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Gift-giving can be confoundinga challenge far beyond expectation.

We want to give gifts that


are useful, fun, or enjoyable for the recipient. We dont always know what they need and we
cant always be certain if they will like something we choose, yet sometimes giving money or
and Amazon gift card feels impersonal, drained of creativity. Of course, its the thought that
counts, but what if youve been thinking too far inside the box?
Sometimes, the most valuable, enjoyable, and lasting gift is time. Time spent experiencing
people, places, tastes, sounds, adventures, and feelings that open your eyes, broaden your
worldview, and live within you forever. In fact, today more people than ever hold experiences to
a higher value than material possessions. Giving the gift of travel may be your best bet to truly
give a special gift to your loved one. Stories and memories never become obsolete.

As a graduation present, travel can serve as a valuable learning experience. Not only does it
invoke a sense of independence as your loved one steps outside their comfort zone and
immerses themselves in a foreign culture, overcoming language barriers, and exploring
diIerent approaches to daily life unlike their own, travel is also enriching in its elemental push
toward self-reliance. This kind of immersion encourages travelers to open their minds and soak
in knowledge, history, food, and culture, while overcoming any fears or stereotypes as they
make new connections. It is learning life skills through Jrsthand, insider experience.
The broadened worldview and lessons learned through travel will carry them through
experiences for the rest of their lives. In fact, many employers look to hire candidates with
travel experience or graduates with study-abroad experience because it indicates openmindedness and adjustabilitytravel enables you to build relationships while immersed in a
new culture. Someone who can build these kinds of relationships has an advantage when
working with a wide variety of clients, as well as adjusting to the organizational culture of the
hiring company. These qualities are often favored above academic achievements and other
extra-curricular activities; especially as international business continues to grow.

For many, the gift of travel can provide spiritual and religious experiences. It is common for
youth celebrating their bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah to be gifted a trip, and young Jewish people
can also apply for their free Birthright trip to Israel to better understand their heritage. For
Christians, Jerusalem is an area of spiritual richness as home to a multitude of holy sites. Relics
of Catholic saints around the world, the healing springs of Lourdes in France, and Our Lady of
Guadalupe in Mexico draw thousands of visitors each year. Islams holiest city, Mecca, and its
beautiful mosques also draws visitors by the thousands. Jaw-dropping Buddhist temples
scattered throughout Southeast Asia provide a valuable spiritual experience that can teach
people of any religion beautiful meditation techniques. In South America, a Shaman can guide
you through spiritual tours and meditation practices.
All of these experiences, and more, are a way to understand history and enrich spirituality
through real-life experiences, whether in the sanctity of nature or in the sacred locations that
real events occurred. Throughout a religious pilgrimage or spiritual journey, travelers are able to
strengthen their spiritual identity and gain insights that inspire learning and continued growth.

Similarly, it can be a life-changing experience to visit the lands of ones ancestors. For people
interested in genealogy, multi-generational travel, or family history, a priceless gift is one that
allows them to visit the motherland. Eating traditional food, visiting sites of historical and
personal signiJcance, and witnessing the same views that older generations bore witness to
can bring people closer to their ancestors. Heritage travel can bring families together and
inspire a passion for history, culture, and keeping family tradition alive.
As a wedding, honeymoon, or anniversary gift or a just because romantic getaway, travel can
bring couples together as they try new, exciting things. Romantic, luxury safaris in Africa oIer
the best of glamping with lantern-lit picnics and elephants moseying outside the lodge. Pristine
white-sand beaches with crystal clear water invite sunshine, warmth, happiness, and intimacy.
Adventurers can backpack across Southeast Asia with bicycle tours of lush green rice paddies,
kayak tours of beautiful bays, caving in some of the worlds largest caves, or experiencing what
has been deemed some of the worlds greatest cuisine as couples grow and learn together.
On the other hand, life does not always present the ideal opportunities for travel. Starting a
new static job, starting a family, or even adopting pets can make travel seem like an
impossibility. Carpe diem! Transitional times of life can be an amazing time to seize the
opportunity to travel before settling into a routine that may make it diIicult to jet set- especially
on a whim! It takes a lot more planning and logistics coordination to travel the more
obligations there are to fulJll. As some say there are the haves and the have-dones, or those
who have more things versus those who have more experiences.
The memories and stories that stay with you through the rest of lifes adventures make the gift
of travel the most unique and lasting of all. Airlines, hotels, and tour operators such as Yampu
make it easy to contribute to someones adventurous spirit with gift certiJcates for people to
plan their own trips, or can work with you to customize a tour based on what your loved one
loves.
Have you received the gift of travel as a gift or given a trip to someone else? Tell us about
it in the comments below!
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