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7 Billion People – What does this mean for Travel?

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World Population Growth 7 Billion

World Population Growth 7 Billion

No matter how unique we all think we are, realistically we are still just a number. In fact I am the 79,691,134,498 human-being on this planet according to the UN population statistics:

  • 4.8 billion were still alive before me.
  • 3.5 billion have since been born after me.
  • 1.4 billion have died since I was born.

The reason I know this is that the UN has a very cool website where you can input the day and location you were born and it will give you all the statistics on who has lived before you and after you. It outlines where people are being born and where they are moving too.

Since 1968, the population of our world has doubled. Doubled! That’s 3.5 billion people extra in just 40 years.

The majority of this rapid population growth is occurring in less developed countries. Countries that the majority of us like to travel to.

So with the population due to reach 7 BILLION PEOPLE today it raises a number of worrying questions for me.

What does this mean for travel?

Well one of the benefits of population growth is that every day our world gets smaller and it becomes easier to travel. New planes and routes to connect the growth areas means that places that were previously inaccessible can now be reached by any Joe Blogs with any tour company. For goodness sake you can even pay a huge sum of cash and basically be carried up Mount Everest!

World Population

However, Population Growth does raise a number of issues. The greatest one which I have noticed is that I feel that every location I travel to becomes more Westernised. For every kind of traveller this creates problem. Although we may not all be perpetual traveller’s trying to “find” oneself the majority of us DO travel to explore new areas and cultures that we don’t get at home.

So these unique and new destinations will no longer be authentic in 20, 10 or even 1 years time. What will travellers do? Will we just travel for rest and relaxation? I know some people travel to the same destination year on year and absolutely love it.

Personally I don’t see the appeal of visiting an English pub in a warm and sunny climate such as Ibiza. Who wants to just hang out with the same food, drinks and people that you get at home?

How will this growing population affect my future travel plans?

Unfortunately I find myself with more questions than answers.

Would love to get your feedback below about why you are travelling and what you think population growth means for travellers? Has over-population or changes to “authentic” destinations meant that you have changed your travel plans?

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Andrea

    October 31, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    Interesting observations! I agree with you – most cities looks very similar as a result of globalization. I was so surprised by what I saw this year travelling to South America, for example. Sections of Lima, Bogota, Santiago, Buenos Aires, etc. look like they could be plucked right out of the US.

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      October 31, 2011 at 2:33 PM

      Great points Andrea. We have not travelled through South America much but it seems like Asian countries are trying to achieve a “Western” look sometimes. I guess that is why we try to find more and more remote places to visit, which then suffer (maybe suffer is too harsh) the same fate. Hopefully some of these places we all love to visit will retain their uniqueness when they realise that is why we travel there in the first place!

  2. Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    October 31, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    I didn’t know that UN site existed. Kinda cool.

    Exportation of culture and modernism is inevitable. However, I try to remind myself when I get to a location that the people there (or at least many of them) want the changes. Who am I to judge whether or not they should eat at McDonalds or live in a modern 20-story building?

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      November 1, 2011 at 7:00 PM

      Yea I wasted a good half hour on the site finding out bits and pieces about who was around before and after me!
      I totally agree with you there, and I don’t have any problem with people potentially wanting to chase the dream of living in a new apartment etc. I just hope that the cultures and true tourist sites that we want to visit are retained as that is the reason why we travel there (and ultimately where a lot of income for these people comes from). As long as they recognise that then I think there is hope.
      And progress is always good, as generally it leads to better health, incomes and lives for most people. Fingers crossed we can all continue to live in relative harmony without exploitation.

  3. Zablon Mukuba

    November 1, 2011 at 8:25 AM

    we are many people

  4. Tobias

    November 9, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    Interesting and thought provoking post. I do agree that even cities in developing countries are starting to look alike. The number of Starbucks, mcdonalds and pizza hut’s in Manila, which i recently visited, makes the city look like it could be anywhere in Europe or North America.
    If you take a deep breath and go somewhat outside of your comfort zone though, there’s a lot of cultural differences to explore. And after all, that’s why we travel, right? 🙂

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      November 11, 2011 at 9:35 AM

      Definitely get what you mean Tobias. I understand why the development takes place and am glad that undeveloped countries are moving forward as well but I do love finding undeveloped areas. Just hope there are a few left in a few years time! Cheers
      Cole

  5. Christy @ Ordinary Traveler

    November 15, 2011 at 11:38 PM

    Interesting article. I guess I tend to travel to places that are extremely different from home, so I haven’t noticed this as much. I wonder what I will think when we head to South America next year.

