Welcome back to another blog post! Let’s start off with a question, what do you consider when going on a holiday? Having a good time? The cost of the holiday? Recently, I made a short survey asking respondents what they considered when travelling.
Respondents could two choices. Out of the four options, three-quarters of the respondents had picked creating memories. This meant that majority regarded making memories as their number one priority or second when travelling. When we travel to amazing locations, usually we are bound to dearly miss them once we have left. How would it feel if we were to plan a trip back in a few years to find out that it has been severely eroded and polluted due to overcrowding? How can we ensure that this does not occur to the place that has given us so many memories? Well, we must develop a mindset that when going to a destination, we should not only aim to bring back memories with us but also create happy memories for hosts and preserve the environment in the area.
How do we not compromise on our experiences but also ensure that we are being sustainable in our actions? The solution is not difficult. Sometimes, we just need to take a leap of faith. From my last blog post, two of my interviewees told me that one of the reason why they did not choose to go sustainable when travelling was because they did not want to take the risk that the destination would not be as stunning as the famous tourist traps recommended by friends. In 2019, my friends and I planned a trip to Thailand. Instead of opting for Bali which suffers from over tourism, we opted for a wholesome trip to the small Koh Mak islands that’s only 16 square kilometres in size. Instead of rows of boats and jet-skis lining up against the coast as well as pubs scattered across the beach, Koh Mak offered cycling paths along the beautiful sunset and transparent kayaks for tourists to observe marine organisms without disrupting them. The activities carried out in Koh Mak were splendid. In my opinion, these activities created more memorable experiences for my friends and I compared to if we ended up in a pub in Bali drinking the days away. Koh Mak also gave us a sense of privacy, letting us feel like we were the only ones in the world. The best feeling in the world is having 5km of white sandy beaches filled with palm trees all to yourselves.
For your next holiday, challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone. You’ll never know how it may end up as the best holiday you will ever experience. Not to mention, you will be reducing over tourism in a certain area and supporting the sustainable movement in another area.