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Westerners' guilt.

Travel Forums General Talk Westerners' guilt.

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11. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 9y

Quoting oslaue

wouterrr - thailand is a 3rd world country.....

You mean at the beach at a 5 star resort?

12. Posted by Herr Bert (Moderator 1384 posts) 9y

I think you guys are drifting away from the point the topic starter was trying to make.

In my opinion traveling is a good thing, you can see for yourself how a country is doing, instead of watching it on television. If you feel that you need to do something to make sure these people are given a better chance in life, than please do it. If you feel motivated enough to get out and do some volunteer-work, you might have found of things that drives you in life.

Most likely you have already done something good. When you visit countries like these, you are contributing to there economy. Unfortunately a bit of the money spend there is going to the 'wrong' people, but a lot isn't. I don't think you should feel guilty, but if you want to do something extra against poverty, that is never wrong.

13. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 9y

I think what Herr Bert says is right, with the proviso that you spend your money with local businesses rather than big multinational chains.

If you go to, say, Phuket, and stay in the Banyan Tree resort for a week, most of your money goes to the rich international investors that own the chain rather than the local economy.

I think it comes down to what Mel says about being well-researched about the place you are visiting is right too. It is certainly satisfying to be able to give something appropriate back to the people of the area in which you are staying.

But it would be unrealistic for one person to try to help everyone, so don't beat yourself up about it - whatever you contribute it will be more than most!

14. Posted by Dezafinado (Respected Member 177 posts) 9y

Quoting nicnst

How do other people feel about the travelling they've done? I travelled in 2005 and had an amazing time, but since returning I've found it difficult to imagine travelling again. I can't get to grips with the fact that I can give up my job, and spend the best part of a year frivolously observing other people go about their lives, while other people around the world struggle to find food, dress their children, stay healthy. I suppose I just feel guilty. Maybe I need to do some charity work!
Any suggestions?

Hypothetically speaking, would you want to switch places and those less unfortunate and not have the opportunity to travel?

As a traveler, you spend money and that goes to the local economy. Of course, when the tourism industry is controlled by a few individuals and corporate entities, the workers receive less. You can only do the best by being conscientious in how you spend your money. For example, I don't like fancy "look-at-me" restaurants and prefer to spend my money at mom-n-pop establishments. The food is usually better for much less and I give them a nice tip. While at home, you can get involved in charities to help those less fortunate, locally or far away. I see these 2 activities having completely different purposes.

15. Posted by chemukh (Full Member 132 posts) 9y

I don't think guilty is the word. You can feel guilt when you have done something to cause poverty and that all, wich you havent. I would say that the right word is "Conscious". You have seen the cr*p of the world and it has touched you.

I understand and agree with all the many reasons to keep traveling, but if you feel that you now need to go forward, it's perfectly OK too. We all love travel, but if you have seen and done wath your soul wanted and now you want to spend your money and your time in something bigger, you have evolved, and that is great. Travel has done to you what it has to.

Catu

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