Dedicated, new, occasional, and everything-in-between travelers all need to be mindful of the impact of their travel actions. We recognize that it's hard to set a strict set of rules since each trip and situation is different, so instead, we have provided a list of questions. While it's fun to visit new cultures, try interesting foods and make new friends, keep these questions in mind.
Do as the Buddhists do and minimize harm. Take into consideration the people who live where you’re traveling.
Traveling is seen as colonizing work. When we look at history, the travel industry and adventure tourism were never a good thing for the countries visited. Colonization on many levels took place link, link, link. So, what are we doing now that is different? Where are you spending your money? Who’s land is the resort, bungalow or hostel built on?
When you give back, is it actually helpful? If you're volunteering, do they need more people helping, or would monetary donations be more beneficial?
Are you trying to speak the native language? Asking locals to assimilate to you without showing any effort on your part is deeply uncool and can come off with colonizing connotations.
If you're interested in taking a deep dive into travel ethics and learning about de-colonizing travel, Bani Amor has written many articles, spoken on numerous podcasts and gets elbows deep in the work of explaining how and why we should look at travel differently. You can find their work here.