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      November 16, 2011 at 9:23 AM

      It was hard to try and put my thoughts in to words on this post as I understand the need for change and love that people are improving their lives. But imagine if all those places you travelled to that are so different started to sprout McDonald’s or Starbucks on every corner? Would you then think twice about going back? Cheers Cole

  6. Amy Moore

    November 17, 2011 at 2:44 AM

    I understand what you are saying, but I can’t agree with all of it. While some things may become homogenized (like finding a McDonalds in every larger city), people all across the world have national pride and will continue doing some things differently because of this. Look at places like Chinatown in NYC… the people there strive to live differently even though they are surrounded by Americans. Does it give you an “authentic” experience of China? Probably not… but can you truly have an authentic experience anyway?

    Also, I don’t feel you can point to population growth and say that it’s causing what you are feeling while traveling. Sure, travel is easier now than it used to be. Because there are more people in the world or could it be more accurately explained by better technology/business models/some third reason?

    I’m glad you wrote this post and gave me points to ponder. Looking forward to seeing your posts this winter from Egypt. Also, email me with your blog URL if you aren’t listed in our travel blog listing page already.

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      November 17, 2011 at 8:06 PM

      Thanks for the insightful comments Amy. Definitely don’t mind you not agreeing with my points and don’t mind being put in my place! 🙂 Would rather have good discussions with people than believe everything I say haha.
      I agree totally that better technologies etc have made it easier to travel. I don’t necessarily agree that population growth is the reason behind it all, was just being quite general about the changes we have seen even just during our short 2 years of travel. I am all for people and communities living how they want to in their own societies, why should I, or anyone for that matter, tell them how to live their lives. It is great that a lot of countries are progressing forward and making all the changes. I guess I just would like to see some area retain their “authentic” feel as this is why we sometimes travel (if that makes sense). However, in saying that, I don’t want communities to “fake it” for tourists as that just degrades the whole experience in my eyes.
      Love that I gave you something to ponder and feel free to write a response as a guest post if you want?
      Will give you an email as we would love to feature on your guys travel blog as well!
      Cheers
      Cole

  7. Sebastian @ Off-The-Path.com

    November 17, 2011 at 9:25 AM

    Interesting article! You can definitely see the westernization in many places but you can still find places which haven’t been that affected by tourism. This sometimes means that you gotta go off the path 😉

  8. Laurel

    November 21, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    Very thought provoking post. I hate the Westernization of the world, but wonder if that’s going to change as the new super powers are up and coming and rather quickly. I haven’t really thought about how it will impact my travel plans, except to keep finding those “hidden” places, no matter where I am.

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      November 21, 2011 at 7:44 PM

      Hi Laurel,
      Interesting point about the new super powers. It will be very interesting to see what happens because places like China has a booming tourism industry at the moment and wonder how this will affect our travel.
      I think “hidden” places are different for every traveller!
      Cheers
      Cole

  9. James

    November 24, 2011 at 12:37 AM

    I think that this is a growing issue. I also feel that it is part of a larger problem that extends beyond travel. When i look at the world i see that there are very few places that are self sufficient and dont rely on importing goods. This global reliance on the importing of good from western foods to clothes, I feel, is based on the fact that it is extremely hard for specific areas to provide these things for themselves. They therefore have to import, and large corporations, such as Mc Donalds etc, have capitalised on this. As far as travel goes, I think places will start to become very similar because of this, and things that define cultures will gradually decrease. Obviously this will take time so for those saying there are still differences out there, these differences aren’t exactly increasing are they. As you said in the post that travel is becoming easier, this is the case, but for how long will this continue? How long will we be able to access global air travel for it all of our planes run of a fuel that is depleting and non renewable? There is a lot to think about!!

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      November 24, 2011 at 9:41 AM

      Many many good points thanks James. And there are definitely corporations out there that are capitalising on the needy (this has always been the case and always will be I believe until we all take notice that we are getting screwed by the 1%).
      It is interesting about the planes and fuel because companies like Virgin are already trialling biofuels to run their planes on so hopefully we are headed in this direction and can stop using polluting non-renewable products (this needs a new post by itself haha).
      Thanks

  10. Jarmo @ Arctic Nomad

    December 18, 2011 at 7:55 AM

    It is true that lot of places are becoming more “westernized”, but that is indeed progress like Stephanie and others said. And while you will find McDonalds almost everywhere, the culture and the attitude of people hasn’t changed as radically I don’t think (although I would be naive to say it hasn’t had any impact). I recently went to Philippines and while yes you have pizza hut and McDonalds and big malls and all that, the people still feel very different and they still are ridicilously friendly. I don’t think people change as quickly as we fear.

