Travel Choices for Social Activism
Traveling enables us to take in and learn about the beauty beyond our homes. It is a privilege and an opportunity to give beyond while leaving meaningful footprints. Although traveling is a personal experience, we can do so much more than making it about ourselves. We can change lives, leave a positive impact, and pave ways for social activism.
You will be amazed by how much our little act of kindness and thoughtfulness can positively change many people's lives in our travel destinations. So if you want to start traveling responsibly and help better the world wherever you go, read on!
Powerful travel choices for social activism:
No matter where you go or which cause you are passionate about, your concerns and responsibilities should not end at your doorstep. The best way to show you care about the environment, human rights, and social injustice is to hold on to your beliefs. Spread and practice the solutions wherever you go, and your travels will feel more wholesome and meaningful.
The different choices that travelers can opt to be pro-active in
making social changes are:
Learning about social concerns
Before traveling to any place, the first thing you should do is research it. Read the news about social issues and people or organizations supporting social activism. It can be about recent incidents or causes that have been there for years.
For example, say you are traveling to Delhi in India. You will find many issues concerning women's rights and the abuse they face in society. Look for organizations that support these victims and ask about how you can help them.
Since acid attacks are a huge concern, an organization set up a café called Sheroes Hangout, run by acid attacks victims. Besides bringing awareness, the café helps the victims rebuild their self-esteem in a dignified workplace for self-sufficiency.
You will also find another organization like Women on Wheels that train survivors of domestic abuse and single mothers to become professional drivers.
In Kathmandu, Sasane trains women to become paralegals that fight for and protect human trafficking survivors. On the other hand, the Sisterhood of Survivors contributes to tourist itineraries with their Momo cooking lessons by human trafficking survivors. They also train survivors in hospitality and enable them to become professional tourist guides.
Reaching out to organizations
After doing your research, reach out to these organizations that help the local societies and their environment. Whether it is to contribute your donations or hiring guides, you can become a part of the solution by directly connecting with them.
You can go to cafés like Sheroes Hangout that strive to uplift people in need instead of big corporate houses. Seek the environmentally friendly groups and opt for their services. It is with this little awareness and understanding of the society where you can make conscious decisions.
Visiting popular tourist destinations and landmarks can be part of your travel experience. However, a social purpose behind each trip makes it an incredible experience.
Making these conscious choices encourages local organizations to offer a layered experience. It also allows for exposure to societal changes and allows you to move and make a change. Social purposes get build-into the travel supply through accommodation, food, shopping, tours, and transport.
Everything you do and spend on your travel through these organizations become valuable for individuals while sustaining socioeconomic and environmental benefits.
Funding social organizations
After finding organizations that benefit society and help in your tour, spending your money and effort on a dual cause is also convenient. Helping these institutions should not feel like a burden nor take the pleasures out of traveling and giving.
It is different from your regular voluntary work. It is a give-and-take situation where you take in the services provided, giving them moral or economic support.
By indirectly funding these organizations through their services, you also uplift self-esteem, dignity, and encouragement.
Instead of handing out free funds, it gives them the dignity of earning support. Their purpose and your contributions become intertwined in bringing about social changes just by performing what you would typically do.
Supporting locals with the same goals
You will also find that many local shops sell and distribute locally-made items and services. Knowing that but still opting to buy from the big corporations is a blow in their economy and discourages them from competing against them.
If you are keen on supporting environment-friendly organizations, who better than the locals to help you find eco-friendly options? They are better aware of the societal conditions and the root causes. Therefore, they are better at helping you make better choices.
You don't need to seek every social organization in your destination. But whenever there comes an opportunity, choosing the ones behind a cause is always a better option.
Sharing their stories
Another way to participate in social justice and environmental benefits is by sharing their stories back home. What these organizations aim is to spread awareness while changing lives and improving current situations. They also aim at preventing future mishaps and conserving whatever values they hold dear.
Since the places they are situated in are already aware of their existence, there is not much they can do beyond relying on travelers to share their experiences to make a more significant impact. This is the reason why social activism and tourism go hand-in-hand.
Travelers who experience local social organizations' services can help them sustain their services by encouraging future tourists to do the same. Sharing the experiences and stories on social media, recommending others, and speaking on their behalf whenever possible is an effective way to bring changes.
All in all, learning about the societal norms and understanding the power of external interference where you travel is essential. Instead of making cold donations, supporting and reaching out to these organizations, acting by their rules, and adapting their ways is a form of respect for their place. Acting responsibly and making choices to leave impressionable footprints through conscious social activism is the need of the hour.
You may be a passer-by, but participating in bringing social justice while you travel can undoubtedly impact someone along the way, depending on your choices.
- What do you think about the topic above?
- Do you engage is social activism when you travel?
- How would you encourage others do this?
Thank you for taking the time to read this article and for keeping an open mind. Together, as a community we can help educate each other on ways to be more mindfully when we explore our amazing wold and interact with its peoples.
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