We live in an age of rush and information overload, making it tempting to escape to a remote paradise for a taste of blissful oblivion.
When we think about relaxation, we tend to associate it with the absence of duties and responsibilities. But by taking a different approach, and will minimal effort, we can use our leisure time to catalyse change.
If you’re up for it, below is a guide to creating a positive impact while you travel.
What is Citizen Diplomacy?
Citizen diplomacy means having the intention to positively represent your place of origin when visiting other countries.
According to a Credit Capital Leisure Loans advisor, “These days, all of us have a much greater influence on international, national, and local relations. Citizen diplomacy isn’t only about representation but also about creating meaningful interactions with different cultures and their environment.”
Volunteering is a classic way of expressing altruism. By extending a little effort without expecting anything in exchange, you’ll be able to see the place from a whole new perspective. Getting out of your comfort zone will help you realise how your choices affect other people across the world.
Depending on where you visit, you can participate in rebuilding small communities ruined by a natural disaster to offering your skills and expertise to teach someone a new skill they can use to support their family; every act helps—no matter how small, when it is done for the right reason. And, according to research, people who volunteer tend to be happier than those who don’t.
When volunteering, it is important to ask yourself why you are doing this? What you want to get out of the experience? It is also important to understand what your impact is going to be. If your impact isn’t positive for the community you are trying to help, should you be volunteering? To find out more, read our blog: Volunteering: What you need to know.
Donate or sponsor
If volunteering isn’t right for you, an excellent alternative is to donate to local charities or initiatives, and then visit these communities/charities when you travel. There are also tourism providers who integrate programs designed to help local communities into their adventures.
For example, Adventure Out Loud donate 50% of our profits to keep disadvantaged children in school. By traveling with Adventure Out Loud, you’ll get to explore Africa’s most exotic destinations, while creating a positive impact in the communities you are visiting. You’ll also have the opportunity to personally sponsor a student through school. Then, as part of your adventure we’ll talk you to meet this student and immerse in their community. Watch this video to find out more.
Did you know that around 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by the tourism industry?
Greenhouse gases contribute to global warming, which is detrimental to animals and their habitat. By making minor changes to your travel routine, your carbon footprint can be reduced. Use public transport and mingle with local commuters. If you’re not on a tight schedule, backpacking can also help you reduce emissions. Eat local delicacies because they don’t have to be transported—plus, they are a great way for you to immerse in a culture and meet local people. Travel light, avoid single-use plastics and be conscious of your impact on our environment. And above all, limit the number of flights you take because flights are the biggest contributor.
As much as possible, choose responsible tour operators, hotels, transportation services, etc. If you’re heading to Africa, consider booking with Adventure Out Loud. By adventuring with us, you can help promote sustainable & responsible tourism and support fantastic conservation initiatives such as the Nairobi Elephant Orphanage and Giraffe Centre.
By making these small adjustments when you travel, booking with a responsible tour operator, limiting the number of flights you take, supporting local businesses, etc., you can continuing doing what you love – travelling – without negatively impacting on the world around you.
Be a catalyst of change next time you travel!
Adventure Out Loud is a social enterprise dedicated to making your holiday to Africa more meaningful. We donate 50% of our profits to keep disadvantaged children in school and we buy local where possible to ensure a large majority of your fee stays in the communities you visit to create local jobs and stimulate the local economy.
Our team have more than 10 years’ experience, designing unforgettable African adventures to help you immerse in Africa’s rich culture, stunning landscapes, and exotic wildlife, at the same time connecting you to the communities you’re exploring. Contact us now to book your unforgettable African adventure!