When planning your next holiday there is always so much to do. Tickets, flights, itineraries, packing, etc. can very easily overwhelm the experience of adventure and wanderlust. We often choose the “easier” accommodation or perceived bucket list activity to be ticked off, but what was once a common and well-sought out itinerary for your parents most likely isn’t as woke or mindful as it could be.
With social media being a current source of travel content and inspiration, what might look impressive in a story (a selfie with a tiger) can often create more harm and ultimately a ripple effect (when you post someone else will do it etc). Yes, embrace the beauty, culture, and spirit of travel, but by shifting your perspective to one of mindfulness, you will have all the benefits of ensuring your imprint is creating a positive impact. Jordan Ashley, Founder of Souljourn Yoga, shares her top 5 tips to more mindful travel.
Choose places that are locally owned (as opposed to a huge chain hotel) to ensure that you are contributing to the local economy. Any kind of ethical or green policies that your accommodation have is always a plus.
Anything that you get at home, you can purchase in your destination as well. This goes back to supporting the local economy by purchasing bug spray, shampoo, sunblock, etc. that can easily be found at a local market or pharmacy. Your business goes a long way, so pack light and donate what you don’t use.
Do your research
Have the intention of why you are doing a certain activity and do your due diligence before any kind of volunteer work. Unfortunately, orphanage tourism exists and pretend animal sanctuaries that are actually roadside zoos are common. If you are going to engage with any kind of philanthropic work, make sure you do a ton of research beforehand. One pointer is making sure that the NGO does background checks which is usually a good indicator that their hearts are in the right place. What might take a few extra hours of internet scrolling will ultimately lead you to being a more compassionate traveller.
Don’t take people’s pictures without their permission. What might look like a really cool shot and seemingly harmless action, but it can be offensive. So simply, ask.
Most likely, there will be hiccups on your adventures and having a “go with the flow attitude” means practising patience, compassion, and gratitude to be the ultimate global citizen.