Are you one of those people who see vacations as an excuse to do things that are different than what you do in their real lives? It is the perfect way to take a break from your usual routine. Isn’t that what a vacation is all about?
Personally, I think the best kind of vacation is the kind where you can take away a great experience. I have found that opportunity mostly through ecotourism, something you may not have heard of.
Ecotourism is a great concept. First of all, it helps the communities and environment where the tourism takes place. In other words, if you’re going to visit a lake, all the money you put into your lodging, dining, etc, goes into the community surrounding the lake and for the upkeep of the lake. This works in not only large areas of the US, but even small villages in remote locations around the globe.
People want to feel connected to each other and to the world they live in. Ecotourism fills this need perfectly. Again, we’ll work with the lake example. When you go to the lake, you’ll find out more about the lake and its inhabitants, maybe through a guided boat tour or at a tourism center.
Sure, you could go on vacation to see a boring museum, spend a few days at the beach not really learning anything, or trek to an amusement park packed with a million other people all determined to have the most fun possible for all that money they spent. And those kinds of trips might be right up your alley, but I would much prefer to interact with locals and appreciate the surrounding environment than just stay at a posh hotel or spend hours of my time waiting in line for rides that last 30 seconds.
I would way rather go ziplining through forests or hiking to waterfalls, or maybe kayaking to a remote area to see some spectacular wildlife. Something a little more exciting than the same kind of vacation everyone else is doing. That’s why I really want to get into the field of ecotourism – I want to give people an experience they could not have gotten any other way, with education and appreciation of our environment at the forfront of their vacation.
Two great things about ecotourism: visiting somewhere as an ecotourist can really put people in touch with another place and its people. You learn more about the culture and the life other people lead when you are given the opportunity to experience it for yourself. Also, many of these places are very green and low-impact. They take advantage of a typically pristine natural environment without exploiting that environment. The activities, lodging, and tourism promotion in the area are geared toward low-impact and sustainable models. And because these are good practices, you are showcasing them in a positive and inspiring light for visitors to appreciate and model after they leave.
Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?