There's Travelling, And Then There's Travelling Smart

Since the Orient-Express and the Trans-Siberian journeys opened to the public in the later stages of the Industrial Revolution, the concept of traveling has changed dramatically. Nowadays, the first thought we all associate with travel is holiday. We travel to take a break from our day-to-day lives and indulge in a safe adventure across the world.

But, as it happens, traveling for the sake of it comes at a cost. Indeed, flying or driving is bad for the planet. In the US only, the aviation industry reaches 11% of all transportation-related emissions. Unfortunately, until we grow a pair of wings, it’s going to be impossible to transform how planes affect the planet. But you can change how your travel plans interact with your environment. It’s not about traveling less; it’s about traveling smarter!


What is your positive travel force?

Travel light but effective

Packing is the most challenging task for many travelers. Panic packing is the most common cause of mistakes. While underpacking is a prevalent issue – which forces you to purchase cheap alternatives in your destination – whose production is likely to be harmful to the environment –, a lot of people continue to overpack. When you bring a lot more than you need, your luggage is heavier and bulkier, which increases your carbon footprint. Instead, make a list to pack just right!

Travel with a heart full of love

Engaging with your environment doesn’t only mean reducing your carbon footprint. It’s also a matter of improving the environment you live in, by joining a charity organization, for instance. Oyster Worldwide lets your find charity projects where you can travel abroad to work with animals.  Similarly, if you want to be more invested in your selfless journey, you can also get in touch with a partner such as Global Adventure Challenges who can help to create sports challenges over the world to encourage donations. You could cycle across India to support the poverty-stricken population, for example.

Travel ready to open your mind to new experiences

How about you use your travels as an excuse to become a better person? Indeed, discovering new cultures can help you to find a new understanding for people, making even making you more tolerant than you already were. Foreign trips are also an excellent way of opening your mind to new possibilities and ways of thinking. A typical example of this is the Concert for Bangladesh in 1971, which was a benefit initiative launched by George Harrison after his travels made him aware of the refugees' struggles following the war in the region. But without his understanding of the culture and people in Bangladesh, Harrison wouldn’t have been able to pioneer the first charity concert in history.

Can you travel yourself smarter?

Last but not least, travel can also boost your resume. After all, a trip can prove educational, either by letting you develop existing skills – such as improving your Spanish in Ibiza – or by introducing new skills that are transferable to your day-to-day job – such as organizational and communication skills.

You need to transform traveling into a force for good, through improving your impact on the environment. Whether you choose to enhance your skills or to help others, travel offers a new approach to self-improvement.

Ellie Dickinson