Travelling through the magical cities and villages of Peru’s Sacred Valley was incredible. It was such an eye opening experience to be immersed in the Peruvian Inca culture, to meet so many wonderful local people, and to hear their stories of how they truly feel about this commercial boom that has been steadily transforming their world. The exploitation of their sacred plant medicine which is now offered on almost every corner, Starbucks taking out the local coffee shops, McDonalds providing jobs but at the same time destroying other local restaurants, and so many foreign companies creeping their way in to siphon so many dollars away. All of this to serve the massive amount of growing travellers descending upon their sacred spaces.
So what’s the best way to travel in Peru? Or anywhere for that matter? How do you experience the Sacred Valley but at the same time not support the elimination of their culture by the commercialistic ways of the Western world? Should we all just stay at home? Is it better to leave it all be and read about our wonderful world only in Nat Geo? Is there a solution?
We believe there is. And not just abroad, but in our own communities too. Shop local wherever you go, support community businesses, contribute to the culture that you are surrounding yourself with. Vote with your dollars to keep them in the pockets of those who need it most. And realize that the world has so much to offer with its deep diversity and endless cultural beauty that taking a chance on something new is far more rewarding than the safe familiar road. Its up to all of us. What we value, we can keep alive.