When I look around, suddenly I see that traveling which earlier used to be a luxury for most is slowly becoming into a lifestyle for many; not everyone but more people now compared to earlier. People have started to consciously make time to travel. Before, you could find people taking group trips with tour operators, rushing across destinations and tourist attractions. Today, more and more people are exploring the idea of self-travel or simply taking help from a consultant who can plan and make the necessary arrangements for their trip. It’s like a revolution, one that I am happy to be a part of. But it also raises a very important question: WHAT ABOUT RESPONSIBILITY?
We often tend to take our travel conduct lightly with excuses such as “we’re paying for it”, “we’re on a vacation”, “why should only we think about the environment?”
But we should not be negligent towards leaving every place we visit better. Simple steps to be aware of our surroundings can help in bringing a big change.
With great power comes great responsibility!
As a traveler, it’s of utmost importance to #LeaveEveryPlaceBetter. Trust me, when I say this I don’t mean to preach. But now is the time we need to be more responsible than ever.
Our tribe is beyond our family. Of all things, traveling always brings to light that our community is larger than the people we are related to by blood. And this community needs to be respected and celebrated.
For instance, we mostly stay in hostels while traveling. They provide almost the same amenities like that of a hotel but what they excel at is providing a community. People from all over the world, traveling on their own, end up cooking together, playing together, watching TV and sharing views. And this isn’t one instance, we’ve enjoyed these experiences on a regular basis.
At McSleep in Prague, we cooked an Indian dinner for 8 different nationalities. At Naples Experience, a community breakfast where the owner himself would cook Italian delicacies was a regular routine.
Community Living is not just a way to nurture your minds and give food to your soul but a great way to exchange cultures and resources without wasting.
Take the Offbeat Path
Ever wondered why cities like Barcelona and Dubrovnik protest against tourism entities? Mostly because we’ve flocked these cities, using more resources than available, making it difficult and expensive for the locals to go on with their daily lives.
As a tourist, it is certainly our responsibility to even out the load on such destinations. In 2016, we had collaborated with Visit Czech Republic to highlight the beauty of Czech Towns to deal with the concentration and possible fatigue of Prague as the most visited Czech city. Picking an offbeat destination also means cheaper resources, smaller crowds and increased comfort in exploring.
Switch to Sustainable
Sustainable might sound like the ‘keyword of the decade’. But if you’re reading the news, you’re aware of the mess that our environment is becoming as a result of human activities. Global warming is real and it is already here. Better late than never, switch to sustainable alternatives and cut down on your carbon footprint. Choose to walk or take public transport, pick reusable bottles and cut down on plastic, save power. Many places in Europe, especially in Switzerland sell food by weight to help minimize wastage. Honestly, it’s a fantastic idea! Just because you can pay for it and it is available is no excuse to exhaust what you get.
Leave Footprints instead of Garbage
You may not be able to decompose your own garbage waste, but you sure can dump it properly. Right from your hotel room to your transport modes, a dust bin is placed everywhere. On similar lines, Royal Enfield has installed three LifeStraw water purifiers in hotels and work stations to make it easy for you to refill your bottles.
Dump the habit of buying plastic bottles and switch to reusable bottles. Minimize your waste, dump it well. Don’t dump that responsibility on others. Leave your footprints instead of your carved name that damages a beautiful monument. Your holiday destination is somebody’s home and it is every traveler’s responsibility to #LeaveEveryPlaceBetter.
No matter how much you do, our surroundings will always need more effort! Give back in ways that matter. Plant more trees make sustainable choices. Many brands are also taking this very seriously and have made changes like replacing plastic for paper, using recycled paper and growing their own vegetables at the farm. You can already see the impact that it has on the surroundings.
An interesting event in this context would be Royal Enfield’s Rider Mania. The Goa edition in November, of this rider’s special event, will include not just motorcycling fun, but also an important socially responsible initiative. Rider Mania is the largest gathering of Royal Enfield owners in the world where they come together to celebrate their love for the brand and the culture that surrounds it. Motorcyclists along with the local community will be planting saplings in the area to promote a green environment and a better future. Royal Enfield is one such brand of the many that are making a real difference by promoting responsible tourism.
We all know our options. We can initiate or join in the efforts of brands and organizations to make a difference. Each one of us can contribute by being aware and responsible for what we are leaving back.
Are we leaving the place better?