Learn how you can become your own Travel Agent with insight provided by travel authors, tour guides, adventurers, and digital nomads as we, hosts’ Bob DiMenna and Elliot Shibley, interview travel enthusiasts from around the world in order to gain knowledge on all aspects of travel. From hacking the … read more
TTB 108: Travel Disaster Stories and Voluntourism
Jules and Christine run the blog @Don'tforgettomove and podcast @notsobonvoyage which discuss ethical/sustainable tourism and when sh*t goes wrong on the road, respectively. They joined us on our podcast this week to discuss voluntourism and of course, travel horror stories!
Inside the Episode:
(11:15): Christina and Jules break down their backpacking travel style and give tips and information on how others can follow in their footsteps.
Jules and Christina were quite the Vagabonds. Back before the glitzy term “#travelinfluencer” existed and the over saturated Bali photos ran rampant on Instagram, Jules and Christina were making their way around the world working for non-profit organizations and surviving off of rice, beans, and an unbiased experiences.
(13:40): Jules discusses how they began travel blogging, creating ebooks, and general travel influencing during the infancy of the industry way back in 2013.
(19:50): We start a conversation on “White Savior” complex. What is it? How can we avoid it? And how can we change voluntourism to better help the people it’s supposed to.
(23:27): With Jules and Christine, we discussed the weird conundrum around Voluntourism. We all know the issues surrounding this industry (que the white dude posing with black kids in Africa for social media likes). These photo ops are almost always egotistical and they need to stop. However, the conundrum arises when you remove that egomaniac from the equation and then the money that person spent in that location leaves with them. So - is there a way to increase funds going to build homes, wells, schools, etc. while removing the people who travel to these locations for the social media likes?
(30:54): Who here plans on riding an abused elephant? We’re going to assume most people don't seek out abused animals for fun. But abused elephants still get ridden ALL the time! If 2020 has anything to offer it is an abundance of instant information at your fingertips. Do animals a favor - before your trip just dig a little bit deeper into the organization you plan on visiting to ensure they have morals.
With years of personal experience, the @NotSoBonVoyage couple had incredible insight on the darker side of the Voluntourism industry. It was eye opening, and the ultimate takeaway was that research is key. Bad organizations are getting more creative in their effort to hide behind a facade of “conservation” but in reality, do not ethically treat animals or the local population ethically.
(53:25): The second half of our conversation with Jules and Christina dove into the beautiful topic of when S#!@T goes wrong on the road! Of course, the Not So Bon Voyage couple did not disappoint!
(57:38) Christine suffered from Dengue Fever while in Cuba. The hospital...was not quite up to par with what you’d experience here in the US and from what you can get through this clip, it still haunts the both of them to this day.