Traveling with Intention

Be a guest, not a spiritual tourist.
It is one thing to respect the autonomy and sacredness of cultures. It is another thing to spend time with cultures only for material gain. There are too many social media “shamans” and self professed “medicine” people who are not in right relationship with the communities that have trained them. Respect the privacy of people and their cultures when you travel. Not everything needs to be monetized nor do you need to capture every precious moment with your camera. Some experiences are just that. Experiences.

Leave the English elitism at home.
Whether I am in Central America, Africa, or South Asia, I always witness English speakers demanding that everyone speak English, even when that is not the main language spoken. This is baffling and wreaks of entitlement. Although I am trilingual, I still make it a point to learn the basics of a native language before I travel. I make embarrassing mistakes. I say things in the wrong order but I try. Many non-English speakers are not able to obtain employment in their home countries because much of modern tourism depends on English proficiency. If they can permit us into their country, we can do our part and learn to communicate in their language.

Be with nature, not above it.
Reduce waste, eat more plants, and preserve water. It is that simple for me. I love to travel and take baths. I also love taking care of our planet. Whenever I travel, I limit the number of baths I take and water I use, bring my reusable copper water bottle, shop local businesses, and eat more organic plants instead of animal products.