By Maria Alice Ferigo
I have lived in the most touristy city in the world and have traveled to some of the most off-the-beaten-track places on earth. I saw with my eyes what tourism can do to a place, both positive and negative. Therefore, I chose to care: about the world, its people, its environment. I want people to be traveling more, but to be less impacted by the tourism industry at the same time.
Travel taught me that life is neither about places nor people – it is about both, as they are strongly connected with and dependent on one another. I strongly believe being a traveler is about exploring this deep connection between the people and where they live and learning about the infinite directions towards which this relationship can develop. I am extremely grateful for all the people that I met on my journeys for welcoming me in their homes, cities and countries.
With these two main fil rouge in mind, I am contributing to the Spotted by locals project with the goal of reaching out to all travelers and creating a culture of non-invasive, non-mainstream tourism whose aim is to connect people from different backgrounds and help their personal growth by getting them out of their comfort zone.