Day #2. Today’s challenge: Be generous.
Topical Discussion: Volunteering and Voluntolding
La generosidad nos enriquece. (Generosity enriches us.) – Mexican proverb
Today is Day 2 of Responsible Travel Week. I’m very pleased to be exploring volunteering – what works and what does not. Likewise, the other big topic on the plate today is world heritage. Are we protecting the cultural and natural wonders of the world? In both cases, we need timely information to insure that what we are doing actually works. If we continue to work in isolated silos, we are not going to make progress.
One limitation to developing mutually beneficial travel is the ego-centric, What’s in it for me mentality. Visitors want the best deal, the lowest price. Locals want the highest price, the least amount of imposition. But travel that is truly responsible leads to transformation and growth. Locals and visitors alike change and this occurs when we realize that being generous is actually a good thing.
More about empathy on Friday, but let’s focus on some practical ways we can all be generous. Online it’s easy to share, retweet, favorite and embed. We can give good reviews to others via TripAdvisor, write testimonials on LinkedIn and add stars on Flickr. If you’re a member of Outbounding, upvote your favorite responsible travel features.
Let me clarify. Honesty trumps false praise any day. That said, far too many of our readers and colleagues are passive wallflowers when it comes to the social web. So that’s why I encourage giving the photos, videos and blogs we enjoy a positive mark.
We can also be generous on the ground. When I lived in Oaxaca, I would volunteer my time on Friday and Saturday mornings to help vendors move their goods from vehicles to market stalls at the Pochote. What can you do with your time this week? How can you be generous?
Today’s challenge: Show us the people travelers should visit. Perhaps it’s an informed staff member at an information desk. Perhaps it’s a vendor at the market. Get permission to take their photo and share online, but put names to the faces of the people who are at the intersection of locals and visitors.
Cape Town: 2-3pm Responsible Travel Flash Mob, St Georges Mall