Could it be true? Are they're really reasons why travel is bad for the world?
While we're sure you would agree that traveling and experiencing your dream destinations is exciting, life changing, and over all “kick-ass” great, it's come to our attention that there are some downsides to travel and the tourism industry.
Of course, the focus of Dream Laptop Lifestyle Club is to help you life on your own terms by being able to work from your laptop anywhere in the world, not be “location dependent”, and inspire your travel “itches” and luxury
That said, we felt this would be fitting as it provides some helpful travel tips for beginners too!
Let's get started:
Reasons Why Travel Is Bad For The World
In the following section, I outline the three main reasons why travel is bad for the world. There is a fourth, but I’m not even going to get started on business and super-wealthy travel right now. Another day, perhaps…
It’s no secret that air travel is bad for the environment. It’s a reality that all travellers must realise and few can avoid.
The aviation industry contributes 2% of total CO2 emissions. While planes emit around half the carbon emissions they did in the 1990s there are still more passengers than ever before (and that number is expected to double in the next 20 years).
Aeroplane models have become a lot more efficient in recent times. Airports have also taken strides in the right direction as many of them now use solar panels. However, it’s still not enough to stop the destructive nature of air travel.
We can do our part and limit the amount we fly (more on that later). But until solar/electric planes become mainstream – or we move away from air travel altogether and utilise the potential of maglev technology – there’s only so much we, as individuals can do about this problem.
Also, check out 5 Advances That Will Change Air Travel
Over-Development And Mass Tourism
The 2004 Boxing Day tsunami that struck 14 different Asian countries and killed well over 200,000 people was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history.
One of the countries that were greatly impacted by this tragedy was Thailand.
After everything was wiped away, the country saw this as an opportunity to start over. A clean slate to rebuild upon. Officials promised an end to pollution, trashed beaches and contaminated water. They emphasised a focus on sustainable tourism and building with long-term environmental sustainability in mind.
But – like with most elected officials across the world – they talked the talk but never walked the walk. Their words never became action.
When they caught a hint of the tourism money that would come flooding in, it was right back to the way it was before.
Now, many areas of Thailand are actually even more over-developed than they were before and this is not good for the eco-system.
Beaches have had to be closed to the public. Even some of the Thai islands have become forbidden to tourists for many months out of the year. This is all to give the eco-systems there a chance to recover.
This rampant over-development is a perfect example of the second reason why travel is bad for the world.
Over-development and mass tourism often lead to trashed beaches, local areas and plastic-filled waters.
This solely due to the fact that many of the tourists travelling to these overcrowded, over-developed destinations either don’t care or refuse to think about the damage they are causing to the local eco-systems and the planet as a whole.
Unlike with air travel, there is plenty that can be done by individuals (like you and me) to help overt this crisis (more on that in the next section).
One of the main causes of a lot of these problems that we see in travel today is just the sheer ignorance of most people when it comes to why travel can be destructive.
We hop on planes every day without a care in the world.
We insist on riding in Ubers and taxis, even when travelling distances that our legs could carry us.
Instead of experiencing the local cuisine and eating in local establishments, we venture to the nearest McDonald’s to try the new Mc “Fuck the Earth and my health while you’re at it”.
Whether it’s about the issues of over-development, mass tourism or air travel, ignorance always plays a big role in our collective inability to prevent them.
GREEN TRAVEL GUIDE: Sustainable Travel Tips For Beginners
#1 – Educate Yourself
From the very beginning – as soon as you start planning your trip – educate yourself on why travel is damaging to the environment and steps you can personally take to make your trip a little more green and sustainable.
#2 – Form Habits
Once you begin to educate yourself and commit to travelling more sustainably, start forming new habits. This can begin while you’re still at home.
Always turn off the lights.
Take shorter showers.
Carry a reusable bag with you (instead of asking for plastic ones whenever you shop).
Walk instead of drive (for shorter journeys).
Just begin to make small changes to your daily habits and routines to make your life (and eventually your travels) more sustainable and more green. These small changes will add up over time.
#3 – Travel Slow
It’s a bit of a trend – especially among the backpacking community – to focus solely on how many countries one visits. It almost becomes a competition of sorts where the winner is determined by the number of places crossed off, compared to the experiences had.
