“Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.”
This is my article that went up on TravelCultureMag.
All the predictions have materialized and there’s no escaping the realization that the face of the world is changing. The Earth is evolving and going through natural cycles, but it is more so apparent that the growth of population and our living habits are influencing this change.
But before you start to cheer for noticeably less precipitation, warmer winters and scorching summers, think about adapting to extreme weather conditions: desertification and rising sea levels, droughts and floods, and the loss of biodiversity (because animal species are not as adaptable to these new patterns).
Ok, maybe you don’t care about the animals. But what about us? We are blaming past generations for not considering the implications of their actions and burdening us with saving the planet, but we are exerting even more pressure on the environment, and the future generation, which doesn’t really have a future, the way things stand now. I envision my children’s children wearing gas masks and living in domed cities.
In fact, two years ago Newsweek came out with its 100 Places to Remember Before They Disappear, an endangered list of locations that could be obliterated due to climate change and other environmental problems. A lot of iconic cities are on, as well as some truly amazing places, including Maldives, Venice, California’s Big Sur, the Aegean Sea, Lake Baikal, the Great Barrier Reef, Tokyo, etc. The world will see many environmental refugees and possibly even entire regions disappear and soon talked about as if they were merely myths.
It makes you want to pack up and try to save those places with your own hands.
The more I write about these issues and the more I discuss them with online and offline communities, the more I find myself running into a lot of resistance and pessimism. Apart from a very small, indeed trivial number of people who really do care, do believe, and are doing whatever they can to minimize their footprint and use the power of communication and interconnectedness that we possess nowadays to raise more awareness, there is a 1000 times more powerful wave coming from the rest of the public and the mainstream industry that just can’t wait for the trend to die. And they do see sustainability, environmental issues and all this funny green business as a passing trend.
It is so easy to pretend that it’s not about you, dear reader, or me, or anyone individually, and that these are not our personal choices that have resulted in this state of the world. But they are. We’re all guilty.
But, as long as we feel no guilt or indignity for our choices, we can continue to turn our back on it, and on all the judgement. Which is what we’re largely doing now.
There are incredible places that we need to protect and preserve. Instead, we live day-to-day, so indulgently, playing a key part in aggravating the nature and its normal cycles, and are now witnessing it rebelling, proving that it can no longer sustain our activities.
The shift is inevitable, and we cannot stop it, but we can work together to contain the damage and mitigate additional threats. Yes, we are able to do this but we are, on the whole, just not willing to. That’s all there is to it: we are too comfortable, too indulgent to even bother.
It is too easy, and quite unchallenging, to travel around the world these days: you catch the first ride to wherever, scout some hostel or private accommodation, rent a cheap bed for the night, borrow from someone on the upper bunk a Lonely Planet guide for the place you are at, run around, snap pictures, soak up the vibe, meet people, maybe give the local language a tongue twirl, try to learn a few things, try to have as much fun as you can while still keeping it affordable, and pack memories back with you.
Hopefully, there’s more to it.
Please travel responsibly.
Consider your impact on the local populations.
Try to contribute positively to the local development.
Be glad and thankful that you’re a part of a global community.
Be conscious of your actions.
Don’t be selfish.