The travel industry could be a source of profound good in the world. But we need to make serious changes before that happens. We’re a not-for-profit that is working to make traveling the world accessible to everyone. We think that these 8 changes to the travel industry could foster world peace – seriously! We simply think that if we’re to move toward World Peace, humans around the world will first need to meet each other. Since humans have been having trouble meeting each other (and interacting peacefully) for, well, quite a while, we introduce people in 5 particular ways. We introduce people via our platform of Service, Education, Celebration, Community and Accessibility – anyone can come! We have parties, work, do a ton of volunteer service, get into shape while we’re exploring the world’s most beautiful landscapes, and if we’re not taking college courses then we’re reading for the General Curriculum.
These 8 changes to the travel industry could foster world peace.
It’s our basic travel ethics. But they’re being combined to change the way we do business. And one day, if you’re interested in joining, we believe we can change the way the world interacts. Our ethics are driving the way that we’re making traveling the world accessible to everyone.
Itinerary Flexibility: The Line Between “Professional” Adventure And Accessibility
We’ve been walking this line since we started – an adventure that is too planned, to regimented is no longer an adventure. An adventure requires some flexibility, some go-with-the-flow, some surprises. It’s the thrill of setting off on your own, or with a group, into the unknown. There’s a little danger in adventure. And it’s hard to plan it, especially if you’re trying to make traveling the world accessible to people. It’s hard for tons of people to have an adventure because, you know, that requires careful planning and coordinating and, well, knowing! Indeed, we’re a company that strives to provide real adventure to people – experiences that push you, aren’t completely planned, and provide plenty of opportunity for any type of exploration that might spontaneously present itself.
Our Answer: The adventure platform! We provide a platform that handles all your needs – food, lodging, a safe, warm, dry place to rest and shower and gear up for the next trek into the city or wilderness. We’ve planned a route around a continent, and we’ve provided access to all kinds of cool events to meet local people in real and meaningful ways. Service. Education. Fitness. Celebrations. But the platform also means that very little needs to be planned. Explore the most beautiful areas we’re traveling through on your own. Just because we’ve carried your stuff this far doesn’t mean you can’t take it off on your own excursion and meet back up for the party next weekend!
Using Technology to Cut Costs
Previous generations have not had access to travel the world before. People have traveled, sure. But not on such a large scale. We’re using traditional technology to do things like not get lost, interact with people in places we’ve never been so we have a place to stay or work or study when we arrive, and to organize large groups of people into effective service volunteers capable of providing unprecedented amounts of service. But we’re also using social technology – stuff that’s been around for ages but isn’t often used – to help you interact with others in real life. As in, putting you in touch with real locals, not people we pay to interact with you. Because when people aren’t paid to be your friends, not only does that cut costs, but it cuts out consumer experiences all together and only leaves room for the authentic.
Community As Leverage For Good
Our Generation Is Changing Travel. When we travel together in Community, not only do we get a better idea of where and why to create positive change, but we also learn how to do it! How is in the details! And a community that travels and engages can utilize serious amounts of effort that only come with a community. An individual traveler can’t provide thousands of hours of community service in a weekend. An individual can’t engage local leaders who carry international prestige. And an individual can’t bring serious attention to issues the same way a community can. Oh, and it’s way harder to get a job or take college courses if you’re traveling alone.
Economies Of Scale And Operating In Different “Economies”
Economies of scale, for our purposes, just means that something is way cheaper if it’s mass produced. This is useful for large groups of travelers because they allow those people to get what they need for cheaper. Very few travel companies have even tried to use economies of scale in the travel industry simply because it can be hard or expensive to move large groups of people. Or, some say, travel in small groups is better because it allows for more intimate experiences or interactions with locals. Our big news is that we’ve sorted how to move large groups of people inexpensively without ruining individual experiences – indeed, we think our large group of travelers will enhance the individual opportunities one has on our trips. Because our large group of people are only a base – there is plenty of time and freedom and access to explore a continent on your own or with a small group. Go do your thing, then come back and join the group for a celebration!
