Traveling: How To Love, Support, And Nurture The Amazing Workers Around You
Without a doubt, tourism is what makes many of the world’s economies go ‘round. The income that many countries make on travelers alone is astronomical compared to other industries, which means travelers also have a significant impact in many different aspects. Allowing tourists to enter and explore your country means your economy will get a boost, but what will happen to your most precious heritage sites, infrastructure, and environment? How will your culture and society be affected when tourists bring new attitudes, beliefs, and ideas into the mix?
If you love to travel, it should be your top priority to leave your destinations and the hospitality workers who take care of them in better shape than when you arrived, both physically and emotionally. Only by taking care of the countries that you love so much will you be able to return in the future!
Be Generous to Essential and Hospitality Workers
The recent health crisis called COVID-19 brought to the forefront just how much we depend on our essential workers. Mail delivery personnel, garbage truck drivers, grocery store workers, healthcare professionals, and more all braved the unprecedented world of masking, testing, and social distancing. In contrast, others were able to isolate themselves in their homes. Without these brave workers, the world would have come to an absolute standstill, and many would never have survived.
Going forward, it’s important to keep that reality in mind. When you’re traveling, essential workers are keeping the world operating. Being in a new place and away from the familiar does not give anyone the right to treat essential workers in that place poorly. In fact, you should be extra loving! They’re welcoming foreign strangers into their community and serving you as if you were a local.
Make sure you stay respectful and treat essential workers like your kind neighbors. Strike up a conversation, ask them about their day, make their job as easy as you can, and tip if it’s appropriate!
Be Hospitable to Hospitality
Taking care of hospitality facilities that see a constant and quick turnover of new people every day is an extremely difficult job. It’s even more difficult when your job involves cleaning up after other people. One of the biggest complaints from locals about tourists in any location is that they trash the places they visit. Don’t be that person!
Remember that it is someone’s job as a hospitality worker to maintain a clean and polished environment everywhere you visit. Any damage you cause, trash you leave, or unkind words you say will tarnish the places that you later exclaim to friends and family, “That was one of the best places I’ve ever been!” Remember to leave places cleaner and friendlier than you found them so that other tourists can enjoy and the workers who maintain those places can have a great experience.
If you’re looking to make the world a lovelier place by loving and supporting the amazing hospitality workers around you during your visits, try to interact with them even if it takes you off your path. You will never guess the stories they could share or advice about the place they could tell you–as the caretakers, they know the places better than anyone else. Pay special attention to your housekeepers where you’re staying and to those who have been laboring for hours over keeping places clean. Make sure to leave a kind note to thank them for their services and tip them generously.
Respect the Cultures of the Land
As a traveler, you know very well that each place has its own unique attitudes, beliefs, traditions, and history. Some countries have policies to ensure tourists assimilate into that environment rather than disrupt it, while others haven’t installed those policies. As a visitor, policies or not, you should take responsibility for your knowledge of the place and its people so that you are as respectful as possible during your visit, especially to the hospitality workers who must enforce these policies.
For example, in countries with deeply religious histories, you may not be allowed to enter holy sites unless you are appropriately dressed and consent to certain rituals and traditions. Instead of showing up without researching these requirements and making it more difficult for guides and workers, you should spend time preparing for your visit to respect these policies.
In Italy, for instance, certain highly-revered Catholic cathedrals require modest and plain dress for entry. They also might not allow you to enter with backpacks and bags for security reasons. While you’re inside, you might be asked not to take pictures or speak aloud. In these cases, the Italian and church workers take the rules very seriously, and you could be kicked out of the line or out of the cathedral if you disrespect the policies.
Many other places also have strict dress codes, such as North Korea, which bans Western-style clothing. In Saudi Arabia, women must wear headscarves even as tourists. No matter where you plan to visit, research ahead of time so that you do not offend the locals or make the lives of their workers more difficult.
Stay Aware of How Your Presence Affects Locals
For many highly-touristed places, infrastructure and daily life can become disrupted by the number of tourists. Destinations by the ocean, for example, become completely overwhelmed by visitors looking to soak up the sun or take in the seaside views. As a result, local hospitality workers find it difficult to find parking, manage crowds, ensure all visitors are happy, and maintain the cleanliness and operation of the grounds. From your point of view, you’re one individual visiting a new place, but you are one of many.
The best way to ensure you are spreading love and support during your travels is to make sure you don’t add to the negative aspects of overwhelming crowds of tourists. Research in advance about peak seasons and times to avoid adding to the crowds. Plan by buying tickets in advance so you don’t lengthen lines, and try not to let frustration get the best of you by treating the local workers poorly. Further, try not to bulk-buy groceries and supplies at the local markets to the point that you’re emptying the shelves and preventing locals from getting what they need.
If you notice that workers in the place you’re visiting are doing a particularly fantastic job, make sure you acknowledge it to them verbally and consider tipping! They deserve all the love for what they’re dealing with without letting it ruin the quality of their service.
Clean Up After Yourself
Finally, clean up after yourself! You’ve always heard this from your parents, and there are plenty of signs around that remind you, but many people leave behind trash and waste wherever they go. Picking up after your animal, for example, is extremely important for ensuring that hospitality workers like groundskeepers can do their job and visitors can explore without constantly checking where they’re walking. Cleaning off tables and chairs you’ve used will also make sure it’s immediately ready for the next guest and that workers don’t have to work too hard to clean up after you. If you notice something isn’t working, make sure to tell staff immediately rather than leaving it to the next person as well.
You are a beautiful Living Being filled with light and love, born from stardust. You are unlimited potential in every direction. With a focus on discipline, virtue, and your own goodness, you can become as expanded and liberated as you desire.
Pray for others and the Universe prays for us.
LOTS OF BLESSINGS TO YOU!
There is no “Other.” There is only you experiencing yourself.