Imagine you are on vacation- either as an individual or on a package holiday. Nice thought, isn’t it!? However, you always find those tourists who see their holiday as a time when they like to pay no attention to good behaviour, are disrespectful, contemptuous, disruptive or crabby. They seem to be too lazy or inconsiderate to make an effort to adapt to cultural or religious differences. Of course, sometimes everyone does that as they just want to leave their worries behind, forget everything for some days and just relax or want to be chauffeured around. Trust me, I do understand. Nevertheless, if you know what I am talking about you may also feel ashamed while seeing those kinds of tourists during your holidays especially if they are from the same country as you. The problem is that it is actually easy not to be like those tourists, but often ones desire and conviction to really want it, is missing!
Responsible Travel is Cool!
In fact, responsible travel is actually pretty cool, but most people are not aware of that! When I return from a trip I usually have made dozens of new friends from the country I have been to. They took me to places where you do not find any other tourists, they showed me local spots where I ate food no other tourist had tried and fully integrated me into their daily life by taking me to parties or to their friends and family and gave me small presents to take home. Why? Because I am naturally curious, open-minded and like to travel in a responsible way. Does this kind of travel sound appealing to you? If you really want to, you can do that too! So, let me tell you what’s in it for you – your benefits of responsible travel.
Apply the Ethical Principles
First of all, you should be willing and happy to stick to the following ethical principles. But that should not be a major problem as they are mainly a matter of common sense:
- Treat others in a way in which you would like to be treated – with respect and kindness.
- Be a good guest.
- Adapt; tolerate things as the locals welcome YOU in THEIR country. So, never forget: When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
- Respect nature, the destination, its people and their different religion, culture or way of thinking and show your interest.
- Improve your language skills, for example through more communication during your travels.
This is not meant to sound strict or stuffy, but in general, good manners, respect and values are very important in life.
YOUR BENEFITS from responsible travel
So, when you apply these ethical principles, you will get many benefits in return:
- You will be warmly welcomed and treated with hospitality and respect.
- You will more quickly find yourself in conversation with locals as mutual interest is activated.
- You will find out lots of insider tips and information which through ignorant behaviour you would have never found out about.
- Locals will start liking you and true friendships may evolve.
- Your new friends may even show you around, invite you to their homes to meet their family and to have dinner together.
- You will appreciate small things, humanity, and be more thankful for what you have instead of what you don’t have.
- You realize that people and their relationship to you often make the place what it is.
- Thus, you will broaden your horizons through learning new things and looking at life from a new and different perspective.
I hope you like the idea of responsible traveling and that you have found inspiration within this article. Here you can find 5 Tips on how to be a responsible traveller even before your journey begins.
Feel free to leave your thoughts in a comment or maybe you even have a good story to share regarding this topic!?