I've been traveling for quite some time now, and at first, I wanted to know every single country and culture, fill in maps and collect photos. My traveling evolved and I realized I was collecting experiences. Now I 'try' to travel light and detach, because my travels went from a week's holiday to be more like three to six months' explorations.
However, the last phase of my traveling has left me with a bitter-sweet taste that especially today, feels more like sour: traveling is not always pretty, not always what we think it is. It brings out the best and also the worst of us.
Here I share some of the strong feelings that come to my heart:
1. I am not sure I want to travel that often, that long. Maybe I am tired of traveling? I know it sounds dumb, but the more I think about it, the more I dig the idea of a cabin in the woods to always return to.
2. Planes suck. The whole 'I want to be on a plane to wherever right now and the rush of the airport' kind of thing is completely overrated for me. I heard that road trips feel more like freedom and I am digging the idea. Road trips seem better in terms of time management and independency from third party delays, without extra hours sitting around, expensive snacks, and cliché souvenirs from one of the least sustainable industries. I am not a green fanatic, but ethics with the planet started to pop up in my mind. Anyway: flying is an over-praised experience. Don’t just go veg, ditch the plane!
3. Some of the impacts from the traveling industry made me rethink if I want to be a part of problems like pollution, gentrification, the commodification of local and indigenous people, animals, and nature. Because of this, I realize that as travelers we have a responsibility and that we must do our best to make a positive impact on the communities that receive us. Maybe, we need to change our mentality and become something more than “consumers” in the places that we visit. We can aspire to be helping hands, friends, and ambassadors.
Traveling is such a big part of my life, reevaluating the way I do it feels completely
necessary to be able to enjoy it again as I did before. To do it in a more responsible and conscious way. That is why I find initiatives as Positrips to be a very positive tool to recover the sense of traveling. It really helps to find tourism alternatives that are both unforgettable and sustainable.