WHY WE CHOOSE TO PARTICIPATE: IMPACT EXPLORER

By Lily

If you came to Impact Explorer’s launch event last week you will have noticed that we had people from different community tourism sites showcasing their brilliant crafts, experiences and cultures. But it wasn’t just all about them. We asked YOU to actively get involved too. Whether or not you tasted rice wine with Tampuan elders, tried your hand at basket making with ladies from Khnar Po or even joined in with Tampuan dancing, you were getting to the heart of everything we believe in and work to achieve at Impact Explorer.

Participation is a beautiful thing. By getting involved you step closer to understanding Cambodia through personal cultural exchanges. Sometimes it can be challenging but it is these moments which make your travel meaningful. Whether it’s simply helping to prepare dinner in your homestay or laughing as you speak across languages that don’t always match up. It can be taking a tour of a rural village or having a go at ploughing rice fields. It is in taking part that you create meaning – not just for you but for communities too.

Why is this important to us?

Taking part and joining in is how you can get to know your hosts and your hosts can get to know you on a personal level. This is important because we are looking to help create a different kind of travel, one that is community led and culturally sustainable. As we see it, being culturally sustainable means that we, as guests, respect our hosts’ culture, and try to educate ourselves in the aspects that are being shown to us.

It’s not about being on the outside looking in. It’s about engaging directly with families, with cultures, and with experiences. It’s demonstrating to these families, projects and communities that what they are sharing with us is valuable.

How can you make this happen?

It couldn’t be easier, book an Impact Explorer visit and go and have fun! All of the destinations on our site are designed and run by incredible people who want to share with you experiences in their community that you won’t forget. You may not get a 5 star hotel (but some come pretty close!), but you will get a unique chance to explore and learn about the real Cambodia, away from the bright lights and the crowds of big cities.

So, if you want to explore the Mekong by boat, take cooking classes in a homestay, or explore villages by foot then go for it – get involved! Through participating you can get to the heart of Cambodian culture, make a positive impact for rural communities, and meet some amazing people!

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