THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ‘IMPACT TRAVEL.’
The reality is – we ALWAYS make an impact when we travel. For better or worse, our physical presence in a new place disrupts the status quo. It may be a tiny ripple. It may be a tidal wave. It may be another drop into an already cascading waterfall. But, in every destination, things will be different because we showed up.
Instead of getting caught up in the latest travel buzz words ask yourself…
What kind of impact do I want to make in this place?
On every trip that we take, we are conscious of the following:
We want the money spent to directly benefit the people that live there.
Ex: taking the extra logistical steps to book lodgings directly with a locally owned guesthouse instead of booking platform or foreign-owned hotel
We want to support responsible tourism projects that challenge typical power dynamics and uplift the vulnerable.
Ex: participating in an Unseen tour in London which connect travelers with tour guides whose lived experience includes homelessness.
We want to honor the work of local changemakers and culturekeepers with my time, attention and resources.
Ex: avoiding the tourist bazaars with knick-knacks made in a foreign factory and signing up for a workshop with a master artisan
We want to leave behind the impression that ‘people like us’ are friendly and respectful.
Ex: having real conversations with the people I meet and doing more listening than talking
We want to inspire other travelers to choose connection over consumption.
Ex: hyping our ‘alternative’ travel experiences whenever someone asks for recommendations
What kind of impact do YOU want to make in the place you are going?
With a bit of effort, you can make sure that yours is a positive one.