Impactful travel has been a buzz-term for a while, but with recent intensifying of environmental consciousness, and a re-focus on what is important in our world (as we all take time to pause and think beyond our horizons), it is something at the forefront of our minds.
Increasingly, we all feel a sense of responsibility when we travel. The benefits must outweigh the costs. Individually, collectively and for our planet. This is what we believe as a business, and and as travelers ourselves.
Impactful travel goes beyond simply thinking about sustainability, but draws focus on minimizing negative impact, and maximizing positive impact and value for all concerned. Respect is a big theme of impactful travel. So why should we consider the way we travel, and try to be more impactful?...
Impactful travel transforms. It enhances our understanding of the world, of cultures, of people, of the natural environment and of ourselves.
Travel makes you see yourself differently. You see the space you occupy in the world from the outside, your problems become less worry-some, your goals shift, and the encounters you have give birth to new friendships, inspire new goals, and change your mindset.
Personal growth comes from taking the hard path. Challenge yourself. Travel outside of your comfort zone.
For The Planet
Climate change is devastating our planet. Considering our choice of destination, method of travel, places we stay and the experiences we buy. Are we making the best choices to minimize our impact and maximize benefit?
We need to travel more lightly. What is our impact on the communities and environments we visit, and should we be visiting some places at all? Impactful travel is about visiting the right places in the right way and making a positive impact on the places you do visit, the people who live there, and the local environment.
For Us, Humankind
Aldous Huxley is quoted as saying “To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.”. Nothing shakes off preconceptions about cultures and countries better than your own experiences.
We are in no doubt that travel makes the world a better place, not only by supporting local economies, but by opening all of our eyes to what we have in common with our fellow human beings.
Seek out authenticity, look for remote corners, artisan sellers, family-run cafes. Speak to people. Strike up conversation – even if you don’t speak the same language, you’d be amazed how much you can communicate!
How you can be more impactful:
Where you can, self guided is a great way to go – You’ll have a more authentic experience, at your own pace, with more opportunity for genuine interaction. It’s why we’re passionate about self guided travel.
Go human powered where possible. (Of course) we’re passionate about walking and cycling, as both are low impact (no buses or large groups), and allow for more time for spontaneity.
Consider staying local, and bringing more balance to your destination choices.
Where can you have an impact? Perhaps choose a destination that needs to rebuild its tourism industry, or which relies on tourism to support local economies and trade. Think beyond the “obvious” choices and head to hidden corners, to find places with a story to tell.
Seek authenticity. Look past the big tourist attractions and find something with more to give & receive.
Do your research! Before you travel, look for blogs, vlogs, books, forums. Join communities (try the Macs Adventure Community on Facebook!) to ask like-minded travelers for advice.
How Macs Adventure is being more impactful:
We continue to seek out small, locally owned and operated suppliers that maximise our travelers economic impact on the local community.
We continue to evaluate the sustainability of our trips, both in popular and unknown destinations.
We are starting the process of highlighting local destinations and trips and non-flight travel options.
We are reviewing our own operations and travel to minimise unnecessary travel and carbon offset essential travel. We hope to be carbon neutral by the end of 2021.
We are rolling out comprehensive impact assessments of all our trips and destinations. We hope to have this complete by the end of 2020.
Every choice is a balance. Sometimes the travelling to the quieter corner may have positive impact, sometimes hitting the “big-name” destination or trip is the best wait to sustain local livelihoods.
Next time you travel, consider your impact on the planet, humankind and yourself. You might travel less, but it will be better and your impactful travel will matter.
Visit macsadventure.com for more on our range of options.