“Everywhere I travel, tiny life. Single-serving sugar, single-serving cream, single pat of butter. The microwave Cordon Bleu hobby kit. Shampoo-conditioner combos, sample-packaged mouthwash, tiny bars of soap. The people I meet on each flight? They’re single-serving friends,” said the Narrator in cult movie Fight Club.
When we travel many of us tend to think single-mindedly about the sights we ought to go to, the things we ought to see, eat or do, the social media posts we ought to make, but oftentimes, this socially developed travel habit takes away from us appreciating a place as it is, and experiencing things as they come.
The beauty of travel lies in serendipity of chance encounters, having more meaningful interactions with those we meet, and developing deeper solidarity with locals to retain what is good and beautiful in their land, sea and culture.
“It is when we go down deep and really try to get the stories from the people and even help them find greater dignity and pride in their place.
It is inspiring to see how some of the locals really value the culture and the environment, how they really want to be stewards of it, and make sure that the beauty of Palawan that they’ve experienced gets to be experienced by other people as well.
And that’s also where responsible travelers come in. When we travel, we are just visitors, and we should leave as little a trace as possible, whether it be on the environment or the cultural practices of the people,” shared Jen Horn, founder of MUNI and advocate for Responsible Tourism.
Check out this video from a series created by Patrick Martin in collaboration with AirAsia Philippines, that showcase the beauty of the Philippines, in Palawan, Cebu and Davao, while encouraging travelers to be more mindful about their environmental and cultural travel footprint.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jen Horn is a wanderer, writer, and founder of MUNI, a community for mindful living. She encourages people to think critically – to ask questions about how they shop, eat and travel, to explore more socially and environmentally mindful ways of living and working, while remaining kind to one’s self.
She writes about psychology, wellness and the environment, and loves veggies, diving and bike-commuting. Follow her at @nomadmanager.