What is the difference between responsible travel and conscious travelling? There is none. No matter how you wish to define it, I’m talking about stepping outside of your comfort zone, traveling to a foreign place, learning a new language, and really establishing a connection with the local people, food and culture. That is responsible travel because instead of just going through the environment, one is really responding and developing a true feel for the place. Step outside your comfort zone today.
Responsible Travel Creates the Unimaginable
[booking_product_helper shortname=”backpacking”]When was the last time you traveled and really experienced Portugal, or really got to know how locals in Argentina party? A responsible traveller visits somewhere to learn the locale, not just to do expensive excursions. Of course, everyone knows Argentinians just need red meat to have a good time. But, by going to Argentina, and making friends with local people, I found out far more about the history and local landscape than I ever thought possible. I now know that it’s normal for Argentinians to eat dinner at 12 PM. While something is unimaginable in one place, it’s very much the reality in another. That’s the power of conscious traveling, when you take an interest in the world around you, the unimaginable happens. One starts to realize that the entire world is different, and that not one paradigm, or one perspective paramounts another.
What is Responsible Travel?
Responsible travel is about being curious about the world around you. A responsible traveller will take time to experience the local way of life, which means eating local cuisine, speaking local languages and embracing the culture that is! While traveling, I gave up my North American habitats of eggs and bacon for breakfast, and ate street food. I was flexible and versatile to my new environment. These tacos in the heart of Mexico City were the best, and cheapest tacos I’ve ever had!
How to Be a More Responsible Traveler
Responsible Travellers Explore Foreign Cities
Responsible travellers opt to explore real communities in which people live. Explore to gain new perspectives and see life from a different angle. I explored the famous Rochina favela in Rio de Janeiro with a local Brazilian psychologist. By making new friends, I was able to explore communities like a true local. He showed me how local families live, and the miraculous views they have.
Responsible Travellers Eat Local Food!
The best part of embracing a responsible travel mindset is eating all the delicious, new FOOD! When in Rome, I ate Pizza almost daily. In Brazil, I stuck to rice, beans, salad, beans and protein. In Costa Rica, Soda’s were the best places to find authentic Costa Rican food. When visiting Poland, I just had to have the soup, and beer.
Read more about my experiences with responsible travel in my book, Citizen of the World. Click here for the eBook Series. What are your favourite responsible travel memories? How have they shaped you into who are you today?