“Writing and talking about travel should create curiosity and provide useful insight,” reiterate Andrew and Emily from Along Dusty Roads, “while laying the groundwork for a respectful, responsible approach to future adventures, experiences, and interactions.” Lebawit Lily Girma puts it simply when she says that ultimately, “Tourism was born as a colonial activity.”
Outside of the extractive, colonialist approach to travel, Indigenous communities historically traveled due to a basic need for food, shelter, or a warmer climate. This is the essence of travel that we need to return to today; moving through the world in line with the communities we visit—and not taking away from them.
How we speak about travel does affect how we travel because our language is a reflection of our personal experience. We must recognize that travel is a mutual exchange and give our descriptions of travel full color and context. Sweeping terms only serve to narrow the mind.