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      December 18, 2011 at 1:13 PM

      Thanks for the insight Jarmo. Totally agree that by just having a Macca’s doesn’t make a culture “westernized” but it is always interesting to see them everywhere (plus handy for the loo’s). As I have said before I hope that every civilization does continue to progress but still hold true to their own beliefs and traditions. It’s so good to hear that about the Philippines as well. We really want to visit there in the next year or 2.

  11. Angel Collins

    December 19, 2011 at 9:35 AM

    Wow!. You are a great observer. I totally agree with you. I didn’t realized that most countries are westernize already. I just came to that thought just now. Great point of view!. XD

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Adventure Travel

Explore Auckland’s Coasts With One Exquisite Walking Hike

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There is a wonderful place found in the far southwest of the Pacific Ocean. It is a place called Auckland, and it is found in the amazing terrain of New Zealand. It is a place that commands the attention of over 1 million people who prefer to live and reside in this majestic city.

Did you know that Auckland claims the top spot in New Zealand with its wide range of people and the most concentrated number of people within a city in New Zealand?

But why do so many people come to Auckland, New Zealand, and live there? What do they appreciate the most?

The truth is that the answer may vary, and it may differ from person to person, but it is hard to deny that nature is not a crucial part of their decision making. The beautiful city has fantastic places that offer great adventure and recreational activity.

You can take advantage of the diverse coasts, hidden coves, and more of the northern area in the North Island. It is known for its various boats, and some believe that it has more ships than any other city in the entire world.

It is a city that resides between two large fantastic natural harbors.

Let us find out more about how you can explore this majestic city with one fantastic walking hike.

The Auckland Coast

For those who want to stay near to Auckland’s city and travel well, it is necessary to start your journey with the Auckland Coast’s breathtaking area.

Did you know that Auckland’s coast ranges over 15km, will take over four hours to traverse, and is somewhat challenging to navigate? But the truth is that it is worth it. Why is it worth it? Well, you can seemingly walk the length of an entire nation within the span of a few hours. If you wake up early in the morning and go on this journey, you can finish your hike by noon or an hour past noon.

But in that brief timeframe, you can experience several oceans, notice a slew of volcanoes, and have a glimpse into people’s regular lives in the New Zealand area.

This fantastic walk is excellent because of its duration and because you are able to experience lush greenery and park settings over 30% of the time. It is a great way to clear your head, get to know more about the people you are traveling with, and experience the refreshing Auckland air.

Experts suggest beginning your journey at the less intriguing Onehunga area and then moving forward with public transportation at the Britomart stop. You will find that you can travel east to take in the water sights with a bit of work.

When your walk is over, you can grab a fresh beverage at the Waitemata Harbour, a premium harbor.

You will want to make sure to bring some healthy snacks along for the walk because you may not notice different places to eat as you go on this part of the hike.

It is best to ensure that you understand that you must input the Ferry Building into your mobile device or ensure to use the local municipal iSITE for further guidance.

If you are limited on time, I would suggest that you go on this route because it lets you take in the entire area and understand this excellent place.

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Adventure Travel

Hiking Adventures in Bryce Canyon National Park

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If you are on the lookout for the perfect environment for an adventurous and challenging hike, look no further. Located in the Southern Utah region is the best park that is most suitable for your hiking adventure, the Bryce Canyon National Park. This is a great option to relaxed after you are through playing in $5 minimum deposit casinos.

This park hosts hike lovers from time to time and people even come from other countries in the world to experience the wonder of this park. The landscape and beautiful trails make this a choice venue. There is a rental service at this location if you love to stay behind.

You can enjoy the priceless glimpse of the sunrise and sunset from the different landscape. The part also permits visitors to create traditional camps at different locations for a more adventurous experience.

There are a couple of trails that you can choose from for your hiking adventure, and no matter your level of experience in hiking, you will find a track that matches your taste. Even if you are totally new to hiking, there is something for you at the Bryce Canyon National Park . Below is a list of some of the trails to try when you take a trip to this park.

The Rim Trail

This is the most accessible trail at Bryce Canyon National Park. It is suitable for those who just want to have a good time walking around and savoring the magnificent scenery of the park. From any part of the park, you can connect to this trail as it goes all the way around the park.

When lodging at the Bryce Canyon Lodge, it is a good idea to start your hike from the place known as the sunrise point. Just as the name implies, if you wake up early to start your walk, you’ll be able to watch the sunrise. If you have a camera with you, you’ll take some fantastic pictures.

Also, you’ll get a clear view of the Bryce amphitheater from this point. Just like in an adventure movie, you have to find a way to link up to boat Mesa, and on your way, you walk through some sites like the Mormon temple and Queen garden. This hiking trail is easy, and all you have to deal with is a total of approximately 200 feet elevation. You will surely have a nice time on this trail.

