When planning a trip overseas, there are many things to consider before leaving. Many of us spend months researching things like accommodation, transportation and top tips, to make the most of our time away. However, we often forget to research the environmental and responsible tourism practices. Are we mindful of the waste we produce? Are we putting pressure on areas where resources are already scarce, and what is there WE can do about it?
Sarah Reid has created an inspiring travel blog encouraging sustainability and answering questions just like that. Having visited an impressive amount of countries (almost 100) Sarah is no stranger to the effects of tourism on local communities and the environment. Not only has she become mindful in her own travel, she is now sharing her wisdom with viewers around the world and has become an advocate for positive tourism.
We are so inspired by Sarah’s passion and drive towards making a difference and guiding others to do the same.
Meet Sarah Reid
Hi, I’, Sarah Reid, travel writer, editor, travel guide author and travel blogger at ecotravelist.com. I have travelled to nearly 100 countries and am passionate about sharing tips on how to explore this amazing planet we live on more responsibly.
What does it mean to be a sustainable minded globetrotter?
It’s about being more mindful about the way in which you travel, making an effort to ensure that your trip has a positive impact on the environment and communities you visit rather than a negative one.
In what ways can tourism affect a country?
In a million different ways! Responsible, sustainable tourism has helped to protect fragile ecosystems, safeguard historical sites, and bring meaningful employment opportunities to disadvantaged communities. Unfortunately, unchecked tourism has had the opposite effect in many destinations, effectively ‘ruining’ them in one way or another.
Can you share some of your favourite eco-friendly locations around the world?
Loads of countries and cities around the world are embracing a more eco-friendly future, which is great to see. I always enjoy stopping through Singapore, which has some phenomenal green spaces, and I’m also really looking forward to visiting Jordan next month, which is strongly committed to ‘green growth’. I particularly like to support cities (as well as some whole countries) that have plastic bag bans in place. I mean if Uganda can do it…
How long have you been running ecotravelist?
About nine months; it has been a slow start as I also write for a number of traditional travel titles, though I’ve had a great response to the site so far.
When did you first fall in love with travel?
I was lucky to do a little bit of travelling with my family as a child, but it was a school trip to Nepal when I was 16 that really fired up my wanderlust. The culture shock was intoxicating, and it left me wanting more.
Tell us about the most interesting person you have met on the road
I love a good travel yarn, and Salim, a fellow traveller I met in a Colombian hostel, had some of the best I’ve ever heard. One caper saw him travel to Iran (for the first time), hire a donkey, and trek across the desert relying on little more than a bit of Farsi and sheer wit to help him navigate all manner of obstacles. All all just because he thought it might be an interesting way to see the country. As you do!
Can you share your number 1 tip before visiting any new location?
It might sound simple, but learning a few simple local phrases (even just ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’) as well as boning up on basic local customs (acceptable dress at religious sites, for example) before you go won’t only make your life a little easier, but it will be greatly appreciated and respected by locals, too.
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