Vicky Baker, who writes Going local travel, made a thoughtful response to the question of whether couchsurfing is bad for locals. Her conclusion: it depends how you approach it.
You can see Couchsurfing as a cheap bed for the night, or you can see it as a platform for cultural exchange – a way to get tips from locals and experience life as they do (as much as is possible on a short visit). The approach is what matters. Like being a global citizen, awareness and respect for others is key.
And that brings me to the question of what local travel means to PocketCultures.
PocketCultures is not just about travel, although travel is very important to us. It’s also about a new way of looking at the world, a new way to approach and interact with people from different cultures.
We believe that people around the world have a lot – many times more than you would expect – in common, but that differences exist, and that understanding and respecting (as opposed to stereotyping) those differences is essential for getting along.
We are a diverse mixture of expats and locals from around the world. Some love their country and want to help other people to discover it. Some feel their country is overlooked or misunderstood by the rest of the world. Others love the idea of creating new ways of interaction between different cultures.
The Local Travel Movement is a great platform to further the conversation about local travel trends and to unite organisations with similar goals. Wouldn’t it be great if it could stand for an approach which emphasises global awareness and respect for people of all cultures too?
About the authorLucy