Exploring Transformation Through Travel by Means of the Movie The WayUmut Morkoç, Burhan Çınar, Tuğba Pala
Transformation through travel is attracting scholarly attention due to its potential to trigger a radical transformation extending beyond the traveler’s unique experience during the trip of a lifetime. As one of the most common ways of encountering the different, tourism can enable people to become aware of their hidden assumptions and make volitional decisions about them, resulting in a transformation. This study aims to understand how transformation takes place through touristic experience, based on Mezirow’s learning theory. To do this, the movie The Way (Emilio Estevez, 2010), which depicts the relationship between touristic experience and the transformation of the individual in an artistically powerful manner, was utilized. To analyze the document that constitutes the data source of the research study, a narrative analysis, and a qualitative research design, was followed. The results of the narrative analysis demonstrated that the representations in the movie coincide strongly with the literature on transformation through travel. It showed that transformation begins with the traveler’s questioning of self or the perceived world, and that the various difficulties experienced, encounters with the different, and going out of one’s comfort zone and habits facilitate transformation through travel. It was also concluded that the authenticity of the touristic experience strengthens its transformative aspect. Thus, the study proposes that in order to strengthen the transformative aspect of the touristic experience, tourists should be offered touristic products and services that contain transformative experiences whose authenticity is preserved.