If we are genuine about trying to make a difference to the lives of others, then others will benefit more than we do.
Our vision of travel is as a pilgrimage. What we see, encounter, experience, and eventually integrate is more important than arriving at a particular destination. A traveller becomes a pilgrim when their experiences start to shape the inner landscape of their spiritual lives. Every intentional journey, when accompanied by knowledge and passion, can become a pilgrimage.
To get this right, we needed to travel and in the process learn, gain experience, and make mistakes.
Our traveller’s spends $200+ per day on ‘ground content’ (food, transport, accommodation, entry fees, etc.) and usually another $100 per day on ‘shopping’.
Analysis of this spending suggests less than 10% ends up in the hands of locals (98% of souvenirs sold in Cambodia are imported and sold by foreign entrepreneurs) and almost none of that ‘spend’ gets to the disadvantaged in the destination communities.
By carefully planning the content of the tour, we can usually ensure that much more of our expenditure gets into local hands.
In Cambodia the average wages are less than $2 per day. Hence 10 tours per year is equivalent to 75,000 days’ wages.