Travelling slower is not only a more sustainable form of travel, it is also far more rewarding and allows you to better experience and get to know the place you are visiting.
#4 – Respect The Local Area
The reason we travel is to escape our Western lifestyle and experience a new culture; a new way of life.
Yes, everyone misses home every once in a while when on the road but – while away – try to fully immerse yourself in the local culture and way of life.
In most countries across the world, the Western lifestyle is something that can only be imported so, by sticking to your Western ways while travelling, you are no-doubt increasing your carbon footprint.
Stay local, stay sustainable!
And, don’t become one of the “backpacker bros” that are “ruining the world”, according to this article by Vice.
#5 – Travel Light
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m a big advocate for packing light and travelling carry on only, when possible.
While a big plus of doing this is the money you save, it’s also great for you, physically. Avoiding back and shoulder pain while backpacking is essential, bordering on a necessity.
Not to mention, travelling light is also a greener form of travel since fewer resources and energy are required to transport your stuff from one place to another.
Less weight, less fuel!
#6 – Use A Refillable Water Bottle
Having a refillable water bottle with you on your travels is a plus for so many reasons.
It saves you money since you don’t have to buy bottled water every day. This is also an environmental benefit since there is less wasteproduced from plastic bottles.
Tap water is unsafe to drink in some countries so a good idea can be to buy massive containers of drinking water, store them at your accommodation and fill your bottle up daily.
#7 – Walk
This transport method produces zero carbon emissions, keeps you in shape and saves you money, all in one.
Talk about a win-win-win and why travel doesn’t need to be bad for the world!
#8 – Or Cycle
If you get the chance to hire a bike instead of taking public transport, do it!
It may cost you a bit of money, but it still produces zero carbon emissions and will help keep you healthy.
#9 – Avoid Domestic Flights
While, as backpackers, it’s virtually impossible to avoid flying altogether, it is possible to avoid domestic flying (flying within the same country).
Instead, opt for greener transport methods.
#10 – Public Transport
Why travel by plane when you can see so much more of a country, using these transport methods?
Taking a bus or a train (even for longer journeys) is a more sustainable form of transport than flying.
Remember what I was saying about travelling slow?
If you are slightly more rushed for time, consider travelling on a night bus or overnight train. While allowing you to travel through the night and save time, these are often among the cheapest forms of transport out there.
#11 – Hitch Hike
Instead of hiring your own car, why not share a ride with someone travelling the same direction as you?
You each get where you want to go for half the fuel, it’s essentially free transport (unless you offer to pay petrol costs) and it’s a great chance to make a travel friend!
#12 – Hire A Hybrid
If you do decide to hire your own car, consider hiring a hybrid or an electric.
Embarking on a long road trip isn’t the most sustainable way to travel if you’re driving a petrol or diesel chugger.
But, hiring an electric motor will help reduce your carbon footprint and still enjoy the bliss of a proper road trip!
On top of that, kill two birds with one stone and pick up hitchhikers on your way!
#13 – Eat Less And Locally
Eating less is healthier, cheaper and less wasteful. I’m not saying starve yourself! Just avoid the excess, binge-eating habits that are scarily becoming the norm in many Western countries.
The carbon footprint of the food industry is massive beyond belief. Eating locally reduces the size of this footprint as you’ll be staying away from all of the imported goods. Not to mention that eating locally is also one of the best ways to experience the local culture.
As you can see there are plenty of steps we can take to reduce the negative environmental impacts that travel has on the world. And while there may not be a “quick fix” to the environmental crisis that we face, the solution is certainly not to boycott travel and, instead remain in our own tiny little corner of the world. This will only succeed in perpetuating the ignorance and narrow-mindedness that caused many of these problems in the first place!
As long as you travel consciously and as sustainably as possible, the good reasons to travel will far outweigh the reasons why travel is a bad thing and it will continue to do far more good than harm to the world.
Original article: https://gaijincrew.com/why-travel-is-bad/
Davin & Carla have been very great friends for about 16 years now. With each of us always sharing a keen interest in Entrepreneur-ism, traveling to experience the world first-hand, and NOT being location dependent, it simply made perfect sense to team up and build our Dream Laptop Lifestyle businesses together.