If you love travelling, you should be a responsible traveller.
You have probably listened to talks about “responsible travel” before. Maybe, you are not sure about the real meaning of this concept… If you think that it means to travel to a green or eco destination, you are quite confused.
Today, I’d like to talk you into the need of travelling responsibly. To start with, what is responsible travel? It is being socially and culturally aware when we travel. We should (or have to) understand we strongly affect the places we visit. So, we have to make our effect / impact a positive one.
I suspect that you define yourself as a traveller, not a tourist. I also define myself as a traveller. I think the cultural differences make me explore the world, and I find them incredibly rewarding. Each new travel teaches me something new. It is the reason why travel is hugely enriching and gratifying for me. But, we, as travellers, should take care of the basics tenets of travel…
- We are a guest in each new place we are visiting. As a good guest, we must get involved in the culture, traditions and lifestyles of our hosts.
If you travel to a muslim country, you shouldn’t wear some kinds of clothes that there are not accepted by their religion. For example, in India women shouldn’t wear shorts or mini dresses.
- Their culture should be respected. We could get involved in their culture and traditions, and try to share ours. But, we should never try to impose our culture in a foreign country. Would you like foreign people imposing theirs on you?
- Consume local products and invest in local culture. Many “tourists” are used to buying souvenirs that are no local, and spend their time in fast food restaurants that are not local. Try to support local artisan and business, and don’t buy foreign products that are sold as souvenirs (like Mexican huts in Barcelona!).
I remember when I travelled to China. Everywhere we could find a McDonalds, Starbucks, or Neros. You could take a Starbucks’ coffee in Tiananmen square! It was so crazy and sad!
I recommended you enjoying a Masala Chai in a local place in India, or a mint tea in Morocco. It could be one of the best experiences and, at the same time, you will respect their local economy by being a responsible traveller.
- Be a responsible photographer. We got used to taking photos without enjoying the moment and place we are living. When we are travelling, it should be a must! I love taking photos (I am a photographer), but I also love enjoying my relax time when I am travelling around. I recommend you take your time to enjoy and appreciate the view, people and moment you are living before taking a photo or selfie. It could be the best photo that your mind will keep.
To end with, you should respect your host. Maybe it isn’t polite taking photos in the country you are visiting. Before taking a photo, ask first!
- Don’t Partake in Animal or Human Exploitation, because it is one of the most irresponsible kinds of travels that you could do!
It means, for example, don’t accept a tour where locals are treated as captives of tourists. For example, I remember when I was travelling around Thailand, you could take a tour to visit and photograph the neck women. I absolutely refused it. I didn’t want to be part of this kind of business. It is quite sad!
- Talk with locals. I love this tenet. I honestly feel that it is a basic rule. We need to talk with them to understand their culture and traditions. Moreover, talking with locals could open our minds, and allow us to learn and live the richest experiences.
I’m pretty sure you agree with me. The best of travelling is learning and sharing cultures, meeting different kinds of people. We must be responsible travellers if we want a plural and different World. I love travelling and I couldn’t imagine not doing it. At the same time, the best part of travelling is discovering others cultures and people. Could we do it if we kill our planet by being irresponsible travellers?
So… Let’s go to travel responsibly