The Good and The Bad
Taking a trip makes you have micro-memories—short remembrances that might suffice for some. It’s quick, and it doesn’t take up most of your time so you can focus on other day-to-day tasks. A shorter period of time means spending a lot of energy, from taking an Uber everywhere you go to staying in convenient but not necessarily environmentally-friendly accommodations. This means massive carbon footprint that is probably not worth it for a two-day trip. Staying longer in your destination means you have more time to walk or bike around, take public transport, try locally sourced goods and other things that contribute to sustainability. Not only that, you have time to immerse yourself in the local culture.
Making Your Journey Worthwhile
When you stay in a place long enough, you learn about what makes the culture beautiful, what the locals do daily, and what life is like beyond your comfort zone. When you step out of your comfort zone, you see things from different perspectives. Sometimes, this means seeing beyond the point of view of privilege. You see how you, as a traveler, could enjoy going to different places, and how some could not. You see how cultures vary and how your own is not the only correct way of being. Going on a journey is not all about picture-perfect bike rides and exotic commodities. It’s also about personal growth, and that’s what makes it worthwhile.
Just because you pick the journey route over the trip route, it doesn’t mean that you’re automatically being more responsible. To make it more worthwhile, learn the culture first before visiting the place. You might be doing something fine within your culture, but offensive to the people at your destination. Try as much as possible to prevent damage to the environment, especially in a place that you do not live in. Be sensitive and leave no trace of trash, reduce carbon footprint, and make sure you support locally and ethically made goods. When shopping for souvenirs, pick handcrafted items versus commercially made ones. You’ll be helping the locals out plus it has a more authentic feel.
The best way to travel is to embark on a journey that’s nurturing and responsible. Don’t forget that there are people around you—people who are just like you. Travel should widen your horizons, and make you want to be the change you want to see.