3 Ways to Change the World Through Travel

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Racking up those stamp-covered passport pages is satisfying, but what if you could bank a little bit of good karma along the way?

OneSeed tries to keep it simple: you take an amazing trip; a local woman launches or expands her business. Through the OneSeed Fund, local microfinance institutions are able to tap into the revenue stream of adventure travel to fund the creativity of local entrepreneurs.

“Doing a little bit of good doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated,” says OneSeed’s founder, Chris Baker. “It just has to make sense.”

His advice for doing good while getting away?

1) Forget the travel agent—become an agent of change.

Independent travelers have the freedom and power to choose where they go and what they support. Be cost conscious and cause conscious. When you explore the world, you make thousands of small decisions that collectively can move markets and trends in the direction of sustainability and social responsibility.

Seek out changemakers and put your support behind ideas for good.

2) Make “radical transparency” an expectation. Everywhere. Period.

This is a term that gets thrown around a lot within start-ups, but we should be working towards moving the world in this direction in all that we do. Travel as an industry is all about information. Where should I go? What is the fair price for this or that? Where does my money actually go?

As information becomes more accessible, travel is democratized and increased accountability is the natural consequence. There are a number of amazing organizations embracing this model and moving travel in the right direction. I think of Unreasonable Adventures and muchbetteradventures.com—two companies that reward transparency and purpose within the adventure travel space.

3) Take risks.

Travel can be about relaxation and escape, but it can also be about risk. I’m not advocating a disregard for safety, but rather an embrace of the uncomfortable.

Eat street food. Explore places unknown. Sleep on couches and under the stars. By seeking out the new and unknown, you open yourself up to the people and ideas that are coming out of this shift toward responsible travel.

So the next time you break out the guide books and start dreaming, consider aligning your desire for adventure with ideas and organizations that you believe in.

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