“I can bring my ipad, right?”, my fiancé asks, as he half listens to me describe the beauty of Chaa Creek. All I can do is sigh. “The butterflies,” I say, “they have a butterfly garden!” He could really care less. So, I sit on the opposite end of the couch and get lost in memories, thinking back to seventh grade, nearly 20 years ago, when I was introduced to the idea of saving the environment.
I remember watching overly produced segments on “the rainforest, the tropical rainforests”, as the song went that accompanied images of tress being cut down and little green tree frogs losing their homes. And now, as I live my day to day hectic life, I find myself longing to reconnect with nature. I look out my back door each night and see a man-made lake, I look out the front door and see concrete. I realize I’ve never really experienced the true beauty of the outdoors. I think about the vacations I’ve been on recently, of the huge cruise ships that plow their way through the ocean, of the hotels that sit on the beach front, obstructing the view of the waves.
“Responsible tourism”, I think, “not anything I’ve ever done”. And I think it’s time. I think it’s time I see what it means to co-exist with the plants, the little green tree frogs, and the butterflies. To not just look at nature from afar or on the tv, but to be a part of it. And that’s what responsible tourism is – coexisting. Not plowing through or tearing down, but fitting in. Fitting in with nature. Afterall, that’s what we all want, what we all need…to fit in.