Travel the world and make it better at the same time.
We all have our heroes, don’t we. Beyond the people we see on the silver screen – Superman, James Bond, Indiana Jones (more on him in a moment) – there are also those real-life people who may have made a positive difference in our lives, as well as in the lives of others throughout history.
And then there are the sporting heroes we admire for their feats of prowess, those goal leaders and team players who have inspired us with their sportsmanship. And there are those musicians, writers, and other creatives that we look up to with esteem for the works that have made us think, reflect on our lives, and molded our own creative sensibilities.
We might also look towards firemen, the police force, and the armies that protect us when considering those heroes who risk their lives on a daily basis for the cause of ourselves and others.
There are heroes in all walks of life, and for the context of this article, these include those people who travel the world. They raise funds for charities, raise awareness by blogging about the needs of others, and who work to help the poor in those countries most at need. They make a positive mark on the world, serve individual and community needs, and change their own lives by performing feats that they never thought possible.
So, what about you? Sure, you can travel the world, post pretty pictures on your Instagram pages, and stay in the loveliest of hotels. But what impact are you making on the world? What impact are you making on yourself? What impact are you making in the lives of others?
As you travel, travel like a travel hero, as you have the power to make a difference in all kinds of ways.
#1: Be environmentally responsible
Choose the flights that support green policies. Think twice before throwing away your waste. Take part in eco-friendly travel activities, such as beach cleanups, when you’re away. And when possible, use your legs to get from A to B by walking and cycling instead of taking the bus or hiring a car. By thinking about the environment when you’re traveling, and by doing something rather than nothing to minimize your own carbon footprint, you will be doing your bit to save the world. Wearing a cape and a mask while doing so is entirely optional!
#2: Raise awareness on your travel blog
Sure, there are those countries in the world that aren’t impacted by social issues and injustices. There are those countries where people, as a general rule, live happy and privileged lives. But then again, there are those countries where world problems exist. These are the places rife with intolerance, be it against the color of another person’s skin, their gender, their belief systems, or their sexual preferences. These are the places where there is war, famine, and human exploitation. And these are the places where the rich feed on the poor, where the poor get poorer, and where there is no such thing as equality.
What can you do about the social issues you encounter? You can write about them and raise awareness. You need to be careful, of course. You don’t want to get thrown into a prison. But if you can take pictures where you can, and if you can point others to the appropriate social action and fundraising sites, you can do much to serve the cause of those who might be too powerless to speak up for themselves.
#3: Volunteer your time
If you have the time to do so, why not sacrifice a year of your life for the sake of another? You could support the needs of the poor and the starving by transporting food, building shelter, and creating drinking wells. You could take part in a wildlife conservation project to help protect endangered species. You could teach English to children, serve the needs of the homeless, and take part in any activity that would benefit those most in need. There is much you can do, so take a look at these volunteer abroad programs and choose something that stirs your passions.
Sure, you might not have a lot of time to yourself for sightseeing, relaxing on the beach, and other touristy experiences, but does that matter? If you are doing your bit to impact the lives of individuals and local communities, you will experience great personal rewards in your life. Your travel adventure will actually mean something! So, think beyond your own needs and your own personal bucket lists, and be the travel hero that the people in this world need!
#4: Care for the needs of your fellow travelers
It might be somebody overladen with luggage. It could be a tourist, lost and wandering aimlessly when looking for their travel group. It might be a fellow hiker, hungry and thirsty, and on the point of collapse. It could be one of any number of people in need of a helping hand, a friendly word of advice, and a shoulder to rest on. So, when you’re at the airport or your hotel, or when you’re out and about at your chosen destination, consider the needs of the people around you. Sure, you could simply walk on by because you have a timed itinerary to keep to, or you could stop for a while and be the travel hero that they need. And if you do take the time to help your fellow travelers on your journey, you might also benefit from their support if you’re later in need of your very own travel hero to rescue you!
#5: Have a sense of adventure
Bring out your inner Indiana Jones!
When you’re traveling, don’t play it safe 24/7 in fear of your life. Be bold, be risk-taking, and step out of your comfort zones. So, take the roads less traveled when exploring new towns and villages, as who knows what you might find. You might find nothing at all, but then again, you might discover a place of rare scenic beauty, an underground tomb worth exploring, or somebody in distress that could benefit from your brave intervention.
When you’re planning your itinerary of things to do, forget about relaxing on the beach for a day or swimming in the pool of your hotel. Take part in the adventure-fueled activities that are available to you, such as scuba diving beneath the ocean depths, hang gliding over canyons, and kayaking down wild rivers.
And forget about a stay in a luxury hotel. Backpack your way around the world instead, and sleep under the stars or in a tent, prepare your own food over a campfire, and travel using survival skills instead of the comfort of all that is familiar to you.
When you travel with a sense of adventure in mind, you will become your own personal hero. You will do things that you never thought possible. And you will have stories to tell that will impress your friends, your children, and the legion of people who follow your blog and your social media channels.
Search for the hero inside yourself
It’s in there somewhere, and you probably don’t need a compass and a map to find it! As we have discussed in this article, there are all kinds of ways to bring out your inner travel hero, so unpack the baggage that is limiting your capabilities, and let your heroic side out. Not only will other people benefit from the heroic feats you perform, but you will benefit personally from the experiences that you undertake too.
So, ask yourself: How can I bring out my heroic side? And then, when you’re next thinking about traveling, plan to travel like a true travel hero and see what differences you can make to yourself and to others.