Build Abroad chats with Jessica Wynne Lockhart
Jessica Wynne Lockhart is the author of Go A Little Further Travel, contributing editor at Verge Magazine, a publication devoted to travel with a purpose, and marketing manager for the Go Global Expo. She has appeared in Chatelaine and the Toronto Star.
Q: What have you learned from your travels?
A: Some of my most memorable trips have been working on a remote medical team in Guyana and volunteering in Vanuatu. Through travel—especially to developing countries—you learn about your place in the world and how to see it through a different lens, with a different perspective.
Q: How can people choose destinations with a purpose?
A: The easiest way on any trip is to stay with locals or find locally-owned accommodations. For every $100 spent at a foreign-owned resort, only $5 stays in the country. By researching ethical and sustainable travel operators, you can keep the dollars in-country and support the local economy.
Q: What does the ideal traveler look like?
A: The ideal traveler recognizes that tourism has the power to effect positive change in the world.
Q: What kind of mindset do you take with you to the places you visit?
A: Be a listener and a learner. It’s all about the stories of the people you meet — listening is a key skill that has driven me through my travels.
Q: How do you see the future of travel being shaped?
A: Right now, the hot topics are solo women travel and improving the diversity of those participating in “travel with purpose” opportunities. We need to make studying, volunteering and working abroad more inclusive. I think—and hope—that access will be improved for underrepresented groups (such as lower income students). I also hope that we’ll see travelers and governments understanding the transformative effect that tourism can have on local economies and environments.
Q: What are the benefits of travel?
A: For young people, working, volunteering or studying abroad can propel your career forward. You stand out to prospective employers when you demonstrate adaptability, flexibility and communication skills. Travel is one of the best ways to obtain the intercultural skills necessary in today’s global marketplace.