I spent the last two weeks travelling through Thailand with my sister. Whilst I had a wonderful trip, it was shocking at times to see the state of some of the beaches over there. Worst still, it wasn’t the locals trashing their beautiful beaches, it was the tourists; people rolling through with a holiday mentality that lacks concern for their environment. The beaches themselves were relatively clean, but walking through the sand dunes towards the white mountains of sand was another story completely. The dunes were absolutely trashed, and it was enough to leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Plastic water bottles were a major culprit, at any one time there were piles of them scattered across the dunes. Tap water is undrinkable in Thailand, meaning that each tourist would need to buy several bottles of water each day. Whilst this is in no way an excuse for littering, it does highlight the need for sustainable practices to be put into place.
Another not so fond memory of Thailand, was seeing several monkeys picking up and playing with rubbish, and even eating and drinking scraps that were left on the beach. It is incredible to be able to have experiences with animals in the wild, and being able to play with monkeys on the beach would definitely be included as one of those experiences. However it is very disappointing to see that instead of nurturing this opportunity, we are negatively impacting wildlife by our own laziness.
Travel is such an amazing, enriching gift that we are all incredibly blessed to experience during our lives. And we can all make positive choices when we’re travelling. By sharing knowledge, participating in local culture, supporting local ventures and leaving as little a footprint as possible, we can ensure the growth of not only ourselves, but also the country we are visiting.