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Ecotourism is NOT Environmentally Friendly

There is a trend in travel that has picked up a lot of steam over the last few years. That trend is called Eco-Tourism. As the environment has become more important to people over the last decade – and especially so in the last couple…

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Ecotourism is a new term; something created in the last 10 years, so what does it really mean? Eco-tourism is basically capitalism’s answer to the environment and people’s growing concerns. Companies are cashing in and its becoming big business. Although the initial intent was probably good-natured, the results are usually less than favorable. The costs don’t always outweigh the means, so is ecotourism actually a good thing? Let’s find out.

Time to investigate what companies are actually trying to accomplish with their eco-tourism. The term greenwashing keeps coming up in my research and it’s a pretty interesting phenomenon. Apparently, greenwashing is an attempt to appear as being eco friendly. Seems like a pretty lame thing to be involved with, but you’d be surprised at how many large corporations actually are involved in greenwashing.

Many if not all of the major hotel chains are now putting placards in their rooms that inform guests that they respect mother nature and because of this they don’t wash the linens every night. This comes off as a great thing that a large corporation is doing. But in reality they are greenwashing us all by using the environment to service their own needs. It’s obvious to me that these companies are only doing this because it saves them an enormous amount of money and they look good in the process.

Cultures are destroyed by tourism and they can’t even profit because the major corporations suck all the money from them. Tourism only feeds off the stereotypes of a culture and the actual culture suffers and often slowly disappears. What’s left is a washed out shell of the culture and the true spirit is lost forever.  

Eco-tours are usually an environmental nightmare, by bringing in people by the busload or boatload; these eco-tours are actually harming the local surroundings.   These tourists don’t come alone, they eat, drink and consume anything in their way and what’s left is the garbage and used up Mother Nature.

Eco-tours profit from large disasters, allowing the general public to feel like they helped, when in reality all they do is scratch the surface. The tourists come to a disaster for a few days, pick up some garbage, help with some injured and then go home feeling like they made a difference. The problem is that if they really wanted to help, they would’ve just sent aid in the form of money, food or medicine,

If a company truly wanted to be involved in eco tourism responsibly, they would do these things.

Only using local products would actually benefit the environment and would help the community profit.   If ecotourism companies cared, they would limit the number of visitors to limit the impact on the environment. Educating tourists on their impact on the environment would help the cause. Allowing the local culture to be in charge and to protect their interests is the best way to help the environment.

 

Hopefully by educating people about ecotourism eventually leads to more conscious travelers and compassionate people in general.

 

Enjoy the full article at NomadicMatt

Photos courtesy of HoiAnEcoTour and GetYourGuide

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Destinations

Best Time to Vacation in Vietnam

Asia’s not so little secret, Vietnam is one of the most beautiful and cheap places to visit. There are definitely better seasons than others, so here is a simple guide to Vietnam.

 

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Asia’s not so little secret, Vietnam is one of the most beautiful and cheap places to visit. Land of exotic beaches, dense and plentiful jungles and vast vistas, Vietnam has it all. With good weather almost all year round, you can visit this Southeast Asian country anytime. Vietnam is a long country ranging from north to south, so the weather can be very different in separate sections. There are definitely better seasons than others, so here is a simple guide to Vietnam.

 

Winter

Visit in the winter to beat the incredible summer heat. Also, you want to check out the Vietnamese New Year, Tet, and the country’s biggest party. The best time to visit is the dry season, ranging from October to March. The wet season can be crazy with typhoons wreaking havoc.   The temps range from 60s to 70s (Fahrenheit) so its great for backpackers and explorers.

Central Vietnam is monsoon season until December, so steer clear until then. No one wants to be wet their entire vacation, unless you are snorkeling. The temperatures will drop into the 60s so make sure you have a light jacket. The warm weather is there by February, so pack a swimsuit.

The southern tip of Vietnam is beach central, so bring sunscreen, SPF 30 or higher. Temps down south will sour to the upper 80s in the winter.

 

Spring

 

March through April in the north is dry and cool, great for venturing into the vast rice patties. Lower humidity makes the jungles accessible..

Central Vietnam is rainy in the spring, so pack a jacket and good shoes. Keep the materials light, as it is humid in the central parts.

You will see locals wearing thin plastic ponchos, which are great. Pick one up for cheap and save you gear from being damp. Down South, the weather is perfect, beach babes galore and beach parties into the night.

Summer

 

Think humidity is fun, try summer in southern Vietnam. You will sweat through any article of clothing, so tank tops, shorts and flip-flops are recommended. May to June is the most consistent weather in the North and Central regions. Rains constantly up north, so steer clear and the central areas are dry as a bone. You can visit the amazing cave systems in this area. Home to the largest caves in the world. Spelunkers unite here to explore and team up for safety.

 

Fall

This is the perfect time to visit all parts of Vietnam. It’s not to dry and not to wet, you get a little of everything in the fall.

Check out the Mid-Autumn Festival where thousands of lanterns are released into the air and paper lions dance in the streets. Best time to eat traditional Vietnamese food is at this festival.. dates change every year so check that out when planning.

 

Vietnam has a little something for everyone. The weather changes a lot so map out your trip accordingly. The food is incredible, people are all so nice and the scenery is exquisite.

 

Photos courtesy of ap.org, beautiful, vivid, travel and living

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Travel

5 Ways to Make Your Band’s Tour A Success

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Heading out on the road is always a fun and exciting time for a band. You get to visit new cities, discover new artists and play to new audiences all over the country. While it may be fun and new for the most part, there are some stressful events that could occur while being on the road.

