5 steps to more mindful travel
While some of us have paddled our feet back into foreign waters this year, the majority – 70% according to a recent Tripadvisor survey – have stuck to home turf for our travels ever since the Covid-19 virus hit. But now that the world is opening up more and more – trips to the US are back on the agenda from next week for starters – what are overseas holidays going to look in a post-pandemic world?
The past 20 months has given us all time for reflection, to focus on our mental wellness and to live a more mindful existence. And so, as 77% of us are planning to holiday internationally again next year, we need to think about how we travel. Aside from the PCR test requirements and the increase in holiday admin, how do we embrace the beauty, culture, and spirit of travel more mindfully, and make sure our footprint is creating a positive impact on the places we visit and the world as a whole?
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 buying 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, can actually 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.