Ha! Now this is funny. As you surely know, I love to whine and complain about things I don’t like, including banal, regurgitative, one-upsman, and/or... »
Welcome to The Mindful Tourist, where we attempt to write snarkily (new word!) on socially conscious travel. We love to travel to new places, see beautiful things, and learn about different cultures. We believe that travel is an important vehicle to connect with other people and that it can lead to peace, love, unicorns, and rainbows.
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We started this blog in order to reach out to others who feel the same way we do and will eventually like to run a nonprofit, socially conscious tourism enterprise, like a lodge that provides both needed services to members of the local population and also meaningful experiences for tourists.
For more info on what we mean when we say socially conscious traveling, check out our Definitions page and our How to Be a Socially Conscious Traveler in 5 Different Ways page.
Okay, when we say “we,” we mean Shadia, the founder of this blog. Shadia was born in Cairo, Egypt to parents who met as Peace Corps volunteers living in Tunisia, and has since journeyed all over the planet.
She received a degree in cultural anthropology from Indiana University which reinforced the belief that traveling to new places offers as much opportunity to learn from and appreciate the past and current cultures of the place as it does the opportunity to take advantage of museums, beaches, etc.
In the 1990s, Shadia spent a year living in Chile, traveling the length of the country from Punta Arenas to Arica (and making side trips to Bolivia and Argentina). During that year, Shadia saw how immersing herself into the culture gave her a much richer experience than those expats who decided to stick to the “American” pubs or typical tourist areas, instead of meeting Chileans, having discussions with them about their country, politics, food, culture, and religion.
Shadia’s recent trips have included Costa Rica, Italy, Mexico, and Chile. Other possible upcoming trips include some national parks; Portland, Oregon; Italy; and Laos and Thailand.
As tourism evolves, there are many different names for various aspects of what is essentially socially conscious tourism. See definitions and our take on them here. Thanks for visiting!