The need for travel surpasses the selfish reasons of enjoyment. Most young people nowadays dream of exploring hidden corners of the world, immerse themselves in cultures and experience adventure. But do you want to travel or be a tourist? Travelling is different to tourism in that it is about self-discovery, helping local economies, sharing stories, connecting and widening horizons. I call this Mindful Travelling.

I became an unintentional mindful traveller as I first entered the Erasmus+ universe: youth exchanges, trainings, entrepreneurship, studying and working abroad-experiences promoted and sponsored by European Union. As a participant of many international projects I discovered a new way of exploring the world: one that benefits me, the traveller, the community I travelled to and the project’s organisers, usually local NGOs. Fighting discrimination, promoting sustainability and learning entrepreneurship are a few of the causes behind my Erasmus+ travelling.

Another aspect of mindful travelling is completing your activities in harmony with nature. Being a regular/full time traveller can have a big impact on the environment. So try your best to minimise your ‘travel footprint’. Think about it! If nature is polluted and destroyed, the experience of world exploration wouldn’t be as appealing.

So, I am writing this to encourage you to add meaning to your travels by getting involved with local projects, pursue greater causes and do it in harmony with the environment. There is nothing wrong with being a tourist but as a Mindful Traveller you take an active interest in the community, become a better person, build life-long friendships and discover yourself. Check out the Erasmus+ website or the opportunities posted on Abroadship and let the adventure begin.