Reason 1: COVID
There has been enough written about this, but international travel will continue to present issues until a vaccine for COVID is made available. Now more than ever is the best time to reconsider our travel plans to ensure we remain healthy and stop the spread of this nasty virus.
Reason 2: The Environment
Travelling closer to home is better for the environment. We know this. Air flight is in fact a big contributor to carbon emissions, and whilst much of this is business travel, us holiday makers are adding to the problem. If we can avoid flying, then perhaps it’s worth the small contribution to what is a growing problem.
Reason 3: The Economy
Perhaps a little obvious, but spending our hard earned dollars within our local economies not only benefits those immediately around us, but it comes back to benefit us (eventually). This isn’t a spiritual karma concept, although that adds a good feeling (See Reason 5). The nature of the ‘circular economy’ means what we spend does come back, and the closer to home we can spend then the higher the benefit returned.
Reason 4: Communities
Travelling locally to help your community doesn’t necessarily mean your immediate neighbours. With the advent of the digital economy and social media, the world has become a lot smaller. Driving 3 hours for a weekend in a regional town is in a lot of ways benefiting the community. The livelihoods of those towns are improved by far greater margin than if you visited say New York. Your impact is greater. It’s the old “big fish in a small pond” scenario and that in no way is meant to demean regional towns!
Reason 5: You
Travelling locally means you get to slow down, avoid busy airports, tight schedules and long, draining flights. Whilst a global perspective is educational, meeting friendly locals, learning about our neighbours and having nuanced conversations in your own language is soul enriching. Perhaps on a deeper level, when we know our actions are making a difference and helping others in need, this is what being human is about. At a time when our mental health is becoming increasingly fragile, this on its own is a good enough reason to travel locally now.