Responsible Tourism and
Travel on the Earth’s Water Cycle
We all have our bucket list of places to explore, and we encourage everyone to follow that travel passion as it can lead to the most rewarding and exciting experiences of your life. Ironically, our travel may well have a negative impact on the very places on our bucket list. Fortunately, there are many steps we can take to minimize our carbon footprint and travel in a more sustainable way.
As carefree and laid-back as it may seem to throw all caution to the wind and head out on a wing and a prayer, it pays to plan for the best and prepare for the worst. Instead of reinventing the wheel, learn from others’ mistakes and heed the advice of those who have already been there. Here is where you’ll find tried and tested travel tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your visit, and make your trip as safe and sustainable as possible.
Travel is a selfish endeavor. Few people, if any, travel for the exclusive benefit of others. But, selfish travel isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The growth travelers experience traveling can apply to a more complete perspective on the world, which might not otherwise exist. Travel can have a positive impact on both the traveler and the places they visit. Socially conscious travel respects all aspects of a local population – its culture, environment and economy. This requires an effort that begins before we embark on our journey until after we return. It becomes a part of our lifestyle wherever we [...]
Environmental degradation is a serious global problem that cannot be ignored, especially when we travel. Although basic environmental awareness and protection may seem like afterthoughts in a western economy, they are enlightened by developing-world standards. Below are some socially conscious travel tips to help lighten your environmental footprint wherever you may be. Leave Some For The Fish Given the world’s dwindling supply of fresh water, and the political and military conflicts brewing over a country’s right of access to this dwindling supply, it is in everyone’s best interest to use as little of it as possible. Ask yourself, “Do [...]
Most of us travel to make ourselves better or browner, and our time and effort are used to learn, see and experience as much as we can. We travel to exotic places to benefit from the culture and surroundings, but do the local culture and environment benefit from our presence? Although we may leave some money in the local economy, we also leave the impression of being too rude, demanding, immature, opinionated, cheap, drunk, inconsiderate, or all of the above. This reflects on all the tourists who come after us. The cultural responsibility of the socially conscious traveler is twofold: [...]
We are homebodies who love to travel, and have found that house sitting is a great way to get the best of both worlds. It offers opportunities to explore a city or region in detail and become immersed in a culture. We have done dozens of house sits over several years all over the world, and made friends with many neighbors and locals who we would never had met if we were staying in hotels. For twenty years we had pets at home, and we find that house sitting allows us to enjoy their company without the travel-limiting responsibility of [...]
Many of us who are privileged enough to live in the developed world take some basic services for granted. Immediate access to clean drinking water is perhaps the most useful advantage to our health and welfare that can be desired. The fact that water is piped directly to our kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms is one thing. The convenience that hot water comes out of one faucet is another. But, the benefits of being able to drink water straight from the tap water are far-reaching and life-altering. “Blue are the life-giving waters taken for granted. They quietly understand” - [...]
A quick internet search for La Paz snorkeling will produce pages of excursions offered by local tour operators. But, if you want to hang out at a beach and snorkel on your own, there isn’t a lot of information available. Many tourists (and locals) don’t realize that beautiful beaches with clear and calm turquoise waters - perfect for snorkeling – can be found very close to the city. We have spent several months exploring La Paz and its beaches, and have compiled a list of our favorite snorkeling beaches. They are in order of closest to furthest from downtown La [...]
The flight from Chiclayo offers stunning views over the Andes and a glimpse into the endless expanse of the Amazon Rainforest. Inaccessible by road, Iquitos is a large city set in the middle of that jungle. Apart from the laid-back atmosphere and the friendliness of the locals, the first thing we notice are the unmuffled motor-taxis blaring their horns down every street. The second thing we notice is the river. At twilight, the silent water turns from pink to silver, and fishermen wave to us from their boats. Fishing on the Amazon River at Iquitos The [...]
Day breaks over a cloudless sky - we couldn’t have asked for better weather. We had seen Southern Right Whales breaching in Hermanus, and are hoping to see another one of the ocean’s great creatures. We take the shuttle to the skipper’s house in Gaansbai, where breakfast and the boat are waiting. Shortly afterwards, we reach Dyer Island - home to a colony of Cape Fur Seals. These creatures are a staple in the diet of many Great White Sharks, and the strip of water between Geyser Rock and Dyer Island is appropriately named “Shark Alley”. Myths and Misconceptions [...]