Do you find it difficult to be a responsible traveller? You are not alone. More than 85%* of travellers would like to choose sustainable experiences, but only 39% manage to do so. It can be hard to find genuinely responsible hotels or tell if the experience is truly sustainable or not. So, if you are a conscious traveller but still have no idea where to get started, Bee + Hive has prepared a list of five jaw-dropping experiences, that you can enjoy from your backyard to far-flung destinations.
Go Bird Watching
Bird watching is Bee + Hive’s my number one activity for the season. It invites you to find peace of mind and leads to health improvement. Recent studies prove that listening to bird songs can help de-stress and restore attention. Add to that, the endless benefits of being close to nature.
Birds can be seen anywhere, including an urban environment. I prefer the woods, though. One of the fantastic aspects of casual birdwatching is that different locations offer you totally different experiences. At Fazenda Bananal, in Brazil, for example, visitors can go bird watching while walking through the Atlantic Forest. And at Little Saint Simons Island, in Georgia, birders might spot more than 330 species along the beaches and woodlands.
Fall in Love with Whales
Every year between July and October, humpback whales come close to the shore of Bahia in Brazil, looking for warm waters to pair and give birth. I won’t lie to you; they might be frightening at first. But once you pay attention, you notice how gentle these animals are. It’s more than impressive to watch them swim around; it’s touching. At the sustainble oceanfront hotel Pousada Tutabel, whale watching boat tours are available. Not once a visitor has returned to land without carrying beautiful memories.
Taste the Sustainable Local Culture
Bee + Hive recommends trying the local food to experience the local culture in a sustainble way. I remember the time I was visiting the Fontainebleau palace and museum, in France. I asked the guide what his favourite place for lunch was. He recommended a small restaurant ran by a retired couple. They had set four or five dining tables in their house where they served crepes and homemade cider. It was such a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere. I can’t remember the details of the museum exposition, but that homemade cider I’ll never forget.
Look at the Stars
More than 80% of the planet can’t see the Milky Way anymore. The artificial light emitted in cities all over the world is hiding the gigantic galaxy. If you haven’t seen it yet, I strongly recommend you do. If you’ve already experienced it, do it again. Hit the road and find a sustainable dark site. It might be a few hours away from your hometown, but it is worth it.
Travelling in a hurry is not my thing. I gave up on jumping from one tourist attraction to another for a few reasons. One of them is because I don’t like to go back home feeling more tired than I was before. Instead of visiting several places in a few days, I prefer to visit one destination. Travelling slower allows me to explore the surroundings and be in contact with local culture in a way less stressful, more respectful of locals, and less aggressive to the environment.
*according to research by booking.com