Live - Love - Travel - Repeat!
That last word is where the subject of this blog kicks in. With the increasing trend of wanderlust, adrenaline rush and eagerness to explore more, travellers somehow tend to loose the true essence of it all. 2016 was a great travel year for me, but sadly most places I visited or treks I did, I could not help but notice the massive effect that tourism in general have had on the integrity of these places and the people.
Sometimes it's for the good, boom in tourism means more business for localite and upholding their culture. The more people explore the farthest of reaches; which were meagre till now, have had spread like wildfire by word of mouth or thanks to social media! More business, more money, rapid development, better life for local people.
Though there's a flip side too. It is sad to see the enormous pile of garbage along the trekking trails or the amount of carbon footprint we are creating in these indigenous regions. Imagine a garbage heap by a gorgeous river in or the amount of plastic that you see while trekking on any trail! Sustainability is something that we should adapt and adopt too in this fast pace of wanderlust! It's not just us but also for many others to take a slice of the beauty!
Resolutions are very easy to be made and easier to be forgotten about! Let's make this one count, let's all travel sustainable.
Few points I feel all travel enthusiast out there can adhere to:
1. Carry garbage bags without fail. Make them a part of your backpacks, just like your shades, hats or sunscreens.
2. For all hiking enthusiasts out there, when on a trail or otherwise please prevent from throwing any sort of garbage. Also try to pick garbage on your hike.
3. Try to stay in hostels and share resources. Hostels are fun places people! You not only share renewable resources but also meet people from various backgrounds. Talk, Share, Grow!
4. Talk more to local people. Interact with them and make them a part of your travel experience. Homestay are the best way to start of.
5. Use shared resources for transportation. Hitchhike if possible or pool your cab. Take local mode of transport wherever viable.
6. Eat local! Keep your culinary footprint small. Give those fancy hotels a break and dive in at a local dhaba. It will probably turn you on to something new, which is at the end of the day the point of travelling.
Also try to buy
7. Understand and promote local culture. This I feel is most important. Rather than trying to be the hip metropolitan you that probably you are, loose all shackles and know more about the locals. Smile with them and try to share knowledge.
8. Pack light and responsible! Try not to dispose extra stuff while travelling. Carry your own water bottles and refill them wherever possible rather than buying new ones.
9. Buy local souvenirs. Buy responsibly and from approved vendors. Make sure the money you spend goes to the people who rightfully deserves it.
10. Treat the place as your own home.
To end it all, promote sustainable travel as a part of your journey. It takes a little effort and a handful of people to make a difference.
Please feel free to add in whatever points you might feel more relevant and wish you all an eventful and bagful of sweet travel memories in the coming year. Ciao.