Pursuit of purity

The future of travel is purer travel. This is why.

The world is becoming noisier, busier, faster. This year, we’re setting off in search of travel experiences that can help us turn down the volume.

The world is loud. It is saturated with rolling images and scrolling information. It shouts rather than talks. It runs when it should walk. From the moment we wake up, we consult our smartphones (never more than an arm’s length from our sleeping heads) and engage with devices dotted around our homes.  Here, at the start of burnout season—when the demands of work and life can get too much, and the glow of the New Year fades away—we find ourselves at risk of becoming over-saturated. And it’s making it hard for us to think.

How we’re learning to log off and love ourselves

That’s why, this year, we’re searching for ways to make travel simpler, more streamlined, and rawer. To embark on a pursuit of purity, stripping travel back to experiences that are more primal, and deeply relaxing. Disconnected. Logged-off. Immersed. This is something we first reflected on with our Travel Trends report from the faraway days of early January. And we haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

It’s why we’re developing new itineraries and services designed to help our discerning travellers get back to basics and to find windows for disconnection and reconnection. And it’s why, historically, we’ve developed services like Get Lost and Blink. Travel experiences designed to help clients locate their inner selves.

But what does simpler, immersive travel actually look like? Perhaps it’s finding the quietude of a private cabin amongst the crags of the Dolomites. Maybe it’s sharing a star-gazing ceremony with an Andean shaman. It might be a hotel perched 6,000ft above sea-level in Alaska, or time spent with the rural communities of mountainous Ladakh. It might mean wild swimming in the glacial lakes of New Zealand, or hiking across a vast and silent wilderness in Iceland.

It might last one night, a weekend, or an entire month.

Opening windows of disconnection

Burnout isn’t new. But as discerning, health-conscious travellers think more closely about their spiritual as well as physical wellbeing, they’re realizing that throwing away their phones isn’t necessarily the solution. If we’re not going to abandon society, how might we find windows in which to mediate our relationship with it?

For the first time, we’re searching for solutions that go beyond technological interventions, apps and accessories. We’re looking to ourselves, and our relationship with the world.

The more we speak to our clients, the more we realise that there is a clear and enthusiastic demand to find ways to strip back the noise and get back to something much, much simpler. To remember a time when we were a little less obsessed with data, and when experiencing a moment was unfiltered by phones, devices and volume.


Some places on earth still exist in total silence

But are we really getting away from it all when we go away?

Of course, we don’t want to wag our fingers. There’s nothing wrong with pulling out your phone to snap a glorious sunset, sharing it with friends and family on the other side of the earth. But we have, over the years, noticed more and more travellers curious about ways to find windows of disconnection; moments to be alone with their own thoughts, in a place where bars of signal and 4G data don’t mean a thing.

Let’s be real. None of us are really going to abandon the online world. We’ll still try new fads and get that pair of noise-cancelling headphones. But perhaps, in the years ahead, we’ll find new ways to enjoy windows of disconnection. Perhaps, for a little while, we’ll connect with something purer.

And – so we hope – travel is going to get us there.


Ready to step away and into the small corners of the world?