Less than 1% of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide have been delivered to low-income countries, a number that must be corrected to save lives, restart economies, and meaningfully rebuild the travel industry. That’s why, says Intrepid Travel CEO James Thornton, the company is stepping up its work to support global access to COVID-19 vaccines.

One of the most profound benefits of travelling is that it reminds me just how connected we all are; that we are part of a global community, not just a local one. The greater the number of countries we visit, people we meet, and communities we find ourselves in, the more our commonality comes to light. It might sound a bit cheesy, but it’s true.

The last trip I took before the pandemic put an end to travel (as we know it) was to Peru, where I visited Machu Picchu with my family. That trip was incredible for many reasons, but it was the people we met along the way, and the immense kindness they showed us, that made that trip once-in-a-lifetime. And that has been true, for the most part, wherever I’ve travelled in the world.

As challenging as the last year and a half has been, I believe the global community has demonstrated this capacity for kindness on a universal scale. Think about it: we stayed (and, in some cases, are still staying) indoors for weeks or months at a time in order to protect the more vulnerable among us. We have been wearing masks, receiving vaccines, checking in on one another, supporting local businesses, and creating new ways of working and living. We have been practicing kindness on a massive scale.