“Live better with less“: this credo is that of minimalism, a way of life that advocates a return to the essential, by voluntarily reducing our possessions. With “decluttering” as its keyword, minimalism has slowly taken its place in travel world – especially in travelers’ bags. So does minimalist travel mean travelling with a lighter backpack? Yes… But not only!
Traveling responsibly also means giving an important place to ethics in travel – with respect for people, animals, and the environment
With travelers becoming increasingly aware and committed, some do not hesitate to brandish the label “responsible travel” to attract a wider audience: after all, in the absence of an official definition, it is not surprising that the concept of “responsible travel” is being used for anything… and everything! How do you unravel the real from the fake? How can we be sure to face greenwashing – those misleading marketing methods that use ecological and ethical arguments to create an image that does not reflect reality at all? This is what we will try to see here, based on specific examples.
While volunteering in a hostel in Kyrgyzstan, we were struck by the interest and enthusiasm of a majority of travelers for attractions involving animals – such as multi-day horse treks with tired horses, or souvenir photo sessions with an eagle on arm… Choices that often exasperated us, but also raised many questions.
Since a few months, we see appearing everywhere in the media articles and reports with catchy title: “he made the World Tour without money”, “she crossed Europe with 0 €”. Is traveling without money a real or false good idea? This is one of the sensitive questions that we asked ourselves … A real question that gave us to think about it, but also collectively!
During our trip, we asked ourselves several times this question: “Should we boycott over-frequented places?” Indeed our way of traveling tried to be the more responsible possible, but is it really responsible to visit a place that suffers from mass tourism? We wanted to put our thoughts here, bringing both our personal and documented lights on the subject, in order to bring out some answers… but especially solutions!