A ‘mindful traveler’ is a person that takes time to learn about the culture and history of a place they are traveling in. They want to learn about the community and society that is all new to them. They want to speak with locals and learn as much about the place they traveled to as possible. A ‘carefree drifter’ or a ‘mass tourist’ is a person that just goes along and doesn’t want to learn about the culture, history or community. They do surface level activities that don’t truly show what the city or town has to offer. Being just a tourist does not give the traveler the full experience of where they have traveled to. Our current definition of ‘global community’ talks about how each community has a special connection and also common things that bring them all together. I completely agree with this being here in Ireland. There are many things that are similar to being in America and also similar things to other European countries. I don’t think that the definition needs to be changed because I completely agree with it for the short time that I have been here.
I do believe that being a ‘mindful traveler’ is a key characteristic of intentional participants of the global community. One reason I believe this is because by being a ‘mindful traveler’ you get to experience more than just the basic surface level things that a tourist gets. You get to connect with the co
mmunity in ways like doing community service or helping the community out. You get to experience the culture in a different way and learn more as well. Slimbach states that, “By exercising cultural appreciation, we open the door for forging rare cross-cultural bonds and alliances based on a common commitment to community betterment“ (Slimbach, 87). You can learn more about cultures and commonalities by being a mindful traveler and experience more. I hope in my time here I get to experience the culture by giving back to the community and speaking with locals who have been through a lot here. People who know the history and want to tell their story. Maybe I do this by doing community service through my school or maybe I will find other ways to help out and learn about the culture.
I chose this picture because walking through a cornfield might not seem like something you would really want to do. It might not be the place you crave to see or dream about visiting, but it can teach you so much more than all of those places you dream about seeing. That cornfield or a certain park can have so much history and culture that you can learn about. It can teach you the real meaning behind a city and can give you way more than the tourists attractions that everyone talks about. Being a mindful traveler can show a true community and what a city really has to offer. By going beyond the surface level of things you can make connections with the community and locals that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. There are so many great places to visit and things to learn. So many people to help and communities to serve. It’s about going out and doing more not only for yourself, but for others as well.