Most people recognize the importance of vacationing. For many of us a vacation is an opportunity to escape the pressures and frustrations of our everyday existence. It’s also an opportunity to get to spend quality time and get to know our travel companions (or in the case of solo vacationers; get to know yourself). Vacations may be the only time we get to exercise complete control over our days.
Some of us choose to vacation by traveling. Our travel style says a lot about who we are and it’s important when traveling to emerging markets to be as much of a traveler (and not a tourist) as possible.
Tourists inadvertently exploit the nations they visit by contributing to leakage.
Travelers explore the nations they visit by contributing to the people and culture of that nation.
Here are few simple ways to be a traveler and not a tourist:
Explore the world don’t escape from it. If you’re visiting a place that’s completely different than where you’re from, take an opportunity to learn about it.
Stop being a punk. You can’t make a connection with the world if you’re not open to experiencing it. Fear is often the result of unknown, and when you are willing to make an effort to get to know something the unknown can turn familiar. If you give people the benefit of the doubt, you may be pleasantly surprised.
Eat some goat. There’s no better way to show people that you appreciate them then participating in their culture with them. You may hate it, but there is a chance that it will blow your mind. When trying something unfamiliar it might put you out of your comfort zone, but that’s how growth happens.
Dutty wine. Not many people can dance like Jamaicans (trust me they won’t hold it against you). We all have vulnerabilities and when you show yours people usually respond with kindness and care (and maybe a little laughter). See our Youtube page for help.
Show ‘nuff respect. Treat the people that are helping/serving you like you would want to be treated if you were in their position. Nothing can be achieved without respect.
Visit Woolery Kitchen. We welcome everyone to exercise their traveler muscles with us :)
Other thoughts on the subject: