Burkina Faso, you say Land of Plenty and everyone calls it poor. I really enjoy it when you paint the real picture of a place.
We have all these world indexes to describe relative country status like Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Gross National Income (GNI), Human Development Index (HDI), Happy Planet Index (HPI), yet they all seem quite inappropriate to me with regards to travel.
Trying to wrap my head around this...
What would be the criteria for a "Happy Travelers Index" (HTI)? As of 9/12/2007 I don't find much online. I keep reflecting on a few posts of yours... ok I found them, you said;
"I am trying to hand off the torch, allow some more Hobo to help to be pure, to be a Traveler, to share, to mark the path. There are people who will not or cannot remember to go home, or maybe those who dream of escaping the 9-5, there is a way, the world is ours for the taking, but we need to stick together, and remember, are dreams are not for sale." - Andy
also the classic;
"One mans paradise, is another mans hell, This way we do not all go to the same place." - Andy
I think you hit on some key elements. Sticking together, marking the path, while all having a differing vision of paradise, seems to me to be a great puzzle to solve for an appropriate HTI.
1. I think a good portion of ultra budget travelers could agree on a common set of criteria for what a travelers paradise is or close to it. Possible?
We could use this info to develop a simple score and include as a major factor in a HTI. I think this would be more than just rooms, food, transport, climate, markets, internet connections etc. But factoring in the locals and their culture, level of self reliance, attitudes, sustainability, personal and ecological health etc etc.
None of the aforementioned indexes rank Burkina Faso (or west Africa) very high for instance, yet it is a land of plenty.
2. Marking the paths between paradises is an essential tool. Here we might include factors for not just ease, costs and distances of routes but also time and energy efficiency perhaps. Others?
3. Travelers sticking together requires distance relationships and a collaborative attitude. These could be physical or virtual (leading to possibly crossing paths). A team of HTI contributors?
I think a real "Happy Travelers Index" could only be done properly with a group of real travelers. I'm pretty sure there is more planet to cover than any one person has time for. The map is closed as they say but a travelers map and associated index would always be in flux. Can it be done with online polls?
Thats enough wrapping for now.
HTI - Happy Traveler Index
To separate the one country tourist from a person who is moving around from country to country is a challenge.
I will think on this idea.