A new year calls for fresh starts and new adventures. Discover 22 fresh new travel experiences that also give back to people and protect the planet.
If 2022 is your year to get back on the road, reconnect and make a positive impact on the world, then we have good news for you: we’re here for that, too.
With 22 brand new impact initiatives on trips all over the world, there’s plenty to choose from – whether you want to dive into marine conservation, support female entrepreneurs, give back to people living with a disability or learn more about First Nations cultures.
Here’s the roundup of new experiences.
22. Take a carbon neutral whale watching trip (Husavik, Iceland)
Hop onboard this carbon-neutral whale watching tour to learn more about these magnificent mammals and their pristine environment.
21. Enjoy coffee with a purpose (Bali, Indonesia)
It’s been called the best coffee in North Bali, but a brew from Global Kafe also sees all proceeds going towards supporting the work of the Global Village Foundation, which supports people living with a disability by providing wheelchairs, mobility aids, medication and other essentials.
20. Meet Indigenous people supporting reforestation (Costa Rica)
Meet members of the Maleku Indigenous tribe and chat about local culture and customs during a traditional meal, followed by a community visit to learn about the challenges, particularly from deforestation, that this community faces
Classic Costa Rica
19. Support migrants in Europe (Venice, Italy)
Stop for a snack and a serve of inspiration at the Orient Experience restaurant in Venice, which supports, employs and advocates for migrants who have made long, perilous journeys to Europe.
Best of Italy & Highlights of Italy
18. Ride a rickshaw with a difference (Jaipur, India)
There’s no better way to discover the vibrancy of the streets of Jaipur than from an e-rickshaw – particularly one that is owned and operated by a woman from a low-income household. On a spin around the city with the Pink City Rickshaw Co., your hostess will share a taste of Rajasthan with stops to try kachoris, sweet lassi and one of the best kulfi around.
17. Learn a craft with the deaf and mute community (Hue, Vietnam)
Join a traditional paper flower-making class at Lavin Home, a local NGO that supports Hue’s deaf and mute and deaf community. The centre provides employment, meals, training and a place of connection.
Vietnam Family Adventure
16. Get a taste of First Nations culture (British Columbia, Canada)
Experience a taste of First Nations Culture in British Columbia when you dine at a restaurant on the land of the Syilx People, celebrating traditional ingredients and inspired by creation stories passed through generations, then meet the First Nations people of the Osoyoos Indian Band for a desert walk at the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre, dedicated to conserving the last remaining section of the Great American Desert.
Canada’s Okanagan Valley
15. Become a citizen scientist while snorkelling (Queensland, Australia)
This is a snorkelling experience with a difference – see Magnetic Island underwater, led by guides from Reef Check Australia who are engaged in long-term reef monitoring sites in the Townsville Great Barrier Reef region. You’ll learn more about how to become a citizen scientist to contribute to monitoring the health of reefs, and to advocate for their protection.
Queensland Coast and Islands Adventure
14. Turn rubbish into treasures (Halong Bay, Vietnam)
At the Green Life Centre, discover how rubbish collected from Halong Bay is being up-cycled into beautiful handicrafts, removing waste from this iconic site and providing income for local communities. You’ll meet the host of the centre, Ms Huong, and her team of intrepid crafters, who will show you how to make your own bag.
Vietnam Express Northbound
13. Share ceramic making knowledge (Champa, Vietnam)
Discover the unique culture and heritage of the state of Champa during a ceramic making workshop – this pottery craftmanship is only passed onto the women in the family – followed by a home-cooked meal in a local village.
12. Experience the preservation of ancient culture (San Pedro Tlahuac, Mexico)
Visit the community of San Pedro Tlahuac where Nahuatl descendants preserve traditions from Pre-Columbian times, including chinampa farming, fiestas and ceremonies from ancient days.
