Tips for the socially and environmentally responsible traveler
In her book An Indigenous History of the United States, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz argues the US romanticizes outdoor travel to hide its colonial roots. Many Americans were raised on the belief that our heritage was wanderlust. Chasing “wilderness” was our right. But lost in this lore is the acknowledgment that our national park system was built upon stolen land.
As a travel writer, I believe deeply in our human nature to explore. But historically, the way we take advantage of our national parks has often caused harm: the genocide of Indigenous communities to make “space” for outdoor recreation, the unmanageable waste that accumulates from large crowds of tourists, the scarcity of resources for people living near parks.