Travel, explore, be curious!

The Samahita Blog

Travel, explore, be curious!

By Kirsten Mia

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” – Maya Angelou 


Why travel? Travelling enables us to see and experience different perspectives, cultures, ways of living and being, allowing us to open our minds and hearts to our fellow humans across the globe. We are travellers by nature, nomadic hunter gatherers’, having only started settling down in one place about 10 000 years ago with the shift into the agricultural revolution.  

Human migration began about 120 000 years ago in Africa. The latest scientific research in genetics and genome testing has revealed a much more complicated story of the history of humans and earlier hominid species. This data is providing archaeologists and scientists with an increasingly sophisticated view of our ancestors and the migration of peoples across the globe over the last 120k years or so. Different ideas and theories are evolving that paint a very different picture to what we thought before, that humanity began in Africa, the cradle of humankind. Populations did not just extend from Africa across the globe to remain in isolation, they settled and continued to share their DNA, interbreeding with other groups and sub species such as Neanderthals and Denisovans. What this tells us, is that our history is messy, we are the product of a tangled web of genetic relationships between different ancient and modern human groups, none of us can claim to be from a single region, as people have been on the move throughout history, sharing ideas, beliefs, foods, treasures, tools and practices, thus forming cultures, which continue to shift and adapt to new ways of being. We are all intimately intertwined in our evolution… Food for thought indeed!  


Be curious, explore mindfully…  


Yes, it is possible! Be an Ecotourist – Do your best to adhere to responsible travel practices, stay with organisations that support the environment and social/economic well-being of the local people, try to mitigate any negative impacts we create when travelling. Stay informed, and keep up to date with the latest in innovation and technology as well as what’s happening globally so you can choose to visit countries that are working with indigenous communities or local people and making efforts to look after and preserve natural habitats for future generations.  

Sustainable travel tips:   

  • Volunteer some of your time (with an NGO offering long term positive impact) 
  • Donate to a local charity organisation 
  • Shop locally, handmade items from artisans and craftsmen 
  • Regard impacts of wildlife tourism/activities 
  • Respect the local culture, learn some local phrases 
  • Minimize your waste, use less plastic 
  • Choose sustainable accommodation and tour operators  
  • Lower carbon footprint: rent a bicycle, fly direct, walk, pack light 
  • Look at bigger picture when bargaining, few dollars is a lot for locals in developing countries 
  • Don’t give to beggars 
  • Remind/educate others to be responsible travellers 
  • Use a refillable water bottle/coffee cup 
  • Take out travel insurance 
  • Be adaptable and understanding 
  • Combat over-tourism and consider travel to lesser known places 
  • Turn off lights, AC/fan/heating and TV when you leave your room, close curtains to keep cooler in hot climates  
  • Use reef friendly sunscreen & don’t stand on coral reefs 
  • Don’t support tours/operators that partake in questionable/unethical treatment of wildlife or local people 


Be aware of greenwashing – Companies and organisations sometimes use marketing strategies in an effort to deceive customers into believing that their products, activities, or policies are genuinely eco-friendly when they really aren’t. It’s difficult to tell just by looking at a website, so check out Tripadvisor reviews, get referrals from friends and family about places they have been.  


So how do you get from A to B? By boat, bus, train or automobile?… Well, most likely, on a plane. 

Will flying become an ethical NO-NO? It’s unlikely. For a start, the no-fly movement is a very European phenomenon, a continent blessed with easy rail access and free movement across borders. For an American or Australian traveler, the reality is more complicated, unless they want to just travel in their home countries. It’s also important to understand the positive effects the ‘jet age’ has had on the world: from bringing prosperity to far-flung corners of the planet to broadening minds and encouraging multi-culturalism, mass travel has been, on balance, a very good thing.” 

The aviation industry represents 3.5% of the world’s GDP and has created 65 million jobs worldwide. Aviation provides the only rapid worldwide transportation network, generating economic growth, creating jobs, and facilitating international trade and tourism. Aviation has become the enabler of global business and is now also being recognized by the international community as an essential enabler to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Aviation is already known as a driving force of global technology development and innovations, and these emerging technologies will improve aviation infrastructure and airspace utilization in the years to come as growth continues in the industry. Communication and collaboration are key to seeing these latest innovations and inventions become a reality in the future.  

The future of the aviation industry – Leisure travel will recover before business travel and due to remote working improvements and may not get to pre covid levels for years. In the meantime, airline companies are phasing out older aircraft for newer more efficient and environmentally cleaner ones. Some are already shifting flight routes to reduce the effects of contrails. Developments are underway to produce synthetic and cleaner jet fuel & hybrid engines. Improvements in air traffic control systems like Iris will enable a 4D view of air traffic management, and other new AI technologies such as biometric boarding will make travelling more efficient and reduce the impact on the environment. 


So, it’s not all doom and gloom and a small amount of people abstaining from flying altogether in the short term is not going to solve all the problems we face today. It is of course important to be mindful and be as sustainable as possible while we continue to evolve, create and solve our issues and move towards more sustainable and eco friendly travel. Wellbeing not only means taking care of yourself, this is just one component, it also involves being proactive and engaged in the world around you, thinking about other humans, all living creatures and by being conscientious of your impact on the environment. This is what we do here at Samahita Retreat and hope you will join us in the quest to achieve wellbeing for all!  




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