Traveling with more intention impacts local Indonesian communities for years to come.
When you travel, it’s easy to focus on the experiences you want – where you want to eat, elements of a culture you want to experience, memories you want to create, and so on. But when you travel with more intention, the experience becomes transformative. It not only impacts your life, but the local communities for years to come.
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An interview with Discova Guide, Aggy
Aggy is one of our most loved Tour Guides from Discova who got her start in travel back in 2018. Born in Denpasar, Bali, Aggy had her sights set on working in travel since high school. “It was my dream job, so I chose English and Tourism as my major in college,” she recalls. We met with her to talk about her experience and the impact that tourism plays on her community.
More than a job
After learning about the opening at Discova from her cousin, Aggy was hired and her journey as a Guide began. “I loved it because it allowed me to learn more about my own culture’s history and also gave me a place where I could practice my English and learn to speak more confidently,” she says.
But for Aggy, guiding was more than just a job – it was a way she could support her family and build a life for herself. Her work allows her to cover her family’s basic needs (like water and electricity) and even made it possible for her to put herself through college without help. “It was hard, but I did it, and I’m so proud of that,” she shares.
One of Aggy’s favorite parts about working in travel is being able to share her home of Bali with her travelers. “I think back to Bali with Britten, it was such a special trip. The whole group was so eager to learn about our culture and had lots of questions – they really respected the uniqueness and diversity of Bali,” she recalls.
Obviously, Covid hit the travel industry hard and its uncertainty rocked local economies across the globe. In Bali specifically, over 80% of their economy is related to tourism so the absence of travel has had massive effects.
Many Balinese people make their living by working at hotels, restaurants, or travel agencies, but it doesn’t stop there. There is a trickle-down effect that affects nearly everyone in the workforce. For example, local farmers’ crops supply all the restaurants that serve tourists, and artists in the villages earn a hefty portion of their income by selling their creations to visitors.
“With borders being closed, Bali has suffered because our economy basically relies on it,” says Aggy. “But with good news on the horizon, my energy and excitement has just been building up! I can’t wait to get outside and be able to share the beauty and culture of Bali again.”
Conclusion: Your travel has a bigger effect than you know
Whether it’s giving a local girl the opportunity to put herself through college and support her family, or helping an entire economy to come back to life, your travel is more significant than you may have originally thought.