Traveling is important in helping us see many different parts of the world, and is crucial in our own growth and understanding of this life. When you travel, you get to experience things that you’ve never encountered in your home country. It is different from seeing the world through a computer or phone screen. That cannot ever compare to the real thing. To be a “responsible tourist”, I think, is to be someone who tries to understand the place they visit rather than trying to use the place for their own leisure. Although it is perfectly fine to do the latter, trying to grasp the world around you would make you become a responsible tourist. For me, I don’t know what exactly would be the most dignified way to travel to a foreign place. The thing that matters is what our purpose for traveling to that place is. If we travel to learn more about the world, then it’s best that we try to put ourselves in the shoes of the community of the place we visit. If we travel there in order to have fun, then they’d probably go to a high class hotel and live leisurely. Some “types” of travel can be immoral, I think. One that I could think of would be how foreigners travel to Thailand with the goal of engaging in activities with sex workers. It damages the reputation of Thailand quite heavily. On the other hand, I guess that helps boost the tourism in Thailand, so that’s a positive thing. It’s mostly bad, though.
After brainstorming about everything that I’ve written, this reminds me of my time in Sapporo. (For the past ten or so years, the only foreign country I’ve ever traveled to is Sapporo, so I can only talk about that.) I can’t say that I had completely put myself in the shoes of the citizens there, but it was close. My friends and I had to communicate in a foreign language, and travel with the Japanese people to our daily destinations. However, we were still given special treatment because we were foreigners. When we did something that went against the norms, we wouldn’t have gotten the same reaction if we were Japanese. (Maybe we did get reactions and we just didn’t notice.) I was responsible when I tried to follow the norms of the community, like not look at others on trains. I was irresponsible when my friends and I biked too fast because it was cold and almost collided with a Japanese teenager. Because my trips to this place, I realized that we have to follow the norms of the place we are in, despite what we grew up with.
2 thoughts on “Travel and Tourism”
A nice connection to your last blog!
You: “I had to communicate in a foreign language”… [ホテル?]
Me: “I tried hand motions and slowly saying an English word over and over”… [╚(ಠ_ಠ)=┐Hotel?
☜(˚▽˚)☞ H-o-t-e-l?（╯°□°）╯HOTEL?!] … “Didn’t work. We all got confused at each other.”