If you are interested in volunteering internationally or going on voluntourism trip, what are the ethical considerations you should be aware of? Which questions can you ask to better ensure that your actions and any financial contribution are aligned with your values and expectations? That you don't end up doing unintended harm with your goal of helping or “doing good”?
You care about the kids you encounter while traveling, right? Are children ever props in your photos? Do you location tag them? What about giving money to begging children? What about passing out gifts to random kids you meet? What about those school visits? How does it all impact children and their well-being? Can any of your actions cause unintended harm?
A recent release of a set of child welfare in travel guidelines and code of conduct seems to be tipping the apple cart. What many of us thought were perfectly acceptable behaviors when we encounter kids while traveling are now called into question.
Accelerating tourism growth and the threat of overtourism are here to stay. This is our advice on how to travel better in the age of overtourism — tips and actions which will improve your travel experiences and also help to reduce pressure on the places you visit.
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?
“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.