11. Embrace intergenerational interactions (Vienna, Austria)
Stop for kaffee and kuchen (coffee and cake) at Vollpension, a generation-bridging café in Vienna. Through their involvement at the café, members of older generations remain engaged and connected with society, and provide great conversation – and might even offer a few life lessons, too.
Best of Central Europe
10. Visit a cafe that trains and educates refugees (Chiang Mai, Thailand)
A meal at the Free Bird Café in Chiang Mai is more than just a delicious taste of Northern Thailand – all profits help to provide education and language training for migrants and refugees from Myanmar. The cafe is part of social enterprise Freedom House and also offers students the opportunity to learn hospitality skills and practice their English.
Explore Northern Thailand
9. Support new starts at a Mayan cooperative (Petén, Guatemala)
Visit Nuevo Horizonte “New Horizon”, a Mayan cooperative that supports fish-farming, mixed agriculture, reforestation and eco-tourism projects. Initially founded by 130 families after the peace accord in Guatemala, today the cooperative offers opportunities and hopes for a brighter future.
Guatemala to Mexico
8. Tuck into meal with meaning (Kandy, Sri Lanka)
Take a break from the bike and tuck into a fragrant lunch Sri Lankan lunch at Hela Bojun Restaurant, safe in the knowledge you’re not only enjoying authentic flavours, but also helping to support women from rural communities who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to benefit from tourism. A government social enterprise is behind the program, which trains and employs women selected for their outstanding cooking skills.
Cycle Sri Lanka
7. Support gender equity at a traditional teahouse (Aït Benhaddou, Morocco)
Visit Tawesna, a local community-run teahouse perched on the river, which provides women with an income to support themselves and their families. The women source ingredients from local cooperatives to prepare tea and pastries, while sharing their stories and giving visitors an authentic Amazigh experience.
Morocco Uncovered & South Morocco Discovery
6. Preserve cultural heritage (Hanoi, Vietnam)
Join an indigo dying workshop led by Ms Thanh, aiming to preserve and restore the traditional culture of the Black Tay ethnic minority in Sapa. You will learn about how the indigo plant is grown, how the dye is extracted, how it is nurtured and how to create different shades. What’s more, the workshop also employs a team of deaf and mute people.
5. Visit a wildlife conservation sanctuary (Tasmania, Australia)
Learn about the critical work being done to protect the iconic Tasmanian devil at Devils @ Cradle, a conservation sanctuary located at the entrance to the spectacular World Heritage listed Cradle Mountain National Park. In addition to Tasmanian devils, the sanctuary also houses the spotted-tail and eastern quolls – the state’s three largest carnivorous marsupials are sadly all threatened in the wild.
Walk Cradle Mountain National Park
4. Re-use, recycle and relax (Hoi An, Vietnam)
Take a cycle to the Green Youth Collective, a learning community that focuses on sustainable gardening, low-impact communal living and youth education. Get involved in a session on recycling soap before enjoying baguettes and pancakes accompanied by herbs plucked from the garden on the riverside view deck.
Essential Vietnam (18 to 29s)
3. Preserve First Nations legacy (South Dakota, USA)
Visit Pine Ridge Town to tour the Heritage Center, which empowers Lakota artists to preserve their artistic heritage, improve their economic situation and share their traditional arts and crafts with the world. You’ll also enjoy lunch at a Lakota-owned restaurant that specializes in traditional foods.
South Dakota Lodge Stay
2. Weave a common thread at a traditional mill (Galle, Sri Lanka)
Stop in at a weaving mill that not only specializes in traditional Sri Lankan handloom textiles, but also provides employment to around 40 women from surrounding rural communities. Equal job opportunities are given especially to elderly and disabled women, and the mill owners provide mentoring and financial education to their employees.
Best of Sri Lanka
1. Learn about Indigenous culture in the Amazon (Infierno, Peru)
Travel to the community port of Infierno, home to the Ese Eja peoples, an indigenous Amazonian community. Learn about the important relationship between the Ese Eja peoples and the natural environment during visits to a Heritage House, local fish farm and traditional lunch with your hosts.