Navajo Loop Trail

On the order of difficulty, this trail comes next after the rim trail. The starting point of this trail begins from the sunset point around the southern area of the Bryce Canyon Lodge. Just like for the rim trail, the trail presents a nice view of the sunset, and with a good camera, you’ll be able to take exciting photo shoots.

Walking this route involves a visit to the Silent City, which is an aesthetic combination of limestone and urban expansion. During the hike, you will also walk through Wall Street, which happens to be a distinctive attraction at the Bryce Canyon park. You won’t ever want to miss the narrow walls. From this point, you may decide to go back to the sunset point or take other shorter hikes like the Peekaboo loop trail and Queen garden trail. Both routes are challenging and adventurous, but you will enjoy every bit of the challenge. After you have done this, you can then go ahead to have some fun in a $5 minimum deposit casino.

Mossy Cave Trail

This Trail presents an entirely different sight than the one that we have previously mentioned. From this trail, you will be able to catch the view of the towers in the park nearby without descending to the amphitheater. This hiking course begins at approximately 4 miles from the entrance to the Bryce Canyon park. However, if you visit this park and would like to enjoy something completely different from the other common tracks, then this is an exciting hiking trail for you to try.

Hiking is more than a walk, it is a fun and adventurous experience. All trails at the Bryce Canyon National Park are worth trying on your next visit. Whether you seek to have some fun or you just want to catch some beautiful scenery and feel close to nature, you will find the right place that suits you. Get ready to have an amazing hiking experience.

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Adventure Travel

Walking the Camino de Santiago Photos

These are my favourite Camino de Santiago Photos from my pilgrimage along the French Way in March. A truly beautiful way to spend a few weeks.

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Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

El Camino de Santiago kicked my ass. Well technically it kicked my feet. Turns out my minimal preparation for the Camino de Santiago was terrible. After a miserable effort of only 4 days, the doctor in Legrono told me that I wasn’t allowed to go on until me feet healed. I had walked just over 100 km’s and my feet were bloodied and blistered.

To be honest, I was relieved.

The thought of putting back on my shoes made my shudder. For the last 9 km’s I had stumbled along in jandals and socks. One of the travelling fashion sins I vowed I would never break.

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

So while I have unfinished business with the Way of St James (an upcoming post), I did want to share with you some of my favourite photos from the Camino de Santiago. Because I had yet to reach some of the more “unsavoury” parts of the Camino that Sherry Ott had discovered, every step of my pilgrimage had been beautiful.

Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

Puenta La Reina Bridge – Camino de Santiago Arrows

There is no way you can get lost on the Camino de Santiago. Arrows, scallop shells and signs point you in the right direction at every bridge, road crossing and intersection.

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Reaching the top of Alto Pedron gave views back the way I had come from Pamplona, as well as views to where I was going. The rocky path on the way down proved to be my ultimate downfall, as my too small shoes caused my toes to smash into the front.

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

There were so many beautiful old churches along the Camino de Santiago. But since I was walking in early March, it seemed that most were yet to open for the busier summer season.

Church of Obanos

The Church of Obanos

And between every small village the well-maintained pathways of the French Way wound across the spectacular Spanish countryside.

The French Way - Camino de Santiago

The French Way – Camino de Santiago Photos

Puenta La Reina

Puenta La Reina in the evening

Puenta La Reina has one of the most amazing bridges I have ever seen. It was also the 1st village I had the pleasure of sleeping in after busy Pamplona.

Puenta la Reina Bridge and Sunrise

Puenta la Reina Bridge at sunrise

Most mornings I was up and walking before the sun began to sprinkle across the horizon.

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Every village and town was built on a small hill. Sure it looks beautiful until you realise you have to go back up again to go through them all!

Church of Santa Maria - Los Arcos

Church of Santa Maria in Los Arcos

While there were only about 20 pilgrims walking each section every day, it wasn’t uncommon for you to encounter them all. The people I met along the Camino de Santiago were some of the most inspiring and remarkable people I have ever spoken to. They are the ones that make the pilrgimage so special.

The endless French Way

The endless French Way

Irache Wine Fountain - Fuente del Vino

The free flowing Irache Wine Fountain or “Fuente del Vino”

Hay bales along the French Way

Hay bales along the French Way

Every village had at least one ancient church and it wasn’t uncommon to find them dotting the landscape in remote locations either.

Ermita de San Miguel

Ermita de San Miguel

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

I have travelled through Spain in the past, including cycling in Costa Brava and surfing in San Sebastian with both independent planning and a vacation planner. But having the opportunity to walk at my own pace through some of the most beautiful scenery in Spain on the Camino de Santiago has so far topped them all.

Natural arches - Camino de Santiago

Natural arches on the Camino de Santiago

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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