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Drawings as a way of expressing transformation after a trip

Abstract
Note: We previously submitted this abstract, and it was accepted for the 2020 International TTRA Conference. When the conference was canceled, we were given the option to retract our abstract and resubmit this year. Abstract: We apply the Interaction Ritual Chains theory (Collins, 2004) to examine how transformative travelers use symbols when narrating their transformation. Transformative travel is a form of travel that encourages travelers to develop more tolerant worldviews and become agents of change in their community by promoting cross-cultural understanding and social empowerment (Reisinger, 2013). More precisely, the study uses an original multi-methods approach that includes drawings, sentence completions, and in-depth interviews to investigate how and in what ways are transformative travel narratives symbolized by travelers? We interview thirty-five transformative travelers and asked them to draw themselves before and after their transformative trip. Transformative travelers are the ones interpreting their drawings. Through their interpretations, their reveal deep and powerful symbols that are at the heart of their transformative journey. Transformative travel practitioners can use those symbols to attract prospective transformative travelers because those symbols align with their aspirations.
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