The days of carefree spontaneous travel are long gone with quarantines and postponements, lockdowns and isolation, dread and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus dominating our plans.
However, with a successful vaccination campaign around the world, we may all be able to leave our homes and see the world again. As the epidemic has shown us that travel is a much sought-after human activity, and now that we have the opportunity to traverse the globe again, it’s essential that we all become much more responsible travellers. It’s more important than ever that we gain fresh experiences and broaden our horizons in a positive and constructive way.
What is ‘Worthwhile Travel’?
It’s a widespread misconception that meaningful travel must entail taking a volunteer position when there are several ways to make your trip worthwhile. To put it another way, a meaningful journey is when you engage in a deeper form of travel, a form of the learning experience, explore the world more purposefully by contributing to a local business and community, reduce your carbon footprints, or choose to spend a significant amount of time in one location to learn more about the culture, heritage, and people.
Here are some simple methods to give your vacation more significance while travelling meaningfully and collecting unique experiences.
Do some research about the location you intend to visit
It’s not only about planning an itinerary, reserving a hotel, or compiling a list of locations to see — it’s about so much more. The first step toward meaningful travel is to learn as much as you can about the destination you’re going to as this will help you form a stronger bond with the area and its people before you arrive. Read travelogues, skim through blogs written by travellers who have previously been there or watch movies, documentaries, and vlogs.
Take a longer vacation and travel slowly
Your trip does not have to be a brief getaway but rather a meaningful trip that allows you to take your time, soak in the atmosphere of wherever you are, and enjoy a longer stay. Very much a trend emerging post-Covid. Whilst you may be tempted to cram a few countries or cities into your weeklong holiday, but the recommendation is to take things a little slower and truly get a sense of the place. Take your time, don’t rush through a destination, but linger to fully appreciate its people and culture. This also reduces the logistics of PCR tests required.
Please, make sure you’re safe
Allow us to act like parents for a second. It’s very easy to confuse a ‘meaningful trip’ with a trip in which you throw all caution to the wind and go for it. Risk-taking and the beauty of diving into new experiences can be wonderful, but they shouldn’t cost your safety or well-being. Make sure your friends know where you are and where you’re travelling to, that you use reputable travel providers, that you research ahead, and even make use of professionals, like breakdown cover providers or a car accident lawyer should you need it. No travel experience can be meaningful if you’re suffering from difficulties caused by overzealous forward progress!
To support local businesses, stay, dine, and purchase locally
Another wonderful and easy approach is to contribute to the local economy – and what could be better than living in a local homestay or Airbnb, dining at local restaurants, and purchasing artisan-crafted souvenirs? While using credit points at 5-star hotels across the world may be a fantastic way to save money and redeem rewards, living with a local family will allow you to get a glimpse into their culture and traditions, as well as how they live and eat. It truly is a privilege.
Attempt to learn the language of the area
While English is widely spoken in virtually every country’s major cities, there are several small towns and charming villages where you won’t find it. Obviously, learning a new language in a short period of time is difficult, but understanding the essentials can help you connect with the locals. It’s amazingly feel good to witness people’s eyes light up and grins broaden when you try to speak even a few words in their language, and most respectful.
Go on a hike and get in touch with nature
If you decide to embark on a journey once you’re vaccinated and your fear of travel subsides, it will be the simplest method to maintain social distance while travelling. For many, going on a meaningful travel adventure entails venturing outside of our comfort zones and trying something new, with trekking being one of the most popular options. Whether you want to jump from one beach to the next or go through the mountains’ secret trails, there is no greater way to connect with nature than this. Not only that but going for a hike will allow you to disconnect from the digital world and absorb the stillness, which will help you clear your mind. Nature’s marvels will constantly remind you of how lovely our planet is, whether it’s the magnificent sunsets on the beaches or the flowing waterfalls, the lush greenery of the forests or the azure sky adorned with white clouds.
Read my Recommended Cape Nature Trails.
You Should Attend A Music Festival Abroad
Nothing beats getting away from home, letting loose, and soaking up some great music with incredible people. Take the opportunity to go across the world and revel in unique style while seeing what else is out there and how these kinds of celebrations are now being managed. It’s also an excellent opportunity to make new friends from around the world who share your passions. Especially with others who are musically inclined. It’s remarkable how much distance separates us daily, yet music brings us together instantly.
Important, however, to exercise caution during festivals, as MDMA is the most prevalent cause of drug-related harm. MDMA overdoses, both deadly and non-fatal, are most commonly caused by high-purity MDMA, hazardous drugs, or environmental factors like overheating or drinking too much or too little water. Not only around the world – but in general. Several deaths at the recent event have been linked to high-dose MDMA use. MDMA testing kits are recommended because of this.
Donate to a good cause
Having said that, working for a worthwhile cause and making a difference in the lives of others is perhaps one of the most rewarding things you can do while travelling. Volunteering as a mode of transportation would allow you to spend a few weeks to a few months in a foreign country, where you would have the opportunity to help small communities, engage with locals, acquire invaluable experience, and meet like-minded individuals from all over the world. You may also volunteer in your own nation — join tree-planting initiatives, clean up parks, arrange music festivals, work at a food bank, and so on. Whatever you pick, keep in mind that doing something nice for someone else will instantly make you happier, and volunteering will gradually transform the way you look at life.
Meaningful travel not only satisfies your wanderlust but also allows you to make a difference in your own way while learning more about the world around you. It’s maybe the only way to enjoy new and fascinating experiences while on the move and remaining conscious of oneself while you travel the globe.