Are you a "good" traveller?
It's a pretty vague question, I know.
Are you a sustainable traveller?
Hmm, that's a tricky word. Not entirely sure what it means.
Are you an environmentally- and culturally-sensitive traveller?
Yes. I think so. I chose not to ride elephants in Thailand. That counts, right?
taking time to reflect
I've been reflecting on the type of traveller I am, and the type I would like to be. It's been on my mind since returning from Australia and New Zealand. All that time spent in fresh air - it really gets your thoughts rolling, let me tell you. And these are the type of questions that have come and gone, and come back again.
Now, becoming a better traveller doesn't mean I've ever been a bad traveller, of course. But I know I can do better when it comes to my impact on the environment, how I respond to the culture I'm immersing myself in, and how I portray my experiences on social media. There's enough social media influencers out there whose message says little more than "you should go here" and "you must do this". It's time for a deeper message.
More people are travelling now than ever before. The impact on the environment is being felt already (think Iceland - a small country with 4 million tourists in 2014, 2 million more than in 2010). Culturally-speaking, how many of us were present enough on our last holiday to truly appreciate the people and the culture we just experienced? How many of us are booking holidays to a place just because everyone else is going there?
I recently joined the Toronto hub of Impact Travel Alliance, a community of conscious travellers looking to positively change how we explore the world, hoping to learn from like-minded travellers within and outside the travel industry. And so my journey to change the way I travel continues.
Stay tuned for sustainable travel tips and experiences.