Travel as a force for good is not just about travel being a force for good in your own life—but in other people’s lives. If you travel meaningfully and consciously, then you can make a real impact on local economies, communities, and livelihoods.
As the Senior Editorial Manager at Intrepid Travel, Bex Shapiro is passionate about using travel to enrich her life and make a meaningful impact.
Travel, particularly the Western understanding of it, has typically been focused on the self—it is as much about the journey within as the destinations visited. Bex draws our attention to the growing movement that recognizes that for travel to be a force for good, it must be authentic, culturally immersive, and mutually beneficial for both the traveler and communities.
In this episode, Bex explores how the pandemic has affected her travel-filled schedule—and how slowing down has allowed her to reflect and unpack the role of travel in her life. She discusses why she might not have been as engaged as she thought and the ways she hopes to carry these newfound realizations into future travels. Bex discusses how she turned a passion into a career, as well as her approach to working with content creators.
Travel is about discovering parts of yourself you may not know yet, as well as connecting with others. While we may not be able to travel much now, Bex believes we can still cultivate kindness and compassion for ourselves and others and carry this mindfulness with us when our adventures resume.
In this episode, Bex shares:
- Her understanding of travel as a force for good and being cognizant of the interconnectedness of humanity.
- More about her travel experiences and some of the major lessons she’s learned.
- How COVID has helped her pause and reflect on her travel experiences.
- The thing that drains her productivity most and how she overcomes this.
- Ways that travel has served as her creative space and how she’s making room for this now without long journeys.
- Some profound realizations that she has had over the last few months.
- The downfalls of cramming too much travel into your life and not being present.
- More about her childhood and how it shaped her passion for travel.
- Her expanded understanding of what progress in the travel industry looks like.
- The approach she takes to empowering content creators she works with.
- How family has kept her balanced and grounded during these turbulent times.
- Why difficult moments like the pandemic are also a formative growth opportunity.
- Advice for travel enthusiasts who want to do more good in the world.
Bex Shapiro is the Senior Editorial Manager at Intrepid Travel, the world’s largest adventure travel company and industry leader in responsible tourism. In this role, she partners with content creators who are aligned with Intrepid’s passion for travel as a force for good. Her work has been published in The Guardian, VICE, ELLE, and The Huffington Post.
Connect with Bex:
Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A House in the Sky: A Memoir by Amanda Lindhout
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter by Meg Jay