Despite the half-meter of snow on my doorstep and the five layers of clothes I need to wear to leave the house, spring is here and summer is on its way (I hope). And summer means sunshine, flip-flops, and travel! Ready to shake off those winter blues? Start planning some summertime escapes — sustainably of course — and let your mind wander.
Whether it’s adventure or relaxation you seek (or both!), whether you spend a weekend in a cabin in the next town or venture halfway around the world to a foreign country, it doesn’t matter. Use those hard-earned vacation days and take a break. Still not convinced? Here are five more reasons to travel this summer.
1. Gain a New Perspective
One of my favorite parts of traveling is getting to put myself in someone else’s shoes. Taking a look at things from a different point of view fosters compassion gives you a deeper sense of understanding. And the more compassion and understanding we have in this world, the better.
2. Cross an Item Off Your Bucket List
Now’s the time! Go skydiving! Hike El Camino de Santiago! Climb a volcano and see lava! Learn to dive! Whatever it is, do it. Looking for some other fun places to visit nearby? Check out sustainable businesses here.
3. Lend a Helping Hand
If you’re like me, you have certain causes that you’re passionate about, and you have a group of organizations that you support on a regular basis. When I travel, I always find so many more causes that seem extra worthy. But I’m not financially able to support every cause, no matter how much I want to. If this happens to you, too, spend your travel dollars to directly support the people involved, instead of making donations or handing out cash. Shop at local vendors, use local tour guides, and support local businesses. Speak with locals about getting involved at a bigger level if you have the time and skills to lend — they’ll point you in the right direction.
5. Relax and Unwind
Travel is good for your mental health. There’s a lot going on around the world, and it’s good to get out of your bubble and see something new. Changing your surroundings is good for you, and doing it sustainably is good for others.
6. See It Before It’s Gone
The earth is changing, and some places aren’t likely be the same for much longer. Places like Iceland, the Galápagos Islands, the Amazon Rainforest, and the Great Barrier Reef are all losing parts (if not all) of their beauty. By traveling now, not only will you witness these natural wonders, but you have the opportunity to put your money into places working toward protection and conservation.
Do you have exciting travel plans for the summer? Where are you headed?
Cindy is a traveler with an insatiable urge to immerse herself in other cultures. She has been traveling around the world for the past seven years, and is currently living in Cordova, Alaska for the summer. Follow her adventures at Casilocal. She is also a GV Ambassador helping map the world of social enterprises and sustainable volunteer opportunities.