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The Traveler’s Responsibility

Ever heard the saying “to whom much is given, much is expected” ? While still considering the prospects of transforming my personal instagram page to a travel blog, i took a travel blogging course with (@theufuoma) accurately titled “The Art of Travel Blogging”.

It was while skimming through the course content that this query first came to me- what responsibilities could there be for us, as travelers? Responsibilities to ourselves, our home countries/states, our audiences, our destinations and our planet earth.

These are mildly disconcerting questions yes, but necessary questions nonetheless. 

However, while musing about the endless benefits that travel offers us - in tangible ways such as income and renumeration and intangibly in experiences, memories, renewed health and inspiration amongst others, I thought up four (4) ways we can better experience the places we visit, while honoring both the destinations and it’s people. 

1. Portray beautifully & respectfully

As travelers, we should aim at capturing the places we see, cultures we interact with and the people we meet while traveling, in all of their beauty and in ways that are humanizing to them. When in doubt, it is always best to ask “how would I like this person to portray me and my culture to say, their audience?” 10/9 the answer goes both ways.

2. Share honestly & without prejudice

This can get a bit tricky sometimes, as our experiences of the places we visit may be less than ideal. An example of this for me was the Penataran Lempuyan Temple in Bali. I have had many a disappointing experiences yet, that one stands out to me because of how illusive it was.

Nonetheless, as people dedicated to discovering the world in its beauty and otherwise (because the world isn’t all beauty, for sure), we must endeavor to be honest in our truth-telling and divulge from prejudicing or stereotyping.

3. Be Invested 

This is my personal favorite mantle to carry. As all travelers will attest to, the places we are blessed to visit and the people we meet along the way, leave very lasting impressions on us and our worldview. Being invested means that we care about these places and people even after our vacations are over. It means that we are empathetic to their realities while we are with them and as much as we can, when we leave as well. 

Social media offers a great tool for sharing in the realities of people far and near. It allows us to connect with our hosts, tour guides, favorite hotel staff etc through the internet. This is one sure way to stay in touch and invested in the lives of those we meet along our travel paths.

4. Be Ethical in consumption

The saying often goes.... “leave places better than you found them”. For me, this has translated into treating each destination I visit with some level of care and concern. ‘Is this going to cause the next visitor trouble/harm?’, “will people find this useful for their travel planning?’, 'Can I shed bring awareness to this through my platform and voice?' etc. are some questions to ponder about while aiming to leave travel destinations better than you found them.

What ways are you looking to incorporate intentionality in your 2021 travels? Leave a comment in the section below. I would love to hear from you! 


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