The travel creature in all of us will certainly attest to the power of travel and how it “broadens the mind”. We also acknowledge travel for its addictive nature! I, for one, am a firm believer.
And although the purpose of travel are many and varied, the common denominator is the opportunity to discover ourselves, explore our abilities, our limitations, while gaining new appreciation for what we already possess.
Now imagine, if such thought which is skewed towards vanity can be flipped, and we seek to do more for others then ourselves. After all travel exposes us to new realities. The sight of a landscape devastated by deforestation and the habitat destruction of an endangered species, the vast deserts that hamper people’s access to water, and street kids running about the streets of major urban centers instead of being in school, … and the list continues.
Such sights are not uncommon in any form of travel, regardless how “sterile” our mode of transport or how “luxe” our accommodation is. We are bound to be exposed to them one way or another.
And now envision if we could be if we could be in a position to do something about it. Make a different, and have a direct impact in our travel choices.
Responsible Tourism may be the answer.
In essence, tourism that attempts to strike a balance between doing good and rendering impact. A concept that’s been floating around, reserved for the very few humanitarians and good samaritans that went across the world on altruistic missions. Organizations have been doing it, but rarely on an individual basis. Modern tourism, as we knew it, was driven by commercializing a place and its people. Of course it was all well intended, driving an economy, growing a service sector, and creating jobs. But it also came with a price. Environmental destruction, unchecked development, and commercialization of culture.
So I was intrigued to find out examples of people who have participated in Responsible Tourism, and how they’ve been impacted.
Here are some examples, taken from TCS & Starquest Expeditions, a high-end travel company that practices Responsible Tourism. you could argue that they’re straight out of autobiographies, but for all the skeptics out there, I share the value of their personal life-changing experiences… all made possible through a new way of travel… a more gentle and light treading kind. Responsible Travel has arrived.
Inspiration: TCS & Starquest Expeditions