Travel should transform. And be more than a change of scenery.  Every trip should challenge your mind, your heart, your tastes, your fears, your body. While that doesn’t sound like the recipe from most people’s typical all-inclusive vacation, even the most routine and common destinations can be more.

I recently traveled to the Grand Canyon and went from top to bottom over two days. And from the moment I arrived, the Canyon made me feel small. Insignificant. Inconsequential. Exactly how a vacation should make you feel.

At 6,000 feet or a mile-long, the Grand Canyon isn’t the deepest canyon in the world. At 29 kilometers wide, it isn’t even the widest. But there is something extraordinary about the Grand Canyon. It is visually striking at every possible moment; at the top and bottom and in between, and during the journey down and back up. It commands respect in a way only something that has formed over millions of years and taken hundreds of lives can. It is a humbling place that brings home the fact that a whole bunch of small steps lead to something of power and beauty.

The Grand Canyon changed me. I realized there is so much noise around us, it has gotten easy to not hear the symphony that’s forming. It’s become natural to think that every smile offered, every moment of time volunteered, every boundary broken goes completely unnoticed.

When in reality, all of our gestures, ideas and efforts either layer one on top of another, or put another chip into a slowly eroding armour. It’s just hard to see when you are so focused on living in the moment or simply getting through the day.

And that is why travel is so important. Sometimes it takes going somewhere else to transform, be changed and get into focus. And realize it feels good to be made to feel small.

I can’t wait for the next trip that shrinks my comfortable little spot even further.