How to Travel More Ethically, Sustainably, and Meaningfully
Thom Brown Travel wants to help you travel better. But what exactly does that mean? Put simply, better travel means travel that does more good than harm.
Below is Thom Brown Travel’s mission statement. This statement sets out the intention of the Thom Brown Travel blog. Each article I publish is an attempt to help you travel better in at least one of five key areas.
I hope these help you to become a more efficient, ethical, sustainable, and purpose-driven traveller.
1. Better Travel is Stress-Free
We travel to improve our mental health and escape the stress of the daily grind. Yet for many people, travel is a stressful pursuit in itself. Thom Brown Travel offers travel hacks to make your trips easy, efficient, and convenient. This is important because it means that travel is accessible to all and not just a few privileged people.
For most of our history, humans have been nomadic but the travel industry has become overly complicated. Travel better by getting back to basics and embracing the simplicity of slow travel. By using these travel hacks to make your trips cheaper and easier, you can re-focus your energy on achieving meaningful goals while on the road.
2. Better Travel is Ethical
I believe that travel is fundamentally a morally good thing because it broadens horizons, connects cultures, and spreads good ideas. However, excursions can be unethical.
Unethical tourist activities include:
- Riding elephants: In order to be tamed, wild elephants are often treated cruelly. They must be dominated by humans. Elephants gain nothing from being ridden and it’s fuelling unethical captivity.
- Poverty and tribal tours: People living in poverty or in native tribes are not tourist attractions. Wealthy travellers have an understandable curiosity about those living very different lives, which some tour guides have taken advantage of for financial gain.
- Buying souvenirs made from poached animals: Poaching causes incalculable damage to species. Beyond the deaths that occur, social structures are decimated; as are natural breeding habits. Tourists buying products, such as ivory, fund poaching efforts.
The morality of these and similar tourist activities are subject to fierce debate. Thom Brown Travel delves into these topics to help you to travel better by being more ethically aware.
For instance, is it ethical to fly? Some say yes, some say no, some say sometimes. But let’s have the discussion.
3. Better Travel is Environmentally Sustainable
The environmental cost of tourism is enormous. Flying contributes to around 5% of global warming emissions, not to mention the cost of exploring the world in other vehicles. However, travel doesn’t have to be any less sustainable than staying in one place.
A heavy meat eater who commutes to work in a diesel-powered car may do significantly more environmental damage than a vegan who sails the world in a yacht.
Travel, on balance, is morally good for the world. But we must do it more sustainably. Thom Brown Travel promotes better travel by offering advice on lowering the negative impact of your journeys on the world.
4. Better Travel is Individually Sustainable
Hitting the road for extended periods can be detrimental to the explorer themself. Your relationships may suffer. You could end up broke and stuck in a country that has no interest in helping you out. You might find yourself in dangerous situations.
Travel better by making sure your journeys are sustainable for you as an individual. Can you do this long term and maintain a well-lived life? Thom Brown Travel offers advice to help you avoid burnout and travel in a way which is healthy.
5. Better Travel is Purpose-Driven
Travel, like almost everything you do in life, should have a point to it. Before you take a trip, decide how you want it to leave a positive impact on you and the world. In doing this, you put meaning into your travels.
The wanderer is more than a person who takes holidays. Your journeys have a point to them; they provide a sense of purpose that makes them worth taking.
The purpose of your trips abroad might be to have fun, to explore new ideas, to form meaningful relationships, to improve the world, or to push yourself out of your comfort zone. It might be a combination of these things and others. But to travel better, travel with meaning.
Thom Brown Travel is a new kind of blog. It offers advice not just about travel, but better travel: that which cuts out the stress while being ethical, environmentally and personally sustainable, and purpose-driven. Start your journey towards better travel.