The need for travelers to participate in responsible tourism is now more apparent than ever, yet some people still wonder what benefits they are getting out of taking such a vacation. However the advantages are endless as it enhances your life, outlook and future relationships. Give it a chance, you – and your family – won’t regret it and you’ ll have a hard time traveling any other way!
In an earlier post we talked about 5 Ways to Introduce Your Family to Responsible Tourism, from buying local and embracing the local culture to consciously choosing your hotel and how you move around at your destination. This twitter party recap from last August’s #TMOM twitter party also includes great suggestions.
These are all great tips on how to travel responsibly, but you might still wonder: what’s in it for your family? The answer is simple: life-changing experiences. Nothing less.
Responsible travel is a whole new way to think about travel. One that will impact the way you and your children see life and connect with the world. Responsible travel takes you off the beaten path, into communities and close to nature. You not only become culturally immersed, but you also create meaningful connections with your destination and its people. Being one with your environment gives room for spontaneous situations, especially with little ones, who are naturally curious and inquisitive.
Exploring the Amazon
Our Amazon Adventure back in March is the perfect example of that.
On this trip, we traveled along the Rio Negro in Brazil for a week aboard the Jacaré-Açu, a regional-style boat entirely crafted in wood. The boat was gorgeous and perfect for the four families that joined us.
There were 7 kids aboard, ages 3-11, and it was incredible to watch their interactions with each other and their surroundings.
I am still amazed at how much my children learned that one week. They hiked in the jungle, fished for piranhas, danced samba with the local kids, experienced first-hand the joy of releasing baby turtles back into the river, spent a delightful morning at a community school and learned about a whole new way of life.
Learning Responsible Tourism First Hand
They may be little (my girls are 3 and 5), but I know this experience will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
The downside? Once you experience something that magical, it is hard to settle for less.
Patty Monahan was born and raised in Brazil, lived in Washington DC and is now based in Madrid with her husband and two daughters. Nicknamed “rodinhas” (“wheely”) by her younger brother, she has never been able to sit still and was always dreaming about her next adventure. Our Whole Village is the result of her old passion for traveling and her newfound mission of becoming the best parent she can be. She is Our Whole Village’s CEO & Chief World Explorer. [email protected]