#DoYouIndie Travel Challenge: eco-travel…

“travel is the only thing you buy, that makes you richer…” -unknown
halfway through this BootsNAll Indie Travel Challenge and D A Y 15 has me feeling tired.  not of writing…but sort of in existing.  i won’t go into my cocktail of emotions right now with all the things going on in the crazy and beautiful world we live in, but today, although happy and choosing positivity like most other days, i also choose exhaustion.
with that being said, i take to the page…
QUESTION 1: what are three ways you can make an effort to give back to the local economy when you travel?
one of the best ways i chose to give back to the local economy in the places i traveled to in AU was to connect with and support local businesses.  i found favorite cafes to frequent, gaining wifi access to keep up on this blog and keep in touch with family and friends back home, but also gaining a new network in the owners and other patrons.  coffee is life.  food is life.  people are life.  when you can find the trifecta in a hip locale, you will always get my coin.
i stayed in hostels.  the quirky, artsy awesome ones.  {mostly} avoiding big chain hostels and campgrounds, i aimed to take up accommodation in places where i would find like minded travelers…open minded and open hearted…with experience over possessions their priority and saving money where they can a necessity.  it was in these places, i built my tribe and ended up traveling with 5 different nationalities by my final brilliant month in Australia.  giving back to the local economy through booking a bed to sleep in always felt good…and a bonus was avoiding bed bugs, WIN!
i’m a lover of nature.  a beach bum at heart, raised among mountains and national forests, i have a true affinity for preserving nature.  another way i gave back to local economies was staying in national parks and camping on public beaches, paying my fees and packing out what i brought in.  it always feels good to be a responsible and respectful camper so abiding by rules and contributing to the safety and preservation of the lands that were contributing to my trip was important to me.  i also donated to an AU non-profit organization last Christmas to give back to the pieces of earth that gave so much to me on my road trip last year.
QUESTION 2: how does buying from a smaller local place differ than going to a big chain? what are some benefits of giving back versus some potential issues with buying from small, family-run businesses?
i sort of touched on this above…sometimes chains are unavoidable.  i was a poor backpacker so at times, heading to the chain store to spread my money further was survival…same went for buying gear.  whenever possible, i chose to splurge at a local health food store or buy a handcrafted gift for someone back home.  although i stayed in hostels and the rare hotel, for the most part, i participated in home stays, farm stays and house shares.  this was a win-win for all involved.  i contributed my time and physical energy to help a family or farm get work done around the place, whether that was helping a family with childcare and laundry or mastering a riding lawn mower or learning about all things sheep shearing, i gave back and in return, i saved money on accommodation, had a safe place to sleep and was well fed.  i absolutely struck gold with the families i stayed with in tamworth, NSW,  snug, TA and coomba, VI.
giving back by way of shopping farmers markets and local boutiques is essential to travel.  guaranteed you’ll find more unique, must-haves that you can’t get anywhere else.  supporting local artisans and farmers feels great and you are contributing to an eco-conscious movement which is always the right thing to do.  we may have to resort to giving our money to a big chain every now and again, but if we remain knowledgeable in our spending and think compassionately about where we buy and what that may really be supporting, we are a smaller footprint on this planet we could all love a little more.
how #DoYouIndie when you’re traveling?  do you support local businesses vs chains?  share with me in the comments below.

One thought on “#DoYouIndie Travel Challenge: eco-travel…

  1. Pingback: #DoYouIndie Travel Challenge: consciousness…the way forward… | little talks //

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