There are as many ways to traveling as their are travelers. Some people just hate to travel and only do it when forced (home for the holidays). This article (and this column) probably isn’t for them!
Some love to travel as an escape, a way to recharge their batteries. Others want to party, drink, sleep in (or around). That’s all good. The three primary reasons Ilove traveling are:
- Meeting people from other cultures and countries;
- Learning about a new destination or discovering more about a destination I’ve already visited; and,
- Uncovering gay history or culture that I never knew about.
Besides simply finding pleasure in these discoveries, they each help inform my travel writing. We wrote a book about the largely forgotten homophile Polynesian culture in Hawaii. (The Out Traveler:Hawaii is still available on Amazon.)
But there are other ways of enjoying travel. One, dubbed “voluntourism” has an altruistic dimension.Voluntourism includes an act of giving back or helping out while traveling. I haven’t yet had a voluntourism experience, but i asked my dear friend, owner and chief marketing officer of the award winning gay tour operator, Zoom Vacations, which has led voluntours to help explain this altruistic travel concept and tell us when his next such opportunity is:
- Especially as our world grows in ways that sometimes stifle human interaction, in our travels we seek meaningful connections to those we meet, and deeper associations with the communities we visit. We seek greater opportunities to embrace the local cultures, customs, and traditions.
- Giving makes you feel empowered, and in general it makes you feel great. In its simplest terms, isn’t the desire to feel great the main reason we take vacations in the first place?
- Our next voluntourism opportunity is in Buenos Aires. Zoom Vacations works with Elementary Basic Beccar Number 31, located in the neighborhood of San Isidro in Buenos Aires. The school has an enrollment of 350 students, most of whom are children of low socio-economic backgrounds. The school also provides students with a healthy breakfast and lunch. Our travelers have the opportunity to collect school supplies and educational toys to donate to the school. Click here for more info about the trip.