That One Travel Goal Every Traveler Should Consider Achieving

Everyone Wants That Perfect Destination

I've been to very few Philippine beaches in the past decade and I hope to visit more in the future. (Saud Beach, Ilocos Norte)

Social media is already filled with posts about the top destinations that you should visit next. The latest are the "Saan aabot ang [amount in peso] mo?" posts, literally, "Where will your [amount in peso] reach?" Not only these posts tell how accessible the places they promote are, they also claim that you could reach them without spending a lot.

Travel goals, bes! This type of post, often accompanied with wanderlust inducing photos, will tell you where your 500 or 1000 pesos could take you. Accessible and affordable destinations.

Shoot memories.

Who doesn't want to go to an Instagram perfect beach, waterfall, or mountain? Nature, fresh air, far from the city, plus loads of new photos that will take you months to finish sharing online (guilty)!

These short, concise, yet enticing posts usually, and easily, trend. The next thing you know is that your circle of friends and your whole family already know about that used-to-be-virgin island and soon you'd find yourselves packing to go there to spend the weekend.

Don't get me wrong. I'd do anything to spend the least amount possible, too, during trips. National or domestic travel is encouraged. But I think many destinations are now hyped-up and are receiving more visitors than they normally should/could... would(?).

But Not Everyone is Responsible Enough

Unfortunately not everyone cares enough about the environment.

I saw this post a few days ago and it was appalling. The pictures were likely taken during the holy week so I believe it was a factor why there was an influx of visitors.

So eto na yung pinopromote niyong Masasa. Yung mga iba na nagsasabi ng (not all) “san makakarating ang 500 pesos mo... (So here's the Masasa that you're promoting. To those who are saying (not all), "where can your 500 pesos go?"...)
Posted by Jayson Lorono Melendres on Friday, March 30, 2018

Apparently, the place mentioned above is Masasa Cove in Batangas, Philippines.

The aesthetic impact to the place could be temporary, could be remedied, but if this continues, the effect could be worse. You've probably seen the video of the poor turtle 'with [a] straw up its nostril'. It was painful to watch. But you have to:

Thankfully, the people of Tingloy did a great job in restoring the beach.

Wala pong pagsidlan ang kasiyahang nadarama ng pamunuan ng ating Pamahalaang Lokal sa pangunguna ng ating Punong Bayan...
Posted by Tingloy Drrmo on Monday, April 2, 2018

Travel Goal: Mind your Trash

So here's the more important travel goal. Be mindful of your trash.

The Leave No Trace (LNT) Seven Principles

"The Leave No Trace Seven Principles are the bedrock of the Leave No Trace program. They provide guidance to enjoy our natural world in a sustainable way that avoids human-created impacts."
  1. Plan ahead and prepare.
  2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
  3. Dispose of waste properly.
  4. Leave what you find.
  5. Minimize campfire impacts (be careful with fire).
  6. Respect wildlife.
  7. Be considerate of other visitors.
This set of principles basically sums up everything you must do. But, why not up the goal a notch higher?

Do Extra: Cleanup Drive

Back when I was living in Yanbu, I met a group of amazing people who also love the outdoors.

(I've been fortunate to be tagged along in some of their trips including in some of the ones mentioned here: Saudi Tourism: 7 Places to Visit In Saudi Arabia).

These people know how to enjoy nature, are friendly, and make good foods (that's really important to mention).

More importantly, they take not only memories with them during their trips. They also take a huge load of trash with them!

As a morning exercise, Beethoven, and someone I can't identify, walked towards the end of this beach and on their way back have collected two bags of trash left by other campers.

That's the Red Sea coast two-bags-of-rubbish less!

Update: Start Small

I recently saw a facebook post encouraging/challenging beach-goers to collect at least three pieces of random trash. I thought it was a great idea that anyone can actually practice.

It may be embarrassing for most people to be seen picking up somebody's litter (more so, dragging bags of trash bags across the beach), but there's no better feeling than knowing that what you're doing is right and that you're helping Earth lessen its burden.

Hope we all become more responsible and mindful of the surroundings we live in so we can enjoy them forever.

Most of us travel in groups. Maybe, next time, you can consider doing a mini-cleanup drive before you and your friends leave the beach.

Read more about the The Leave No Trace Seven Principles here: LNT Seven Principles

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