If you’ve ever wondered whether your travels can make a difference, here's a case study from our recent trip to Madagascar. It shows just how tourism can support conservation, sustainability and community development.
Giving is a good thing when traveling, right? But is it a good idea to give money and pass out things to children who beg? Will it really help those kids? Will it help their families and community? Does it really support child welfare and well-being? Or can giving to children who beg cause unintended harm?
Reflections on the broader import of International Women’s Day, including why investing in women around the world is an investment in our future generations. We also provide practical ideas on how travelers can seek out organizations, tours, travel service providers and businesses who directly invest in or support the well-being of women around the world. In this way, the travel decisions and spending choices we make can make a big difference to support local women, their businesses, and ultimate their communities.
“Add a little sugar to the saffron,” Farzane said as she worked the combination in her mortar and pestle. “It makes it easier to grind.”
Farzane, a 20-year old refugee from Afghanistan who’d come to Berlin with her family in the last year, was deep in the process of teaching us how to prepare several Afghan dishes she’d grown up cooking in her home town of Herat. In the heart of Berlin’s Schöneberg neighborhood, she guided us through the creation of dishes like zereshk polo (burberry rice pilaf) and khorecht lawang (lamb in a fermented yogurt sauce), among others.
Previously, we collaborated with the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) to explore Why The Freedom to Travel Matters. In connection with another campaign we have been invited to examine how we might redefine tourism. In doing so, we reaffirm a connection between the freedom and responsibility of the modern traveler. We follow by considering how we might re-imagine our travel decisions to better satisfy our individual needs today while sustaining the wellbeing of the communities we visit tomorrow.
A few thoughts on the current state of global discourse, the power of individual interactions in the world of travel, and an update on a new project we’ve undertaken in Berlin with Context Travel.
“The kingfisher tried to warn the Mala men about the devil dog approaching, but it was too late. Some weren’t able to escape. You can still see them there,” Rachelle, our guide, pointed to the contours of the cave wall.
It was as if the men were petrified for eternity in those reliefs, struck in a terror pose as they tried to flee. While my rational mind acknowledged a scientific explanation for the geological formations around me, I slowly began to admire them in a different way, as if the stones were living, given life through story.
“You can call me Airport,” Esupat said, laughing.
She sat atop a Maasai hut with her legs crossed, straddling a half-built chimney. Small piles of bricks surrounded her; wet cement fell from her hands.
A few dollars here, a few dollars there. Does how you spend your money when you travel really matter? Is it possible to align your travel approach and spending decisions with your values?
In pursuit of the iconic, sometimes we lose the people. Then we need to come back. Here are a few thoughts on the often overlooked importance of people to travel and the connection between travelers’ experiences, their spending decisions and the impact on the communities they visit.