This is great news for making traveling accessible to everyone.
But what’s even better news, is getting those economies of scale to operate in different economies. The most popular economy is the one you know – the one where you pay money to receive a service or product. We operate in this economy, and our economies of scale help people like you to travel like this. But what good is operating in only one economy? So we engage in other economies – for example, a service economy. If someone wants to do something, to work in some way, instead of paying money to come on a trip – we allow that!
There are many ways to create value! Too often in the travel industry we turn to money lubricate our transactions. Someone wants to see a Native American perform a tribal ritual so instead of going and spending time or effort getting to know the history and people of the tribe, they pay money to attend a viewing. Sometimes this is the best way to learn about or engage others. But sometimes it isn’t! Sometimes time and energy and non-monetary resources get you further, teach you more, and brighten your future in ways that simply paying for something can’t.
So sure. We take advantage of “economies of scale” to make traveling the world accessible to everyone. But we also engage in other “economies” – economies of service or time or talent. If you want to experience the whole world, you’ll have to function in more than one economy!
Engagement Is The New Vacation
It’s no longer that cool to go and sit on a beach in Mexico. Now don’t misunderstand – that’s still a blast. But it’s much more interesting to go off the beach resort and actually engage the Mexicans. If we don’t want the world to be so divided, so unloving and against the “other”, then why would we want our travel to be divisive? Indeed, we’re pretty sure that engaging a culture and its people will spill over into normal life, too. So come on, do something interesting with your vacation!
Personal Service And Community Over Comfort-Gimmicks
Sometimes it’s a little absurd how much we pay to be comfortable on leather instead of on normal cloth. Things will never beat out people. And if we’re honest, a lot of the comfort we’ve been sold is just status. And more often than not, that comfort tends to cut us off from actually engaging with people. So instead of spending money on super expensive tour buses, for example, we spend money on speakers and counselors and making sure that people feel comfortable engaging with others and themselves. It’s much better to live in community that is rich with knowledge and a willingness to serve than it is to sleep on high-thread-count sheets with nothing but the satisfaction that comes with the trite reinforcement of one’s previously-held, slightly prejudiced opinions.
Authentic Experience and Personal Investment Over Manufactured Consumerism
The risk with any travel company is a canned experience. Especially when it’s a trip the company has offered 100 times. That’s why our adventure trips are never done twice. They might go through some of the same places, but the routes are not the same. The people we encounter are not the same. And while we do aim to build up a philanthropic presence in the communities we go through, the things we do and the way our people engage the local people are never the same. Sure, you have the option to use the local tour company to see the foothills or the city, but we’re not going to subject you to some surface-level tour to be consumed. We’re going to encourage you to invest yourself in an area. That means taking time to research it, engaging the locals with questions and helping out with more than your wallet. If you want something real, something not meant for random consumption – then you’ll have to invest a little in it. And our platform helps you do exactly that!
Everywhere Is Better (And Cheaper) Than Not Everywhere
It’s cool to fly around the world and stop in the coolest cities and see the most talked about sites. And we know there are a bunch of obscure things that research in magazines, blogs, and the internet have told you about. But we’re telling you there’s a whole lot more to see than just the cool sites. That’s why we’re not super keen on jetting from place to place. And while it is sometimes necessary, we prefer to see everywhere around a continent. The cool places and the places you – or anyone more than 100 miles away – have ever heard about. That’s where you get authentic interaction. That’s where you start to understand the cool places in their entirety – what forms them, makes them tick, and why they are what they are. It’s way more fun to see a place in context, by approaching it slowly across the land as a real explorer than ignorantly flying in, snapping some pictures and bragging about your privileged exploits to your friends back at home. So come on, let’s actually invest in our travels. Let’s see the things we want to see, but let’s see them and interact with them in their full context. And that means traveling through “everywhere” instead of just dropping down for a few pics and a lot of consumerism. Oh, and did we mention that in most cases it’s going to be way cheaper to see “Everywhere” along the way instead of paying to skip it in an airplane?