In the year 2018 I guess we all understand – at least the most of us – what impact travelling can have on the environment and the area we go to. A lot of you guys therefore feel like wanting to be more meaningful and give something back. However, we all know horror stories of orphan homes with children that are not really orphan, and other kind of doubtful projects, exist. So we have to be careful. The keyword in this all is being respectful towards the environment and culture that you’re in. Realize that you are just a visitor, and that you’re in someone elses ‘home’. Charlie of Charlie’s Travels gives travellers a manual with some guidelines and tips. First one: read about the destination you’re going through. A good preparation is half the work as we say in the Netherlands. Charlie’s travel tips:
- It seems like an open door, but be respectful to the environment and leave it just the way you found it (or even cleaner!). Sample your garbage and throw it away in the bin.
- Smoking cigarettes in nature? Keep the ends between your shoelaces until you found a bin
- Be respectful towards the animals you run into: you are an intruder in their home, not the other way around
- Never give monkeys – and other wild animals – food! They will get used to it and than they will be shot, at least in Africa
- Experience wildlife with your eyes, never ever touch them or hunt them down!
- In a nature park? Always stay on the road, otherwise you will damage nature
- If you want to take a photo of a person, ask them for permission (don’t forget the parents of children!). Not sure if you would like to end up somewhere on a wall without your permission…
- There is a good chance you will run into poverty when travelling the globe. If you want to give something to the people, only do this in an honest setting, for example when you can share something with someone, or make a fair exchange. Never hand out stuff for free, it will cause a culture of begging;
- Think twice about your tip. The ‘tipping culture’ can be a thing in the country you’re visiting (especially in Africa). If people do small things for you, give them a small tip. Don’t feel like tipping? Than tell them that you don’t want to be helped with i.e. carrying the luggage upstairs.
- Try to take of your Dutch blinders. The living standard can be different, but it’s the way life is at that certain place. Life can go in a different speed, and things like values and happiness look different everywhere you go. Have respect for the local way of life and try to fit in;
- Be careful what you’re wearing. Adapt your clothing choice on the culture you’re in;
- ‘Be open to the lifestyle’: when travelling, things often don’t go according to plan. Sometimes you have to wait longer, plans have to be changed, and so on. Don’t stress, relax, grab a beer and eat a samosa is Charlie’s tip. Enjoy! Life of a traveller is good!
Enjoy your vacay!