The world is undoubtedly getting smaller and our desire to see it is only getting bigger. Travel can be a great understanding and peace-creating mechanism. The more we experience others and others’ cultures face-to-face, with our own two eyes, the more likely we are to be tolerant, understanding, and fear less about each other. Travel is an important part of our social fabric as a global community.
However, there is also no doubt that globalization has impacts that we need to take a second look at and adjust for the sake of a diverse and thriving planet. Environmentally, travel and unnatural forms of transportation are killing sacred environments that are too unique and rare to be destroyed. Socially, cultures that have existed isolated for hundreds of years are being permeated and dissolved by others that are exploitive, particularly by the travel industry. Economically, if not done with local best interests in mind, travel can damage local, traditional economies that small villages and rural areas rely on.
As more and more generations from an increasing number of nations become global citizens, it’s time to take a moment to look at what it means to travel authentically and responsibly to respectfully celebrate, preserve, and support local cultures that make our world as unique and interesting as it is.
We can travel and appreciate while preserving and uplifting the earth and its diverse people.
Travel to explore and preserve natural beauty:
Industry and globalization are already having separate effects on the environment, negative effects from travel can and should be minimized. If we want to continue to explore beautiful places and appreciate the way they are, we need to be more conscious about how we visit them. Avoiding excessive transportation and extreme development for the sake of tourism is a huge effort that needs to be made. At Unventured, we organized small group bike tours with a goal of exploring an area without physically leaving a trace behind.
Travel that respects and celebrates culture:
Globalization and a mixing of cultures can be beautiful and teach tolerance but small traditional cultural pockets are being exploited and destroyed by travel that does not respect and uphold local culture. Travel should respect local culture and traditions and not impose changes to fit the needs of travelers. Rather, travel should be used as a way to show the true heart of a destination and its people in its most real form. Visitors should be focused on learning about local culture and observing respectfully and travel companies should be focused on working with local communities to provide authentic and non-imposing experiences for outsiders. At Unventured, as locals, we work directly with communities on all of our tour routes to provide our travelers with uniquely authentic activities and lodging as well as to provide the communities with a say in how they communicate and preserve their culture.
Travel to uplift communities economically:
One of the most concerning effects of international travel is how other nations and travel companies affect local community economies, many of which have existed for 1000s of years to sustain generations. It is important to rightfully support small communities for travel that takes place in their backyards. They are what bring a sense of personality, history, and tradition along with beautiful sights. It’s important they remain to preserve the authenticity of a destination. Unventured works only with local providers of food, lodging, lessons, and activities for our tour guests to economically empower small communities. We want to make sure they are around for a long time even as the way we see the world changes.
Not only is sustainable and responsible travel the morally right way to treat the earth and its people, it provides an experience like no other. Traveling in the way described above puts you in a place to see a destination the most impactful and rewarding way. Experiencing nature, culture, and local tradition and history personally and intimately is how you turn trips to life-changing experiences. At Unventured, we aim to do just this with all of our carefully curated tours.