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Transitions Abroad Magazine November/December 2003 Vol. XXXVII, NO. 3

Information Exchange

Traveler’s Almanac

Independent Traveler
How to Find Paradise Robert Powell Sangster
The Channel Islands Katherine Widing
Untouristed SE Turkey Alex Elgar
Tip #5 Get Off the Beaten Path Jeff Goldman
Safety Issues for Women Zahara Heckscher
What to Bring Nancy Pellegrini
Pariah Destinations Tim Leffel

Back Door Travel
Off-Season Europe Rick Steves

Responsible Travel
Beyond Ecotourism Sean Patrick Hatt and Tammy Leland
Educational Escapism Dana Leigh Hearn
Making a Positive Impact Jim Kane
Explore Ecosystems in Nicaragua Elizabeth Curran
Volunteering for Vultures Charles Round-Turner
Explore the U.K. as an Insider Tracy Kramer

Responsible Travel:
The Best Resources
Tourism and Poverty Ron Mader

Alternative Travel Directory of Programs

Working Traveler
Work, Study, and Travel Jen Swanson
Keep on Dancing Robert D. Fertig

International Careers
Life in the Foreign Service Jennifer Smith

Living Abroad
Swapping Vacations Linda Lewis
Moving Pets Overseas Lisa Williams

Education Abroad
Study Abroad Without Being Rich Susan L. Pugh
Study in Cuba J. Ratcliff

Program News & Notes

Classifieds

Transitions Abroad
Travel Teaches Tolerance
Jennifer M. Eisenlau

 

From the Editor

Transitions Abroad has long advocated the type of travel that keeps in mind a place’s culture, people, and environment. The majority of articles in each issue have always incorporated some or all of these aspects of what is considered “responsible travel.” Even so, in the 1980s Clay Hubbs felt this subject warranted its own section, which now appears annually in this Nov/Dec issue. Responsible Travel Resources provides information to help you plan trips that not only do not exploit locals and their homes but even contribute to their betterment.

Though it’s still a subset of “alternative” travel, as opposed to traditional tourism, Responsible Travel is garnering enough interest that we are now adding on to this section with a selection of articles. As these articles illustrate, there is no shortage of diverse experiences to be had. From a trip to help wildlife in Croatia like Charles Round-Turner describes in Volunteering for Vultures (page 26) to a trip like Elizabeth Curran’s, which connected her with environmentally-friendly Nicaraguan farmers at the Miraflor Nature Reserve, the opportunities are varied and increasingly widespread. The common denominator is the satisfaction of leaving a place with the knowledge that you’ve made a positive impact.

We hold hope that one day this healthier mode of travel may become predominant. As Ron Mader, the Latin America Contributing Editor to Transitions Abroad and host of the award-winning Planeta.com website, suggested, responsible travel may even evolve into what he more aptly terms “conscientious” travel—a term that speaks to a way of being that we don’t just pack in our bags for the next big trip.

Conscientious Transitions Abroad travelers not only strive to be good diplomats abroad and leave places better than we found them; we try to advocate on behalf of these beliefs right here in our home country. The fact that much of the international community has continually distinguished between the people of the U.S. and the actions of our government during these troubled times attests to this fact.

It is unfortunate that more of our leaders have not engaged in responsible travel. Had they done so, they might have taken the world’s opinion into account before invading Iraq. More recently, at the WTO talks in Cancun, they might have thought twice about asking poorer countries to join in on open world trade when they were not willing to create at least a level playing field. Our government says it wants to help Africa but then ignores the pleas of poor African cotton farmers who are asking for pennies compared to our dollars. Those travelers who have met these farmers, helped work their fields, dined at their tables, and taught in their schools, know these people and their plight first-hand. It is this experience and understanding that shapes responsible citizens and makes a difference.

We’re glad you’re our kind of traveler. We hope the articles and resources you’ll find in this issue and on our newly designed website, www.TransitionsAbroad.com, will inspire you.

Sherry Schwarz

Publisher and Editor
Sherry Schwarz

Founding Editor and Publisher
Dr. Clay A. Hubbs

Contributing Editors
Susan Griffith (Work)
Cynthia Harriman (Family Travel)
Zahara Heckscher (Volunteering)
Ron Mader (Latin America)
Deborah McLaren (Ecotourism)
William Nolting (International Education and Work)
Volker Poelzl (Living)
Rick Steves (Budget Travel)
Tracy Scharn and Pamela Houston (Disability Travel)
Christine Victorino (Volunteering)
Kathy Widing (Travel Books)
Arnie Wills (Senior Travel)

Editorial Assistant
Mary Catherine Maxwell

Advertising Manager
Kate McGrail

Webmaster and Internet Content Editor
Gregory Hubbs

Cover
Debbie Jefkin
A man from the Wodaabe tribe in the lower dunes region of the Sahara desert in Niger participates in the Gerewol, a traditional beauty contest for men.