Most of the time, the idea of going to new places tends to overwhelm us so much that we forget the purpose of travel is more than just relaxation and recreation; it goes beyond the leisure aspect. To travel is to discover, to educate and be educated and to create bridges.
Visiting a new place is an opportunity to spread goodness. And since “no man is an island,” going places becomes an avenue where people of different races and religions give and share the goodness. Here’s how:
When you are a responsible traveler you understand that as humans, we are the caretakers of the earth and everything that inhabits it. It is in our hands to restore the balance of nature, preserve life through environmental stewardship. To travel responsibly means not only knowing your rights as a traveler, but also the rights of the places you set foot on, its people and the different lifeforms living there. Visit conservations and sanctuaries, actually see wildlife in their natural habitat instead of zoos where animals are maltreated. Simply obey the rules when visiting natural landmarks like preserved sites. Try eco-friendly modes of travel, like taking bicycle tours rather than renting cars.
When you give back, whether through volunteering, raising funds, or putting together a project for a community, it can make a big difference. Support local artists or buy goods/souvenirs from local markets. A more authentic experience of your destination could come from hiring a local guide, which can create a direct impact on the local economy at the same time. Immerse yourself in the culture of your destination — live with a local family rather than stay at big, luxurious hotels.
When you keep an open mind while you travel, you discover and learn new things and grow in many ways. Approaching a new culture with an open mind will help break down stereotypes and instead build connections. Having a welcoming attitude also gives both parties — traveler and locals — a more meaningful cross-cultural experience. Being able to experience a new culture with an open mind establishes acceptance, more respect and an understanding of differences. And once you have adapted and encountered a different kind of reality, you eventually keep hearsays, prejudices and biased assumptions in check because you become an ambassador of a culture finally understood. You transform lives, achieve clarity and transform lives.
Understanding that the purpose of travel goes beyond leisure creates a richer experience out of your destination, its locals, and culture. To travel isn’t just for checking things off your bucket list, but also for getting richer through your journeys as you continue to grow, touch lives, and create change.