Ever since I can remember I have absolutely loved the idea of travel. When I was in college I pursued a study abroad program in France and I was hooked on travel for life. I knew then that I would do much more of it in the near future and beyond. Nothing feels more rewarding and educational to me than experiencing a new place, language, people, food and everything that comes along with it. My passion for travel made me want to evoke wanderlust onto others.
Travel Blogger Meet Up
The last few weeks we’ve been spending time with a few other traveler bloggers just like us. These are people who are also traveling and sharing their experiences on-line for the world to see. By writing, taking photos and sharing videos, we are all naturally encouraging others to travel to the places we have been or places they have always dreamed of. The point is, the message we all have for others is to get out there and travel.
During our time together we’ve been sharing travel stories, favorite and worst places visited, itineraries and opinions. After a few days full of conversation, I began to notice a few patterns surrounding what we were all discussing.
Travel Blogger Opinions on Travel
1. Travel is a good thing
If more people travel, the world would be a more empathetic and tolerant place.
2. Remote or less traveled places are much more enjoyable
We prefer the road less traveled, where the local culture has not been impacted by an influx of tourism.
3. Touristy destinations can be frustrating to visit
Tourism typically leads to overcrowding, a lack of culture or native peoples, aggressive sales tactics and a high risk of scams.
4. We can’t stand when situation #3 happens
I think we spent the most time complaining about places that are destroyed due to tourism.
What is the mission of 2Backpackers.com?
The more I listened to us speak the more confused I became towards my feelings of travel and its impact. Further, I began to question our mission for 2Backpackers.com, which currently is blogging about our travels and encouraging others to follow suit.
Here we all were talking about how great travel is and how more people should do it, particularly in the United States, since we aren’t known for being world travelers. And here we all were complaining about places that are “too touristy,” where we get bombarded by opportunistic locals wanting a piece of our gringo tourist money.
But aren’t we, the travelers, creating this environment? How can we blame these locals for being opportunistic and trying to better themselves and their families? And wouldn’t we, the travelers, ruin the local remote places we enjoy by sharing our stories with the rest of the world through our travel blogs?
Impact on the Galapagos Islands
It really hit home for me when we spoke specifically about the Galapagos Islands. I was born in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands have always been a dream destination for me. A travel blogger commented on their experience when visiting Galapagos and it shocked me to say the least. The tour guide they had during their visit, whom was considered reputable, explained that the Galapagos Islands will likely not be here in 20 years due to the exploitation of the tourism industry and the impact it has on the natural wildlife. Jason did some further research and found that the Galapagos Islands were indeed added to the UNESCO’s World Heritage Endangered List on June 27, 2007.
This concept was crippling for me to hear. I began to question my role as a traveler, an Ecuadorian and a world citizen who has never even visited The Galapagos Islands. I regard the islands as a natural wonder and treasure on this planet. Loosing them would be devastating to me, our human history and the future of the world as a whole.
How could I possibly visit the Galapagos knowing that me being there will essentially contribute to their destruction? Further, how could I possibly promote others to visit them? Is travel really a good thing? Do I still want to devote so much energy into making others enthusiastic about seeking travel experiences? I’ve been asking myself these questions a lot lately.
Impact on Me
Honestly, I’ve yet resolve my internal conflict about whether or not I am still willing to visit the Galapagos Islands. However, I have concluded that my message about travel to others needs to be much more focused. I have learned that the simple message, “Travel is good for the world,” is not entirely accurate. Too much is ignored when making such a general statement.
Travel must be environmentally responsible, socially beneficial for the host country and it should build a healthy relationship between the visitor and the host. Personally, I believe this starts with the traveler. In this particular case, it begins with me.