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Photo: Blanca on Fremont

Travel is more than getting from Point A to B.

Travel is an interconnected web of social and natural actors who make possible local, regional, and global tourism sectors. The act of moving connects us to places and people in ways unimagined by standing still. That said, most of the human population doesn’t leave far from home and in the past two years of pandemic, we have all been participants in the most impactful staycation.

Planeta.com was launched in 1994 to catalyze connections and linkages among friends working in conservation and in tourism. Our stated objective was to explore ecotourism – even if this went by different names.

Humans writing about travel is like fish writing about water. Travel is our liquid, our way of understanding multiple worlds via direct experiences (the journey begins with one step …) and via vicarious adventures, communicated by friends and family, directly and indirectly with souvenir postcards, tweets, yelp reviews, photos, and videos.

As the pandemic winds down

Where we need to task ourselves is explaining the impacts of travel. What benefits does tourism bring? What people don’t want are hoards of people changing the local lifestyle. Ideally, there should be more positives than negatives. Healthy places are where people are happy.

Moving beyond our immediate horizons and welcoming strangers from afar, we have opportunities now to see travel and tourism in a new light – one that welcomes new experiences and empathetizes with others.

Travel is not a competition. We are always in front, behind, and sideways of friends and family as well as complete strangers on similar but not identical paths. We are either learning or teaching by our examples. Personally, I rejoice in the community of fellow travelers who get the notion that inspiration can be shared, but there is no one size fits all. Take heart these are values that evolve and deepen over time, multigenerationally, for those who perceive travel as radical collaboration.


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