What Travel Can Do For Change and Development

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We’ve been taking it semi-slow for the past week and a half, hanging out in Washington, DC. This was the city that we lived in about eight years ago. It’s been interesting to see the change and development that has occurred in the area since we left eight years ago.

A changing landscape

The city has grown. When we first moved to the DC area in 2008, DC had a population of about 568,000 people. The surrounding metropolitan area had a population of roughly 5.6 million people. Now, the city is estimated to have 6.1 million people in the metropolitan area and about 600,000 within the city limits.

The Lincoln Memorial undergoing minor change and development
The Lincoln Memorial (September 2018)

Change and development is evident in DC, as the city tries to tackle the influx of people continuing to move into the area. Neighborhoods that were once run down ten years ago have been upgraded, and the up and coming spots from when we were here before are now coveted (and pricey!) locations.

The role of travelers in change and development

Travelers have a role in all this change and development too. Next to the federal government, tourism is the second largest industry in the city. The mass of people coming in to visit the city, and their willingness to pay more has definitely contributed to rising costs.

A child walks through a portion of Washington, DC's National Harbor that has undergone change and development
The National Harbor (September 2018)

But when I consider all this change and development, in cities like DC and other tourist-filled cities around the world, I feel like there’s still hope. Travel doesn’t have to make a negative impact, it can also be a force for good.

As I continue on this travel journey, I’ve realized travel is important, not just for the traveler but also for the destination. Change and development doesn’t always have to be for the worse. Tourism can stimulate an economy and bring attention to destinations that would have otherwise been cast aside.

The new National Museum of African American History and Culture (September 2018)

A positive view of change and development

In Washington, DC, change and development has included the creation of new monuments and museums like the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Both of these are key parts of America’s history, and important for visitors to know about.

Families can make a positive impact, too, when they travel. They can aim to make their travel more ethical and sustainable. Travelers can choose options that support local businesses rather than chains. We can choose to do activities that promote the culture and history of a place, rather than just purely for entertainment.

Running across the National Mall (September 2018)

This week we are continuing on to other cities on the East Coast. It’s been great to be in DC, but we’re excited to explore a few more places on this side of the country, before we make our way back to the West Cost, and then Mexico.

Thank you for following along!

What Travel Can Do For Change and Development

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Hi, I'm Astrid

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I'm a travel-loving mom of three from Seattle. Join our adventures as we explore the Pacific Northwest and the world!

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