience
Versus learning through books or TV.
Traveling, exploring, getting lost, talking, expressing, understanding, listening, experimenting, growing, evolving, transforming...
A world-packer is a person who travels in search of information. Travel is our continuous, pluralistic and unconventional learning tool. It's not a traditional classroom experience, not a course you can take in school, or a grade of pass or fail.
4. Collaboration is greater than competition
We don't ask for anything for free. Travel should be a balance of give and take. We want to re-pay people and places for the experiences they offer us; not just receive from them.
Being part of a collaborative community means that we no longer have to get ahead of one another. The collective good is always paramount to individual success.
5. We value experiences vs. material things
As people who like to travel, we value lived experience over material things.
Material possessions have price tags and immaterial things — love, friendship, knowledge, etc. — have immeasurable value.
6. Accumulating things does not make sense
You've heard it before: small minds brag about their material possessions, while great minds are busy expanding their assets.
As world-packers, we practice essentialism. Author Greg McKeown (of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less), says the most fitting definition of essentialism is "less but better."
We're forever in search of those rich, life-changing experiences. We consistently strive to challenge our comfort zone, and assess our "wealth" based on the knowledge and skills we are able to share with others.
7. We view risk and uncertainty as positives
We dread feeling stuck or trapped in our comfort zone.
It's not that we don't value comfort, but rather, that we value growth. Sometimes, the two can go hand in hand, but more often than not, growth happens when you challenge the familiar — the patterns you've been conditioned to accept.
World travel is an eye-opening and beautiful adventure that has the ability to trigger dramatic growth within us.
8. We exchange hope for confidence
Hope is a poetic way of waiting for eternal tomorrows that never come.
Real empowerment begins when you decide to live from a place of confidence and trust rather than fear.
9. We feel love for the present moment
Happiness is not found somewhere in the distant future after finally acquiring a new house and the latest model car. True joy lies in practicing presence.
Living in the present moment is the key to aligning with one's purpose and building a future of sustainable contentment and lasting fulfillment. Someone who likes to travel is constantly being immersed in new situations and places that require their undivided attention. This lends itself to increased self-awareness and reflection, and more love for living in the present moment.
10. Turning everything into a problem is the problem
Problems — or challenges — are opportunities.
Opportunities to see situations from another angle. To understand from a contrasting perspective. To see the world through different eyes.
Complaining never solves anything. It only creates a heavy energy that makes a challenging situation even more difficult to process and deal with.
Someone who travels a lot understands that most problems are extremely relative and almost always based in an ego-centric perspective of life. This person usually has an easier time finding a solution as they are able to see a bigger picture beyond their limited perspective.
11. For any conflict, there is a conversation
Every conflict is the result of two differing opinions, or clashing worldviews.
As people who travel, we have a responsibility to create a dialogue of openness and understanding; to see beyond differences and focus on what we share.
Sincere tolerance and respect is the solution to navigating cultural barriers and embracing one another for who we are.
12. We take advantage of solitude
Solitude isn't a phase of life (something that you do once and then scratch off the list), but rather, a continual process of self-discovery and self-compassion.
Solo travel is a great way to practice solitude. People who travel alone are more comfortable being alone, and learn to value solitude as an essential part of self-care.
13. We want to inspire through example
We are only in control of ourselves. It doesn't make sense to try and change other people or fit them into our mold.
Instead, we can inspire through example. By being committed to a lifelong path of growth, we can inspire others to do the same.
Our journey is our message.
14. We are moved by a sense of responsibility
What does the world need? What do I need? What's the right thing to do in this situation? How can I grow? How can I help?
People who love to travel are moved by a sense of responsibility.
15. Diversity is a strength
From culture to ethnicity to race to gender to belief; travel reveals how beautifully diverse our world really is.
Travel gives us a glimpse into our differences and shows us that these are things we should celebrate, not castigate. People are more than the metrics we use to divide us.
Diversity can and should be a powerful force that strengthens and unites us.
16. Lesson #1 is self-discovery
Everything is a direct or indirect consequence of how well you choose to get to know yourself.
When we are able to sustain a strong and honest relationship with ourself, every decision we make has a greater meaning as it's aligned with our truest purpose.
17. We want to discover our purpose
We don't want to just survive, but rather intensely live our lives because we know how valuable they are.
We know that we all have a purpose, and that traveling can be an instrumental tool to help discover it. What's yours?
18. We want to share our purpose
Knowledge gained loses its value if it is not shared.
We believe collaborative travel has an impact that reaches beyond ourselves.
As world-packers, we want to share the impact travel has had on our lives in a way that inspires and unites others. We find fulfillment in belonging to a global community of likeminded travelers that share the same ultimate goal: to create a positive shift... through travel!
19. Travel changes people
We're on this journey in order to become better people.
Travel is a means of discovery; as we experience and discover more dimensions of the world around us, we re-discover aspects of ourself. Thus, travel becomes a way in which we can get to know ourselves more deeply and have a stronger sense of what we can do to affect positive change around us.
Anyone who has embarked on a trip knows that travel is an absolute game-changer. Whether it's a short trip or a yearlong journey around the globe... you'll never be the same.
20. He who travels is able to change the world
And that's why we'll never stop traveling.