The Journey of a Master

And so begins the journey of becoming a true master. Not a Jedi nor a craftsman, simply a Master of Science…of Tourism.

I have enrolled on a course at Leeds Beckett University where I’m studying a part time MSc in Responsible Tourism Management.

What is that, you ask?

Well, imagine you have a small village in the countryside where many people visit. In order for it to be sustainable, you need to consider three main things – the social impact, the environmental impact and the economic impact. These are known at the three bottom lines and were first talked about in 1994 and are better known as the Three Ps – People, Planet, Profit.

It’s more than this, of course, but this gives you an idea of what’s involved and where we can go with it. I’d like to learn more about the people aspect – how to make their lives better. I’d also like to learn about how we can help to protect the environment, both on a local and global scale; I think we can all see the urgency at which certain issues need to be dealt with. I’d also like to learn about how to make money from it all.

Why would I bother?

A valid question which is easy to answer. Why the gubbins not? Other than the aforementioned reasons, the biggest one is that I can. I applied, I worked hard on my application and I got accepted. I have little idea where to take my career at the moment or how to progress up the salary charts. I’ve tried many different things and frankly, I’m no closer to having any idea what to do with my life. This may not help me answer this, and there’s probably a deep psychological reason rather than a pragmatic one as to why I can’t settle on a career path…but this is something to do for three years and an extra couple of letters after my name won’t hinder me.

How much does it cost?

About the same as an early Toyota GT86. Which is very annoying as I would LOVE that car. Seriously, it was the car or the course and I regret my decision most days.

Is it hard?

It’s as hard or as easy as you make it. Do the bare minimum work, don’t push yourself too hard, plan well and it’s easy. For me, it’s hard because I do none of these things. It’s only the first month, so I’m hoping things ease off a little.

When will it be finished?

The course lasts three years. About the same as a loan on a Toyota GT86 which I didn’t buy, a decision I reg…you get it.

What will I study?

This trimester (until Christmas) is Responsible Tourism Theory and Practice. I can choose my topics, and my essay title given to me is “Is it Responsible?” Should I choose employment contracts, travel companies or a National Park Authority? I can choose whatever I like. Problems, problems, problems…

Is it fun?

It’s not a fun as a Toyota GT86, no. But it seems it’ll give me some focus for the next few years, and if I pull it off, I’ll be a little bit happier forever knowing I achieved something pretty special. Plus if I get a decent job at the end of it I can buy a Toyo…

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