Travel is an instinctively transformational way of being, to move towards the unknown to discover new worlds and new parts of yourself along the way.
When looking back on all my travels thus far, I often reflect on how travelling has evolved over the years, how I evolved through travel, how specific events and journeys in my life have brought me to this space. I know what a privilege it is to be able to travel and I am eternally grateful to have had the opportunities I had! My big dream is to bring transformational journeys to more people, using travel as a means to learn and grow not only by exploring the physical external world but going inwards and exploring the internal world.
My passion for travel was sparked at a very young age, maybe even while I was still in my mother’s womb as she sat on the back of a bakkie (pick up truck) driving on the bumpy roads to Sodwana or at the age of 5 when my Afrikaans speaking family moved to the United Kingdom for 2 years. I had to learn the Queen’s English very quickly and my family had to adapt to this new world with a different culture and ways of living. This move came with many challenges but my parents didn’t take the opportunity lightly and before returning to South Africa, my dad swopped out the company’s business class tickets home and instead we spent a few weeks camping around Europe as a family.
I returned to South Africa aged 7 and many of my travelling highlights throughout my childhood involved family road trips; camping through our neighbouring SADC countries which included some of my first driving lessons on the empty dusty roads of Botswana at aged 14. During school holidays we would drive for 14 hours for our family beach holidays in Jeffreys Bay visiting Ouma Nucie. For shorter getaways we could frequent Ouma Berta’s timeshare in the Magaliesberg for some quality cousin bonding. As we got older, my brother and I could bring a friend for our East Coast beach holidays, and those trips built friendships that I have to this day. One Christmas my father gifted the family Scuba Diving course and then the diving holidays to Mozambique started! I have pretty adventurous parents, who to this day still travel and explore!
Approaching the end of high school, I was faced with the big question “What are you going to study?”. My parents worked very hard to give me the opportunity to get a tertiary education and I felt immense pressure to meet certain expectations, but I wasn’t ready. I did a brave thing by telling them that I wanted to travel first and they did an even braver thing by letting me go. I don’t want to sound cliché, but those 2 gap years were probably the most transformational for me as person. There was no social media, international calls were pricey, cell phones did not have cameras and emails were kind of a thing but my poor parents were lucky if they heard from me once a month. I did have some local support but for the most of it I was on my own, figuring out this thing called life. I came home a different person. I remember struggling being home; I didn’t quite understand the shift that had happened inside me, that my world view had expanded and I had grown on so many levels. Nonetheless it was time to make good on promises made so I chose to study BCom Tourism Management. I knew I had to work in travel in some way, but I didn’t know how, and this seemed the closest thing available at the time.
During my second year at University of Pretoria I met a very special soul, we would come to share a deep connection although only start dating 2 years later. Our relationship would then be cut short in a tragic car accident which left me, his friends and family devastated. I didn’t complete my postgraduate that year, instead after months of grieving I booked a ticket to Australia to be a bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding. This trip played a big role in my healing journey – it removed me from the dark hole I had been wallowing in and showed me that bigger expanded world again.
I returned home, finished my honours research article and I have since worked in the travel industry in one form or another, from tour operator, the retail travel space and corporate travel sectors. In 2015 I started my own business in partnership with Travel Counsellors which has been an amazing journey.
My latest game changer journey was during 2020, in the middle of COVID19 lockdown. This journey didn’t even involve any travelling, in fact the opposite, it was very much lacking in the travel department for a good 2 years. My business suffered immensely but I gained so much insight and growth through my internal soul journey that I came out stronger and better for it. I had started a deeper journey of self discovery just a few months before lockdown with friend and coach, Beth Schneiter. Through lockdown I was inspired to start a facebook community and this website. I also discovered the Transformational Travel Council and through some luck landed a spot on the life-changing Transformational Travel Design course with Tanner Colton. I am now empowered with the words, modules, diagrams and material to illustrate things I had already experienced in my life but didn’t know how to express. Best of all I found a community that understood and lived by principles that I felt aligned with.
Myself and Beth, co-hosted our first mini retreat in 2022, called Reclaim Your Magic, which was a space we created for woman to reclaim parts of themselves that they may have lost or forgotten. It was a beautiful and moving weekend for all involved and a reconfirmation that this is what I needed to do, this was my next step!
My point by sharing these stories, is to illustrate that the universe is always nudging you to do what best aligned with your soul, we must listen to that inner voice. Each brave step towards the unknown and unfamiliar is a step closer to learning more about yourself and the world. I believe travel is a ready-made container for transformational experiences whether you are aware of them consciously or subconsciously – the decision to step out of the comfort of your own home, your hometown and explore somewhere is already a decision towards growth and learning. As humans we have a need for exploring, experiencing, feeling and being somewhere new and it drives us to travel. When you move your focus from the external destinations and start looking at your internal journey as well, the world will shift and move you from the inside out.
And here I am now. I want to be part of the change, the movement to travelling more mindfully and I want to co-create opportunities for more people to have these transformational journeys. I want to offer travellers options that align with values of conscious and mindful travel. I want to collaborate with like-minded people who share the vision and mindset of a better world, better ways of being through travel. And showcase my own country while I’m doing it. I am not a life coach or mentor or teacher but I know travel, I know the intricate details of travel planning; details that can make all the difference. I want to co-create transformational retreats with coaches, mentors and teachers. I want to collaborate with professionals by handling the travel details of tailored and bespoke retreats, whilst they focus on what they do best, helping people.
So here I am, Lize Roodt, Future Female Traveller:
Creating and sharing meaningful trips that align with the mindful traveller as a Travel Counsellor. And my newest calling;
Consulting and Co-creating Travel and Retreats in Southern Africa for transformational professionals worldwide.