Below are 5 tips to remember when you hit the road for your next tour.

Have Plenty of Merch Printed Beforehand

One of the most important things to do before hitting the road is to have plenty of merch. Your band merch is what will help you make money while on tour. Be sure to print shirts, hats, stickers and anything else that your fans may want.

If you don’t have much merchandise, be sure to create a few designs that will be popular among your fans. You can also sell LPs, flags and other unique items that showgoers will want to take home.

Create a Setlist Ahead of Time

It’s always important to have a setlist ready before each show. This will ensure that you know what songs you’re going to play and in what order. Having a setlist will also help with the flow of your show.

If you’re not sure what songs to play, consider your audience and the venue. You want to make sure that you’re playing songs that everyone will enjoy.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Before heading out on tour, it’s important to practice as a band. This will help ensure that you’re tight as a unit and ready to take on any challenges that may come your way.

Practicing also gives you a chance to work out any kinks in your songs and have a smooth set. You don’t want to be caught off guard by a song that doesn’t sound right. Seasoned audience members will be quick to know when something is off, so practice as much as you can before hitting the road.

Know Where You’re Going

You never want to be the band that shows up to the gig late. For this reason,  it’s important to know where you’re going ahead of time. Be sure to map out the route and plan for any traffic or construction delays. You’ll probably come across some long stretches of road, so leave each city with plenty of time for driving and stops along the way.

It’s also a good idea to have a backup plan in case something happens and you can’t make it to the gig on time. Have an alternate route mapped out and be sure to communicate with the venue ahead of time. They’ll appreciate the effort and may even give you a chance to play a longer set.

Be Professional

When you’re out on tour, it’s important to remember that you’re representing your band. Be sure to be professional at all times, both on and off stage. This means being respectful to your fans, the venue staff and everyone you come in contact with.

You want people to remember your band in a positive light, so be sure to leave a good impression. People will be more likely to come see you play again if they had a good time the first time around.

By following these tips, you’re sure to have a successful tour. Be sure to enjoy the time on the road and make the most of it. These memories will last a lifetime.

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Travel

Top 8 Hikes to Free Your Soul in the U.S.

Hiking is a great way to see nature and get a workout, but don’t forget to hike while on vacation. Many people travel to beautiful locations only to sit in a resort or stay in the confines of a city. Not me, I enjoy being…

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Hiking is a great way to see nature and get a workout, but don’t forget to hike while on vacation. Many people travel to beautiful locations only to sit in a resort or stay in the confines of a city. Not me, I enjoy being in nature and seeing parts of our great country not on the beaten path and instead forge my own trail. If you are like me then this list of the top 5 hikes to travel to in the U.S is just up your alley. I scoured the internet and used my personal experiences to figure out which spots are the best and worth your trip.

 

Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Hawaii

Beginning with the most spectacular hike I’ve ever been on is an obvious jumping off point. The Kalalau trail in Kauai is just spectacular and divine. The 2-mile hike ends at a beautiful beach, which is only accessible by boat or the hike. Pack lots of water as this hike ventures up mountains, through a rain forest and finishes off at a pristine beach. The trail blazes through boulders and across a river multiple times, so be prepared to get wet.

 

Grand Canyon North Rim, Arizona

One of the eight wonders of the world, the grand canyon is grandiose in every aspect of the word. The North Rim is harder to access and more difficult of a hike, but the views and sunset/sunrises are worth the trouble. No list of best hikes can be written without including the Grand Canyon, well worth any trip.

 

Pacific Crest Trail, Western Coast of US

The Pacific Crest Trail stretches from Mexico all the way to Canada, along the Western Coast of the US. The entire hike is 2,650 miles long and ventures through three states. Traverse through the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains while exploring the beautiful scenery. The entire trail is ridiculously long, so pick a small portion a try it out.

 

Paint Mines, Colorado

This 3.6-mile loop trail is one of Colorado’s prettiest and a hidden gem in the Rockies. The beautifully highlighted clay set this hike apart from others, as I’ve never seen a collection of colors in nature. There are also human made mines that date back over 9,00 years.

 

Angels Landing, Utah

Getting its name from the 1,500 ft rock formation in Zion National Park, this hike is incredible. Only a 2.5-mile trek to the top of the Angels Landing, gives you outstanding views of Zion Canyon and its entirely carved out of solid rock.

 

John Muir Trail – California

Named after famed naturalist, John Muir, this hiker’s heaven is the ultimate trek. A 210-mile hike that takes adventurers weeks to accomplish is the bar that all hikes are measured on. Starting out in Yosemite National Park, this trail takes you to Mount Whitney, Continental United States, tallest peak. Not for the weary or novice, this hike is intense but completely worth the trouble.

 

Mt Heavenly Overlook Trek, Alaska

This is one of Alaska’s easiest mountains to summit and great for hikers of all levels. The Overlook trail begins in thick forest and traverses tundra and finally comes out on top. The views of Alaska are huge and vast, making this one of my favorite hikes of all time.

 

Many Glacier Area, Montana

Located in the center of Montana’s Glacier National Park, Many Glacier is a hike to see the ancient world. Active glacier and beautiful mountain lakes dot this hike and make it a dream come true. Check out the way the world looked in the ice ages with this spectacular glacier hike.

 

Explore our world one step at a time with these wonderful hikes that vary in difficulty and will leave you speechless. Our world is bigger and more beautiful than you could ever imagine.

 

Photos Courtesy of NewYorkTimes, Hawaii-Guides, electricreflections, squamlakes.org

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