If there is a corner of this fascinating world we are lucky to populate that really hit me and changed my way of looking at life, that needs to be Indonesia. Concretely, Mount Bromo, where among the numerous teachings, I got to know first hand both tourism sides and its controversies. This unlikely place has undoubtedly made me reconsider traveling as a way of life from scratch.
Bromo is, without hesitation, a stunning sight for all landscape addicts, with a hospitable local community that offers many adventures and experiences to suit all tastes to everyone that approaches the volcano.
It also is one of tourists hot spots in the country, where an overwhelming amount of visitors head there every morning to see the sunrise just to find out there’s literally no room for everyone when they get to the top.
Right after arriving, you can notice the high health risks for the visitors – sulphur filled air that condenses and falls right in your face if you make it up the Bromo volcano to catch a glimpse of the crater from the best spot – and locals that work endless hours daily breathing it in unbearable working conditions. Enslaved, as we might as well speak clearly.
But that's not all. There's also animal abuse as dozens of exhausted horses carry tourists commuting back and forth from the parking lot to the crater itself all day long, without being fed properly and in the same polluted conditions than everyone else.
Plus other endless dangers that no one tells you about as you make your way to the top as how easy is to slip if you venture yourself away from the designated paths -and therefore fall in the crater hole disappearing forever- or how the 4 wheelers can run you over in the early hours in what is a disorganized chaos with all kind of vehicles trying to get to the top in outright darkness through dirt roads.
Bromo is the perfect example of a sigh that needs to be taken care of to develop a sustainable way to showcase it to the masses. Perhaps a reminder that sometimes we should forget about fragile destinations altogether and just leave them be. Without ruining it all as we are doing to satisfy a small percentage of this earth's privileged populace.
There was never a better time than NOW to change the pace we are consuming our world and its inhabitants. It is time to take action, forget the obsolete travel models we follow unwittingly and make this world justice. Slowly, carefully, as if we could really glimpse how precious it is once and for all.