Ep. 250 — The Art of Crafting Awe: The Psychology of making lasting tour memories

Psychologist Dacher Keltner is a world-renowned expert in all things emotion. He teaches at UC Berkeley, and is latest book is Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life.

Keltner speaks with Mitch about the role of emotions like awe in travel experiences, and what we as tour operators should be thinking about in order to craft these kinds of moments on tours, whether they’re 3 hours or 10 days long.

Some topics we cover:

  • dissecting what we mean by “Transformative experiences”
  • what the brain gains from human interaction and collaboration
  • how experiences ranging from grief to nature can unlock awe
  • thinking about encounters of vastness and mystery during travel
  • changing guests’ perception through story, silence, and intentional seeing
  • the importance of slow observation and slow looking to connect with the vastness of the world
  • the value of religious and spiritual texts and figures in understanding awe
  • how storytelling creates awe
  • creating travel experiences that rely on emotion and “wow moments” rather than information
  • how traveling in groups can create shared awe moments
  • Keltner’s “8 wonders” of life

As always, you’ll find much more at tourpreneur.com.

Running Order:

[00:00:49] Emotionally influenced upbringing in cultural revolution.

[00:06:05] They types of emotion

[00:08:33] Describing moments of awe

[00:10:55] Designing awe in our lives and work.

[00:18:18] Designing awe, art, and slow travel.

[00:20:32] What religion and spirituality understand about awe

[00:26:13] Attuned experiences

[00:28:16] Awe is about mystery and exploration.

[00:34:54] Life’s vulnerability and suffering bring growth and awe.

[00:39:02] What can’t be replaced by technology?

[00:42:29] Finding awe in grief.