Seattle skyline

Did you know you’re already an ambassador for peace? If you use your travel blog to spread insight and understanding about the places you’re visiting, that’s exactly the role you’ve taken.  Every time you write a post, you are enlightening others about a new culture and way of life, with the power to break down stereotypes, build tolerance, and promote a more peaceful world. Your goal might be to review an adventure activity or a 5-star resort, but in between the lines, your readers are finding so much more.

To help you maximize this important role, here are 5 tips:

  1. Put your guidebook away.  After you’ve hit all the checklist tourist stops, it’s time to create your own adventure.  By allowing yourself to veer off the carefully curated tourist path, you’re seeing an uncensored slice of life.  It’s these experiences that provide a deeper understanding of how people live, work, and play.
  2. Have candid conversations with locals.  Now that you’re on your own path, connect with the people who are the heart and soul of the community.  Find opportunities for conversation by taking a yoga or cooking class, striking up conversation with someone at a pub or café, or simply by getting lost and asking for directions or recommendations on where to go.  These casual conversations build your understanding for what life is like from a local perspective, and seeing life through someone else’s eyes is the foundation for spreading tolerance.
  3. Acknowledge your stereotypes and be open to proving them wrong.  As you venture out into the community, you may have some preconceived ideas of what people are like. It’s natural to have generalizations like New Yorkers are always in a rush or San Diegans are always laidback.  These aren’t necessarily bad, but they don’t describe every person and they only tell part of the story.  By acknowledging your own bias, you become more objective in your observations and you’re helping your readers break past cultural divides.
  4. Talk about your experience while you’re still having it.  Traveling can be inspirational, jarring, thought provoking, and everything in between.  Sharing what you saw and what you’re feeling with someone else can help you process your experience and find your angle.  When you stay at an HI USA hostel, you’ll be surrounded by a community of travelers who want to share and learn from you.  You’ll also benefit from other travelers’ recommendations and perspectives.
  5. Celebrate the United Nations International Day of Peace. Held each year on September 21, this important day is honored around the world as a day of peace and cease fire.  As an ambassador for peace, take pride in what your blog has the power to do by commemorating this important day.  For ideas on how to celebrate, or to get involved with other like-minded travelers, learn more about Sleep For Peace, an effort led by HI USA and celebrated by HI hostels around the world.

Millions of people are influenced by travel bloggers like you around the world.  As an ambassador for peace, we hope you embrace the important role you can play in creating a more tolerant world.

Note:  Hostelling International USA (HI USA) is a TBEX Sponsor

Author Bio:  Hostelling International USA (HI USA) is a nonprofit, member organization founded on an enduring belief in the power of travel to foster a deeper understanding of people, places, and the world around.  It’s our commitment to promote a dynamic community of global citizens who have the wisdom and humanity to actively make the world a better place.  As the nation’s leading hostel brand, HI USA hosts more than 1 million overnights annually, with guests from more than 100 countries.  For over 80 years, HI USA has provided a network of affordable hostels in converted mansions, reinvented lighthouses, and historic urban buildings all across the country. Visit www.hiusa.org for more information.