On the conscious travel trail

conscious travel slow travel

Travelling is an experience that leads us on a path of treading wherefrom we discover newer avenues to explore the world in all its curious diversities and interesting curiosities. A hobby for some, a passion for others and even a way of life for quite some among the others is this gift of experience that we embark along the journey of in seeking out new places, in making unexpected discoveries of culture, in stumbling upon treasures of heritage, in traversing trails of legacy, and by such means therefore coming to rest in consciousness galore of the myriad avenues along which the world unravels its beautiful mysteries and captivating wonders. For indeed, travelling might be a goal in itself but within this pursuit to discover the world in all abundance and alongside the urge to call the whole planet one’s home nestles also an innate sense of responsibility, or rather of accountability perhaps that which makes the whole experience of the travelling activity more than just a leisurely detour from the mundane track of regular life.

In this ambit of awareness whereupon the travel bug comes to settle, dawning along with it a certain realisation of travelling as much in mindfulness as in indulgence emerges therefore a concept that is all the buzz today in travelscape. Stemming from the growing relevance that the forever essential pursuits of sustainability are finally coming to see greater advocacy for is the trend of conscious travel that has been doing the rounds for quite sometime now. Even as a trend though, the realisation that our travelling exploits needs to be accompanied by a fair amount of consciousness, whether induced or innate to ensure that we are not trampling upon the world in our desire to make the whole of it our territory in familiarity makes therefore the whole concept of conscious travel a virtue that we need to be necessarily furthering. More so today, in the time of the coronavirus pandemic when we have been made even more aware of actively chasing the sustainable goals in order to sustain our own selves, conscious travel has come to command considerable attention. And rightly so. With the drastic effects of climate change to alarming levels manifesting their danger in stark encounter of dismal realities, being conscious in everything we do is the prime requirement to ensure that we do not end up being helpless victims of our own mindless accord.

Consciousness in the context therefore of travel activities or in tourism is as evident a goal for sustainability as any other. At the very core of it, conscious travel translates most simply as responsible travel. But despite the very evident meaning of what conscious travel aspires to be, the ways and means that needs to be charted to explore this particular realm of the travel industry might be shrouded in ambiguity. Conscious travel might also be very far fetched a goal that the world can come to fully rest in anytime soon. Given the forever burgeoning travel sector and its associated industry of tourism that today is a multi trillion dollar economy in itself, it also might be somewhat tricky to pursue the goals even of what consciousness in travelling entails. Viewing one’s travelling needs or the urge to go around the world in a holistic way is something that conscious travel calls for in all exclusivity. This though can be a vision less practical because of the very nature of travel being an activity largely unregulated in the sense that those desirous of globetrotting can go on to explore their worldly desires in all freedom. And that perhaps is the prime challenge encountered by travel in its scope to emerge as a ground where the sustainable vision of consciousness takes root, because conscious travel also largely calls for exploring the whys of travel as a measure to cut down on unnecessary wayfaring of the world.

Charting out the whys of travel in such measures that call for a definite need to be intertwined with this activity carried out at least partly for leisure in many instances is a very definite farce that really cannot be attended to in exact manner. It in fact is nothing short of an irony that the continuous and booming indeed growth of the tourism sector is itself what speaks of its bleak future prospects since unabated, rather perhaps rampant travel would likely ruin the world to such extents that travelling except for really necessary indeed reasons itself would cease to be unsustainable. And it is exactly to prevent such oxymoronic occurrences of fate from being the reality that consciousness in travel needs to be adhered to in all urgency to ensure the continuation of a world not restricted in the avenues of its exploration.

And yet, deciding on travel needs is not the only concern that guides the conscious working of this global journey. The realm is one much more diversive, with different strands of realisation weaving this holistic desire of catering to the needs of the world in all awareness. While understanding the impact of one’s travel is what charting out the whys of travel essentially calls for, there also are other aspects in which this argument in reason acts as conveniently as well. The ultimate goal resides therefore more in eliciting a meaning out of one’s travel tales, even when it is an activity explored in to merely appease the senses. Conscious travel is a call for making every travel experience as enriching for others as it is for the one chasing it whether in necessity or in indulgence, in an attempt to ensure that no travelling journal ends up being a hollow only summation of picturesque snapshots and selfish memories. Travel indeed is very much about exotic locations and opportunities for conjuring up lifelong recollections in fondness but it should also be about creating benefit for others, specifically the locals, whether they be of human or animal origin mainly because the increasing load of tourists negatively impacts local communities. Whether it be the native people being outpriced from their own area or the regional wildlife facing disruption in terms of habitat and being more exposed to exploitation, travel and tourism has surprisingly profound effects of destruction that those of us blissfully fulfilling and fuelling further our wanderlust fail to decipher. The negative impacts of tourism, or more appropriately of overtourism perhaps has emerged to be a significant problem, asserting dominant control over natural resources and ecological terrains mainly due to it being an exercise in commercialisation of the industry. Linking therefore a sense of purpose beyond the mere seeking out of terrains and visiting locales to such extent that translates as fostering connections with the natives of the place such that the experience is one more immersive and definitely more real is a step to conscious travel in ensuring that it isn’t merely the economics of the whole travel business that extracts all the benefits out of the world.

Exploring the world being the foremost consideration of the travel experience, the idea of conscious travel indeed lets one do that for sure but with an accompanying sense of empathy so that the environmental balance of the planet is maintained. As reiterated before however, this pursuit in maintaining the natural harmony pertains to all aspects of life sustained by the planet because travel harbours more than enough potential to destruct entire ecosystems and cause loss of biodiversity while also triggering the displacement of indigenous groups and rendering them and their existence vulnerable to threats of appropriation. Conscious travel calls therefore to not confine travel to being merely a pursuit in the luxury of leisure and relaxation and not in any way to exclusively shun the physical luxuries associated with travel. It more is about sustaining the world through commercial ventures as what the ‘industry’ connotation of tourism suggests by being aware and responsible of where our money is going so that we end up making the world a better and therefore worthier a place to explore.

Conscious travel is indeed a call for travel considerations to be more encompassing of virtuous notions or rooted in more ethical experience that which might not strive to achieve a richer, more authentic understanding of the world as its priority but ends up being a much more fulfilling way to live the numerous lives embedded in the world. It of course needs no emphasis in writing that the very concept of conscious travel is one rooted more in the realms of the human understanding of what should be pursued in every exploration of life for a greater good rather than one that feeds into the assertion of merely fancying one’s exquisite desires. Conscious travel can sound like a preaching in mere ideology with only possibilities existing of it being a reality but truly spectacular is the impact that choosing to travel in all mindfulness can have particularly in such areas of exploration that are emerging on the tourism trail. As a mindset that the human race forever inclined to seek out the curious wonders of the world are developing more globally after the pandemic surge that which has afforded us all a deeper introspection into our own selves and the activities perpetrated by them, conscious travel is an opportunity in itself to redefine the forever enigmatic travel experience through such means and ways that are more than ample in number to align with our own personal beliefs and aspirations. Making travel a part of our inner conscience beyond the physical activity that it tends to be is this whole idea of conscious travel that ends up therefore exploring also the inner confines of our soul alongside the terrestrial range of the earth.