An exploration of travel and transpersonal development

A heuristic inquiry into the relationship between travel and spiritual growth


  • John Thompson



travel, spiritual development, transpersonal development, transformation, authenticity, transpersonal psychology


This paper explores the relationship between travel, transpersonal development and spiritual growth. Due to the personal engagement of the participants and the author in the subject areas being investigated, Moustakas’ (1990) heuristic inquiry was chosen. This is a qualitative methodology ideally suited to reveal tacit knowledge through those “who have directly encountered the phenomenon” (Moustakas, 1990, p. 38). Interview analysis from the author’s original MSc research uncovered themes that were presented through individual depictions, an exemplary depiction and a composite depiction, portraying recurrent collective themes. The composite depiction forms the results section of this paper. The discussion utilises insights and theories from transpersonal psychology as analytical tools to more closely explore the deeper workings of the phenomena being researched. It suggests that for people who are open to experience and capable of processing that experience, travel, through a search for authenticity and transcendence of the known self and outer world can implicitly share similarities with spiritual practices, therapy, and rites of passage. This can lead to self-knowledge, meaningful transformation, and authentic transpersonal development. Furthermore, the liminal aspects of travel can continue on returning home to aid the process of integration, and ‘re-create’ both personal and communal life at home.




How to Cite

Thompson, J. (2020). An exploration of travel and transpersonal development: A heuristic inquiry into the relationship between travel and spiritual growth. Consciousness, Spirituality & Transpersonal Psychology, 1, 17–33.