Despite the fear of some of the older generation, globalisation increases every second. Through our devices, platforms and even shopping sites of choice; we are illuminated by the different colours of the world. No wonder grabbing a bag and crossing a border or two feels like a natural extension of our feeds. And therefore ourselves. But it comes at a price beyond airfares.
The young in particular consider the toll of our travels on the planet. Accordingly, considerable innovation dollars are pointed at future sustainable travel methods. Quieter, cleaner, cheaper and less dangerous than fossil fuels. If environmental damage is in plain site, digital interconnectedness is more insidious. While a carbon-free conscious is within reach, truly authentic experiences are further away. It is almost impossible to experience something that isn’t already touched and shared. In the absence of the unexpected outcomes of real connection and stimulation, destinations deliver identikit experiences; dramatising certain aspects to meet travellers’ expectations. Capping the emotional energy and intelligence that is created when one travels. So despite the rise in travel, empathy between humans continues to spiral. Particularly amongst young people. In a generation more well-travelled than ever, they’re finding it increasingly difficult to know what it really feels like to be in someone else’s shoes. Perhaps those who power mobility, location, and positive bonds (e.g. airlines, Trip Advisor, hotel chains, Google) should introduce a universal type of bonus scheme for the young. Let’s call them Empathy Miles. Seamlessly accrued through IoT. Leave your country, 500 points. Add a unique review, 1000 points. Go off the beaten track, 5000 points. Meet new people, share bread, understand a new perspective, 10000 points. Receive your points as micro-payments into your Paypal or crypto currency account. Platinum status could actually become good for the many, rather than just for the few.