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 The Responsible Traveller


The responsible traveller prefers smaller groups, and to meet some local people (as well as fellow travellers), and understand that travelling in smaller groups makes local people and cultures more accessible. The responsible traveller wants to get a little bit more out of their travels, and to give a little bit back to the special places and people that they encounter. They want deeper and more real travel experiences. The responsible traveller values authenticity – experiences integral to local people's traditions, cultures and rituals - rather than those created for tourism, or those whose existing meanings and uses have become lost as they have been packaged up for tourism.

A few thoughts for the Responsible traveller…

  • Travel like Gandhi: with simple clothes, open eyes and an uncluttered mind (Rick Stevens).
  • Read up on the countries you plan to visit – the welcome would be warmer if you take an interest
  • Buy local produce - helps the local developing countries economy
  • When bargaining: show respect for the crafter and pay a fair price based on whether you would sell the same article for the price you are willing to pay, after all they are trying to make a living. Keep laughter and good sense of humour.
  • In many rural markets bargaining is not an accepted practice. These markets are often organised on a cooperative basis where all the crafters take turns in selling on behalf of the group. The seller is often not the crafter and cannot accept a lesser amount.
  • Think small, locally owned accommodation- it benefits local families
  • Cultivate the habit of asking questions: discover the enrichment of seeing life through others eyes instead of the western practice of knowing all the answers
  • Local peoples different time concepts and thought patterns may differ from your own, this does not make them inferior- just different
  • Use water sparingly- it is precious in many countries especially Southern Africa.
  • Respect for local cultures, traditions and holy places earns you respect, so for example, ask permission before you photograph local people- in some countries it can cause serious problems.
  • Spend time reflecting on your daily experience; it deepens your understanding. It has been said what enriches you may rob and violate others.
  • Do not buy products made from endangered species- hard woods, shells from beach traders- or ancient artifact – they may have been stolen.
  • Remember to treat all people and their communities with respect, after all you are travelling through their lives, their world and their land!
  • Enjoy the memories: extracted/adapted from Responsible Travel.com
 


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 Inspirational Quotes


To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the lives of others.- Nelson Mandela

To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to. - Kahlil Gibran


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