Can You Make a Difference while Travelling?
The feeling of travelling the world is a glorious one; a feeling of wonder and excitement and a thirst for adventure that simply can’t be quenched. Whether you’re travelling to a new country, exploring a big city or getting lost in the wilderness, ticking items off your bucket list and getting to grips with new cultures and fresh experiences is something which never grows old. Even the thrill of discovering somewhere amazing or revisiting an old favourite is unrivalled – once you have been bitten by the wanderlust bug, there isn’t a corner of the world that you won’t want to visit.
But in amongst all the hustle and bustle of a life lived out on the road, do you ever get that feeling as though you could be doing more? Should you be trying to help others who are less fortunate than yourself, or endeavouring to give a little back to a struggling community which has generously welcomed you, the weary traveller, with open arms and a beaming smile?
While eco-tourism and sustainable travel are consistently on the rise, there’s no need to go all out when you think about how you can improve your travels. Instead, there are many small but effective ways in which you can go about helping to make a real difference while travelling – helping to better lives and brighten someone else’s day while doing your bit for the environment and reducing your carbon footprint. What could be better?
But with this in mind, how can you go about making a difference while you travel? Here are some great ways to which you can commit to doing your bit for the people and the environment around you.
When was the last time that you donated to charity? Whether it’s dropping a handful of loose change into a collection box or spending a couple of hours volunteering for a good cause, even the smallest things can be highly beneficial for charities. Even as we speak, there are many vulnerable people in need around the world – from orphans to the homeless in our own towns and cities, there are always people who need our help. If you really want to do your bit, donate to the Rohingya appeal to really make a difference in the world today.
Going green is one of those notions that have a rather romantic air to it, don’t you think? Far from the stereotype of flower crowns and delicious vegetarian dishes snapped on social media sites, sustainability and eco-friendliness actually have a much more practical base. We are all familiar with the reasons why it is important to do our bit for the environment and the planet that we inhabit, but how many of us are committed to joining in with the eco-revolution? From helping to plant trees to partaking in eco-friendly tourism initiatives and taking public transport wherever possible, you can do your bit to help preserve the environment for many more years to come.
In many tourist hotspots, visitors have the reputation of being brash, loud and disrespectful, despite the fact that they provide a significant boost to the economy. When you are out and about, you should do what you can to dispel this stereotype and portray a kind, caring and genuine vision of the typical tourist – the type of person that locals want to visit! Just a few kind words, a smile and a healthy respect for local culture and traditions will go a long way towards altering people’s perceptions of you as a frequent traveller.
Of course, at its core, travel is all about broadening your horizons and seeing as much of our beautiful planet as possible. Visiting awe-inspiring places and experiencing different cultures and lifestyles to our own may seem great on the surface, but underneath, it’s the small acts of kindness and generous deeds that will be remembered long after your footprints fade.
*This is a contributed post.