Being a concious traveler & a smart voluntourist.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, I’ve added a tab called ‘Conscious Traveler‘ at the top bar. I originally called it ‘Responsible Tourism’ but I decided to change it for a few reasons. I think the term ‘responsible’ makes it sound like it is the person’s obligation to make things right – although it would be nice, I think it’s not about responsibility – it’s about education and being conscious. Also, there’s a big different between ‘tourism’ and ‘traveling’ and I am a traveler – so are you, my readers because if you were a tourist, you wouldn’t be reading up on ideas and thoughts about different cultures – rather be interested in going to a place and sight-seeing. A tourist sees but a traveler experiences. It’s different.

The term ‘conscious traveler’ is not a term I made up but it’s also not a popular term with a set of definitions. So, conscious traveler as I define it:

The term conscious traveler incorporates travelers who are not only environmentally aware but also economically, socially and politically aware when visiting new locations. It also refers to travelers who really immerse themselves into the culture and respect and appreciate each moment.

The key terms here are ‘aware, appreciate and respect.’

Photo from columbiamissourian.com

As you may have read, I have written several posts on the issue of ‘voluntourism’ in this blog before. Voluntourism is one of the main topics/concerns I bring up when I talk about being a conscious traveler. I recently came across an article on the Huffington Post and I thought I’d share it with you. Daniela Papi, who wrote the article, has been someone I’ve been following for a while – ever since I became aware of the issues surrounding voluntourism. She’s a great thought leader on the issue and I am so happy to see her advocating and being the voice – reaching out to a greater audience through outlets like the Huffington Post especially during a high travel season – and also because more and more people are looking into volunteering overseas.

The article brings out a lot of great points. Make sure to check out her article “Voluntourism: What Could Go Wrong When Trying To Do Right?

The article also appeared in the Good Intentions Are Not Enough blog and Daniela’s own blog, Lessons I Learned. Also, follow Daniela on Twitter to get more information on Voluntourism and help spread the word!

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