Purposeful travel with Trippin

A conversation on achieving positive cultural change

Over the past year and a half, with the surplus of events on the one hand and the lack of happening on the other, Kesang Ball and Sam Blenkinsopp have learned a lot about how their generation wants to travel in the future. They are the co-creators of Trippin, a global platform connecting travel, culture, and creativity. “Trippin is all about raising people’s consciousness, opening their minds, and having fun whilst doing it,” says CEO Sam with a smile.

Trippin’s comprehensive report, Future of Travel explores how the creative traveller’s mindset, values, and needs are evolving. “We can influence the future of travel by changing our behaviour,” says Kesang, who heads up Trippin’s content, adding that this can only be achieved with clarity on topics like sustainability. Passionate about demystifying that process, Kesang and Sam strive towards a more balanced landscape that considers the local and traveller one.

Your mission is to shake up the travel industry. What does that mean in practice?
Sam: We want to provide a fresher, more authentic lens on travel and culture through resources and tools enabling people to have amazing experiences. Our community spans over 100 destinations worldwide, and all of our content and output as a platform is led by locals innovating and shaping today’s culture.

Your Future of Travel report highlights how young people are keen to travel with more purpose. How do you define purposeful travel?
Kesang: For us, it includes three pillars of sustainable tourism – environmental, social, and economic implications – and their intersectionality. The [Western] narrative of sustainability only speaks to one type of traveller and one carbon footprint. But people are different, depending on their identity, socio-economic status, sexuality, and ethnic background. This influences how you move around and what kind of travel experiences you have.

What is your advice for people striving to travel more purposefully?
Sam: We’d love to have a better solution for flying, especially for long-haul flights. For now, look at offsetting initiatives and make sure to put your money into locals’ hands, whether that’s by booking an independent hotel [with local staff], renting an [privately-owned] Airbnb, or shopping at local businesses. If you can, appreciate what is closer to home.

What if travellers do want to go further afield?
Sam: Make that trip count for a little bit more, whether that’s going for a longer period and embedding yourself into that community or thinking about what you’re bringing. An organisation called Pack for Purpose gives you tips as to things that you could bring for people in need. Protecting natural environments and their beauty is also essential. In the tourism industry, but also as travellers, we need to be aware of whether we’re playing a part in ruining something or if it is okay for us to visit it.

What role does the pandemic play in all of this?
Sam: When the pandemic hit, people suddenly had more headspace to reflect on their privileges, place in the world, and how they want to move forward. Travel is one of those things that fall into understanding that. Especially if you are from a Western place, it’s about recognising that privilege and ensuring that you respect other people’s cultures and know how to behave in their countries.

The world can be a pretty overwhelming place. How do you remain optimistic?
Kesang: We always believe that travel brings us closer together. It gives us a deeper understanding of the world and why we should love and respect it. Change is in the power of young people, and I think we are moving into a world that is way more conscious about that. Conversations, which never had this limelight before, are coming to the forefront. You’ve got to make sure that you have positive narratives, too.

Kesang Ball and Sam Blenkinsopp are the creators of Trippin, a global platform uncovering stories that are found at the intersection of social and cultural boundaries. To learn more about their work and journey, follow them on Instagram.

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