Tatiana of Adventure With Purpose (Maine Interview)
I met Tatiana, the founder of Adventure With Purpose, a couple of months ago, and was immediately impressed by her company, and her passion for conscious travel. As someone who travels quite frequently, I have seen a lot of the ways in which travel can be detrimental to people and the planet. I try my best to reduce the amount of impact I have when I adventure, but sometimes it's a lot of work to plan out every detail of a trip AND ensure you're being socially and environmentally conscious. Adventure With Purpose has organized trips that are educational and adventure filled, with a mission to empower travellers to make a postive and sustainable impact. Tatiana currently offers trips to Nepal, Cambodia, Mexico, and within Canada and the United States.
1. Why did you start Adventures With Purpose?
I started Adventure With Purpose because I saw a problem with the voluntourism industry. Corporations were taking advantage of travelers with good intentions and sending them places they knew nothing about, to work on projects they didn’t know how to do. Failing the travelers and the community they were trying to help. I was deeply inspired by the “learning service movement” and wanted to offer a travel experience that was authentic and meaningful for travelers and also helped to support and empower the communities that they are visiting. Through partnering with leading responsible organizations all over the world, we have created experiences focused on supporting local communities and projects while offering an amazing experience for travelers. On our tours, travelers will have the opportunity to be totally immersed in the culture that they are visiting while learning from leading development and conservation organizations. We must have an in-depth understanding and appreciation of a culture before we try to help them.
2. You partner with Vajra Collective on travel gear. Why did you choose to partner with them?
I met the owner at a course we were both taking before opening our companies. When he told me about the collectives he was working with and how they give training to disabled and abused women (to make these bags and pay them fairly) so they can support their families, I knew that this aligned with our mission to support local communities. When I was looking at travel gear for our line of products it only made sense to support another amazing local business with such a great movement behind it.
3. What 3 items are your travel essentials?
It really depends on where I am going. My passport pouch is awesome, we usually have our toddler with us while traveling, so it is good for providing extra protection to the important documents from juice, milk, and Goldfish crumbs. Other essentials would be my waterproof camera because I love snorkelling and we are usually exploring so it's nice to not have to worry about my camera getting wet. Lastly, a really comfortable bag for touring and exploring with. With a two-year-old, we have a lot of luggage. Having a comfortable bag that is light but fits a lot of stuff is a life saver.
4. Where/what was your favourite trip & why?
Our last trip to Mexico, where we met our local partners. Meeting the owner of our partner company, Kenneth, and learning about their local conservation initiatives and passion for sustainable travel was inspiring. The whale shark adventure was also incredible. Learning about whale sharks and the local ecosystem from our guide, then having the privilege to swim beside these majestic creates, was something I will never forget.
5. What is a piece of advice for people who want to travel more consciously?
If you are not qualified to teach, build, or work with vulnerable children in your home country, don’t do it in a developing country. The best practice is to go to a new place to learn first and then serve. Also, to know that you don’t have to make a big donation or stay in a local guesthouse for months to have an impact. Every time you get lunch at a local café, learn from a local about their culture or learn from a local NGO, these little actions make a huge impact. These small actions can feed a family, help to keep struggling families together and help to keep a local culture alive! Small action can make a huge impact.