is always challenging and rarely possible even if you visit more than the main sights. Every one of us travels with our perspective, which our upbringing and past experiences have shaped. To truly understand a country, one likely has to live there for a prolonged period. But of course, learning is always possible, which is often done while talking to locals or visiting sights that are not on every tourist’s to-do list.
You usually mention the pollution caused by other tourists. What measures do you take to travel mindfully?
Lucas: Generally, we don’t want to point the finger at other tourists because it is not always them, causing pollution or leaving garbage. Sometimes it is the locals who do not know any better. But, no matter who is responsible, we get really furious when we find empty beer bottles and plastic packaging on a garbage-strewn campsite.
Anna: But in reality, pollution is a global issue. Ocean currents transport trash everywhere. Traces of plastic, tires, fishing nets, bottles and so on can be found on the most pristine beaches and even on uninhabited islands. There is no easy solution for this problem, as countries worldwide need to rethink their consumerism habits, we included.
Lucas: Luckily, tourists can have a positive influence too. The most basic principle to follow is ‘pack in, pack out’. If you travel somewhere remote, always make sure to take your trash back with you. Or even better, if you see garbage somewhere in the landscape, pick it up and carry it out. Spending 15 mins cleaning up a beach or a campsite is all it takes. Other people will see you and feel inspired by your actions, equally joining in the effort. If each of us contributes just a little bit together, we can have a significant impact.