Countries are beginning to ease up their travel restrictions. Bulgaria, for example, is now welcoming citizens of 46 countries to explore the country. If Bulgaria never figured into your travel bucket list, maybe it’s time for you to adjust that list and make room for this unassuming European country with so much to offer. Think pristine beaches and old castles straight from your fairy tale dreams. Picture medieval towns and green meadows ready to receive you like a modern-day frolicking princess.
But before you get too excited over visiting Bulgaria, first things first. We have got to make some changes. Mother Nature’s hurting and probably a little angry, and it’s high time we do something for her. Now, why not consider pursuing sustainable travel for a change? Here’s how you can do it.
Stay in locally-managed accommodations
If you’re used to luxury travels, this might be a big adjustment. You won’t have your spacious room complete with its own jacuzzi. In fact, you might need to share a communal comfort room with shower cubicle partitions.
Yes, there will be a learning curve here. So you can think of it as an adventure in itself. Moreover, you can take comfort in the fact that you’re helping out the local economy by actually paying for a locally-run business. Hotel chains provide local employment, yes. But the profit they make doesn’t necessarily go to the community so there’s that to consider.
One of the best perks of traveling is the chance to immerse in the local culture. And the food is a big part of local culture. By food, we do not mean the multi-course meal you can get from a fancy restaurant. Think hole-in-the-walls packed with locals. Think street food.
Of course, you still need to be mindful of hygiene and food safety. After all, you do not want your vacation to be dulled by an attack of diarrhea. Or something worse.
Eating local means you’re having locally sourced food. That means less carbon footprint, which is something Mother Nature will smile about.
Pick your travel locations wisely
Green Destinations maintain a list of sustainable travel destinations every year. Their list encompasses all of the continents. For 2020, places that made it to the list include Lord Howe Island in Australia, Niseko Town in Japan, and Bison Land in Romania, to name a few.
Surely you’ll find something up your alley in Green Destination’s curated list. Instead of going to some random place that appeared on your social media feed, why not visit one of the group’s picks?
Walk more, ride less
Walking in a new city or destination is one of the most invigorating activities you could ever do. It’s like your entire body is participating in the exploration. It’s not just your eyes and ears that are having an adventure. From the tip of your hair to the nails of your toes, your entire body knows that it’s doing something awesome.
So skip the taxi or Uber and walk. Aimlessly if you must. You will never know what sort of surprises will come your way.
Refrain from taking anything from the place you visited
Whether it’s a conch from a beach or the cutest and littlest animal you’ve ever seen and which happens to be endemic to the place you visited, leave them where they should be. Ideally, traveling should not be about collecting stuff other than the most wonderful memories.
According to experts, our old way of life, the old normal as it is now called, will probably return next winter. That is something we can all look forward to. Finally, we can again travel with ease. But even if things are back to how they were, there’s one thing we must not forget. That is everything we do affect this world, the only planet, we have. And it’s in our best interest to be nicer to our home. Sustainable travel is just one way to do that.