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  • Writer's pictureAlexandra Barrera

5 Life-Changing Lessons You Learn As You Become A More Eco-Conscious Traveler

Over the years I’ve learned that some of the most profound moments in my life have been the ones I can’t capture on camera. Photos and souvenirs from my adventures are special, don't get me wrong.

But the people I’ve met and the memories I’ve made from learning and growing are priceless. So today I’m sharing some of these lessons here, and including some tips, you can use to go with the flow and find your own balance as you embrace the travel life.

You Learn Patience

Just like any new experience, you have to acknowledge that learning something new will take time. Being an eco-conscious traveler requires you to adjust to your surroundings and the culture. You have to take it slow when you're developing new habits. The last thing you want to do is hamper your growth by having unrealistic expectations. Focusing on what you can do on your trip is essential to staying motivated. I encourage you to keep a detailed list of simple goals you have for yourself as you travel.

For example, maybe you want to focus on lowering your water consumption. You can set a goal to take 10 min showers. If you want to be more conscious of waste, you can create your own zero waste kit and start carrying reusable bags with you on your trips! You can find inspiration on Pinterest or search #zerowastekit on Instagram.

If you like tracking goals on your phone you can download the free EcoCred app. This app helps you track your impact and learn the various ways you can offset your carbon footprint.

Remember that doing something is always better than nothing so even if you only focus on one aspect of sustainability, like lowering your daily food waste, you are doing a great job! Be kind to yourself and take your time. At the end of the day, the only competition you have is with yourself.

You Gain A New Appreciation For The Simpler Things

As you visit new countries you’ll get an inside look at the various lifestyles that different cultures embrace. You’ll also discover that many parts of the world don't have the same access to resources that are commonly available. Clean water is one example of this.

A resource that we use so freely is now something we think about every day. How will I stay clean? Where will I get water for food? Reflecting on what we have gives us a new appreciation for simple things.

Consider keeping a notebook or journal to track what you are most grateful for every day. You can even take notes on your phone! You may start with 1-5 things every day or 10-15. The main goal is to reflect on the resources you have access to in different places. You’ll look back on each list and see how much you've grown to appreciate simplicity. Some of the happiest moments in

life are created from being at peace with your circumstances regardless of what you may not have.

Small Steps Lead To a Bigger Impact

One of the greatest small steps you take as an eco-conscious traveler is educating yourself. The more places you go, the more experience you gain! You have the ability to observe issues that are relevant where you are and educate yourself on how to make an impact. This is powerful!

When you go on your next trip, think of the things you're most passionate about and educate yourself on those issues. For example, maybe you really care about animal welfare. You can find organizations that are helping in this specific area and support them. You can also further your knowledge by using digital resources like podcasts, Youtube videos, ebooks, and virtual webinars. These are all ways you can amplify your impact through small steps!

You Think Outside The Box

Thinking outside the box will become second nature to you the more you travel. You find innovative ways to solve problems and even though you're on the go, the solutions are usually adaptable to your lifestyle at home too.

The truth is if you can be sustainable while you travel you can be equally as conscious when you’re at the comfort of your own home. My point is there are no limits to what you can do as a traveler. When you are on the move you accept the challenge to make an impact no matter where you are.

The abundance of resources we have in today's age empowers us to think outside the box and lead with confidence. One example of an unconventional resource is the Ecosia app. Ecosia is a search engine app you can download on your phone that will plant trees all around the world! Each search you make on the app contributes to more trees. You can try searching for something here!

Nature Becomes Your Best Friend

Travelers and the great outdoors make a pretty iconic duo if you ask me! It's not until you set foot on that first adventure that you really embrace nature and all its glory. As a traveler, you understand how much the ecosystem depends on us to take action, in order to thrive. We are constantly looking for opportunities to preserve natural resources and don't take them lightly.

We can be more careful with our natural resources by reusing, recycling, composting, and monitoring our daily consumption. Simple actions like purchasing food from a farmer’s market or seeking out local vendors for items we need are great ways to go green.

You could be contemplating your first trip out in the mountains. Or maybe you're busy planning your second visit to the home of your roots. The best thing to do could very well be making that jump and learning as you go. You honestly can't go wrong. My best advice to you is to go for it. The lessons you learn are priceless and celebrating every small victory makes the journey even more enjoyable.

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