Responsibilities

 

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL
We believe in responsible travel.  It is a new way of travelling especially for those who are tired of mass tourism and want to gain a more wholesome experience while they travel. In Rural Traveller’s eyes, responsible travel means to care about the land, people, wildlife, respect local communities and cultures, and especially contributing towards conservation and environment.  We like our guests to leave a footprint but a positive one.

You’ll travel to places that are off the usual tourist route, getting a firsthand experience of what that area. You’ll be contributing towards the local community in a number of ways as already mentioned.

Rediscovering Nature- We encourage people to take a step back, slow down, get their hands dirty and rediscover nature.  Conservation is an integral part of our work, and everything that we do is done keeping ecological sustainability in mind.  We know how easy it is to lose touch with nature, but nature is easy to rediscover when you take the time to do so.  A stay with Rural Traveller means you’ll experience nature in a way you have never before!

 

Some tips for responsible travel and getting more out of your stay

  • Avoid travelling in large groups – you’ll see more and experience more in smaller groups.
  • Learn as much as you can about local customs and traditions before reaching your destination.
  • Try the local language.  This can be difficult, but any effort is appreciated and it’s a lot of fun.
  • Try the local food.  This will be different than what you are used to, but it’s delicious and a lifetime experience, made from the local ingredients, and suiting the local conditions.
  • Buy local products.  Gifts for family and friends have a deeper meaning and significance especially when they are made by the locals that you have met and interacted with.
  • Respect the area you are visiting.  Don’t litter, conserve water, respect the fact that the people you are meeting are different to the people you interact with one a regular basis – don’t try to change them or their ways of living.
  • Remember that local people will be as curious about you as you are about them. Particularly in rural areas, people are curious and friendly so take no offence if they shy away or giggle when they see you.
  • Ask before taking photographs especially of people especially women who may get offended if you click a photo of them.

 

 

VOLUNTOURISM

We welcome and encourage volunteers to all of our accommodations.  You can stay with us for any length of time i.e. from one week to six months, and experience all there is to experience of the western Himalayan hill country. We need your enthusiasm, responsibility, sensitivity towards the local environment and a willingness to help us make this world a better place.

 

Why volunteer?

Volunteering is a great way to see an area, also getting to know the local customs and practices. It’s an experience of a lifetime and has a number of benefits.  It gives you that much needed time to find yourself, to become more independent, meet new people, experience new food, culture and different lifestyles.  It allows you to try something that you wouldn’t normally do at home.

Since you are staying for an extended period you become part of the community that you are staying in.  You won’t experience that simply by travelling through any place.  You’ll make new friends, you’ll learn new things, or you may rediscover yourself.  It can be a great step towards a new career... It’s a choice that you have to make i.e. between 6 months working for minimum wage in a supermarket, or 6 months learning new skills, new languages, and having a life changing experience.

How does volunteering benefit the community?

For us, the benefits to the community can be immense.  First, you come to stay. That signifies more employment for the local community.  You’ll stay locally, you’ll eat local food, and you’ll probably end up buying local products (no one can resist the colourful Indian markets!).  The locals will also benefit from improving their English skills – a better grasp of English means that they’ll be able to interact more with non – resident guests, and will be able to bring more work for themselves.

The project you will be working on will benefit through new ideas, skills and a fresh approach.  Conservation is a part of our program.  So you benefit the local community as well as the natural habitat and the species residing in that habitat. In many cases you will be working with endangered species – there is nothing more rewarding than knowing that you are helping to save an animal from extinction.

Why do you have to pay to volunteer?

We’d love it if we didn’t have to charge you, but the fact is that nothing in this world comes for free and our programs are funded solely through volunteer contributions and without any outside help.  We charge you as little as possible, but what we charge goes into the following:

  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Staff wages (to the local people)
  • Volunteer/Project Materials
  • Program development and program coordinators
  • Administration costs and organisational overheads

 

For the money that you have to pay, we do promise that you will receive:

  • Clean, comfortable (if not simple) accommodation
  • Delicious home cooked meals three times a day
  • Clean, safe drinking water
  • The experience of a lifetime