Responsible Travel Week Day #3. Today’s challenge: Be attentive.
Topical Discussion: Passport to Parks and Protected Areas
Pay attention. Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager. – Susan Sontag
Anyone can pay attention for an instant. But what does it take to pay attention over time?
There’s a reason we love to travel – the very act of spending time in distant lands increases our awareness of people and place. We can watch documentaries, read fiction, take in the avalanche of disaster news, but none strikes the chord the same way when we can say “I’ve been there.”
Our attention to foreign places begin long before our journeys. For visitors, the planning stage can be as entertaining as the journey. We face the fact that there is so much we do not know! For locals, planning to receive visitors is fraught with expectation and uncertainty. What if the travelers do not speak the local language? What is the state of regional and national security? Visitors are deterred by roadblocks, earthquakes and volcanoes.
Personally, I enjoy returning to places perhaps moreso than visiting new places outright. This allows me to connect with locals and see how faces change over time (and by the way, letting others see how my face changes over time). I don’t count the number of countries I’ve visited and I distrust people who tally.
Attention is a valuable resource for the conscious guest and conscious host alike.
Challenge: Show us the parks you love that the responsible traveler should visit.
Webcast: Sustainability Empathy