Transformative Travel Coaching

Today, we have a guest blogger, Deidra Razzaque, with whom I had an amazing coaching session during which we discussed my recent trip to Ireland.  I will save my insights for another day so that you can learn what Transformative Travel Coaching is and why I recommend it for anyone who travels!

Deidra writes:

We are all travelers. Whether or not we ever leave the place where we were born, each of us is constantly journeying toward living as our highest self, and expressing all the ways we are uniquely meant to shine. But when we travel physically, we shake things up in our lives, and we access our own wisdom in new ways. At its best, physical travel is like shaking a snow globe filled with glitter. It shifts everything in our world for a time, and when the glitter settles we are left feeling a greater sense of wonder, no matter what scene we are a part of. 

Many of you know that Linda recently traveled to Ireland. When she learned about my work as a coach, she suggested I write about my work for you, her readers. I thought it would be useful for Linda to gain a first-hand sense of what I do as a coach, so I offered a session to help her further process what this journey to Ireland means in her life. Our session was joyful, silly, and profound. Exploring her experience with me seemed to enhance Linda’s sense of wonder at how the trip had unfolded, deepen her connection with her past and with her sense of having a mission and a lineage as a writer, and help her access even more creative ways she would like to share the meaning of Ireland with the world. 

Why Work With Me? 

Think about how you felt after your last vacation. Sometimes when people travel, they come home on fire about sharing their experiences, and maintaining a connection with the place they visited, but they’re not quite sure how to do that. Other times, people feel disillusioned—home seems dull by comparison, or friends and family aren’t really interested in hearing about their trip. Some people travel hoping to feel rejuvenated, but actually arrive home feeling even more tired than when they left because they recognize that they are out of sync with the life they are living. 

I can help you make any travel experience—and what happens beyond it--richer and more meaningful. Before you travel, I can help you think about why you are traveling and what you hope to gain from the experience. During your travels, I can offer support that enables you to respond mindfully and offer the best of yourself to experiences that are different than what you might have been expecting. After you return home, I can help you integrate what you have learned about yourself and the world. 

I can also help you use travel well in very distinct ways. Here are some examples: 
Several years ago you adopted your daughter from Vietnam. Now your whole family would like to travel to Vietnam to explore the place where your daughter was born. I can help you think about how to help your family explore what their expectations for this trip are, how they will manage any emotions that come up, and how they will use what they learn on this trip in the future. Also, my experience with child welfare and the impact of trauma means that I can guide you through thinking about issues specific to adoption, including loss, attachment, and identity. 
You have recently lost your life partner, whether through divorce or death, and you feel like you need both time to mourn and a way forward. You are thinking that some time away might benefit you. I can help you plan a journey that offers you time and space to grieve. Because travel can offer experiences that both unsettle us and heal us, I can help you look at how your particular journey can be your personal metaphor for accepting a change that you did not plan for, and may not want. 

For many years, you have felt like you would love to volunteer abroad for a cause that changes lives for the better. But there are many causes that are dear to your heart, and there are so many places and people who are suffering or in need. You have not traveled much, and feel unsure about how to decide where to go and what to do. I can help you look at what you offer and what you hope to gain. I can also research which places and programs mesh well with your vision, and help you explore how to approach this trip so that it becomes work you can be proud of and build on.

You have already traveled to many places, but you are beginning to feel as though the travels you’ve had have been somewhat empty—perhaps beautiful places and luxurious experiences, but they didn’t necessarily create positive changes in you or in others. Even though it feels a little scary, you would like to travel in a way that feels more profound. I can help you craft an experience that encourages you to take some risks; perhaps a trip that connects you with local people or that encourages you to share something of yourself in a creative way. 

You are about to begin retirement and feel like a trip is in order. I can help you plan a journey that is a celebration of all that you have accomplished, an opportunity to explore aspects of yourself that you haven’t had time to examine in a while, and a doorway into this vibrant new phase in your life. 

How Do I Work As a Coach? 

Coaching with me is most often a conversation, although it sometimes includes writing, art, and movement. We can explore anything that comes up for you--whether or not it seems obviously connected to your travel experience. I believe that each of our experiences offers us gifts. My role is to guide you through thinking about your recent or upcoming travels and unwrapping their meaning in your life. We may decide together that you need some homework: questions to write about, an activity to try, an affirmation to repeat, or research to look into. The way I work with you will be designed to meet your specific needs and goals. 

My work has a practical aspect, as well as a spiritual aspect. Practically, I can help you think through the details of a trip, including budgeting, transportation, location and activities, accommodations, and packing. And I can help you think more deeply about your distinct needs. For example, if you are hoping that your journey will help you feel more relaxed, I can guide you to think about what sorts of accommodations and activities will truly encourage that for you. 

Spiritually, I help you to gain greater access to you own wisdom, and feel a greater sense of ease with your own process. When a certain destination or travel experience calls to you, it is because there is a message for you within that experience. I can help you recognize and appreciate that message. Sometimes, I do this very deliberately because I can see a connection that you are not making for yourself. And sometimes, it might occur to me to say something that seems channeled, because it just pops into my head and it seems unrelated to what we are discussing. When I speak my thoughts, my client often says, “Wow, that is exactly what I needed to hear.” 

Why Do I Coach? 

Since I was about four years old, I have wanted to see every country, interact with people from backgrounds different other than my own, and somehow make the world better. The traveling I have done, and the intercultural experiences I have had, truly shape the way I live my life. Even my marriage is a direct result of my travels—I met my Costa Rican husband while I was a Peace Corps volunteer. I have worked as an educator and trainer in formal and non-formal settings, including child welfare, the arts, and international exchange. Transformative travel coaching is a combination of all these elements of my experience and my passion. 

When I coach, I help clients to grow, and I myself am healed. The day I coached Linda, my family had been experiencing some challenges. As I drove to meet Linda, I thought about how exhausted I was feeling, and I envisioned that, after our coaching session, all I would want to do was eat Chinese takeout and watch a movie--alone. But after Linda’s coaching session, I felt vibrant and alive, like the best possible version of myself. And curiously, while Chinese takeout, a movie, and alone time are absolutely right sometimes, I no longer wanted to spend my evening that way. Instead I wanted to connect with my family because after helping Linda to explore the meaning in her travels, I felt totally renewed, grateful, and excited about the flow of life. 

For me, travel is one of the best ways to recognize the beauty within us, offer that beauty to the world, and dance with the amazing result. To learn more about how I can help you use travel as a catalyst for more vibrant living, visit: 

My website and blog: 
Twitter: At Home in the World@DeidraRazzaque 

This year I’m also writing a monthly column on travel for Small Planet Studio. See my blogpost the third Wednesday of each month: 

And write to me at:


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