Friday should be my photo post day, but instead, in support of BudgetTravelAdventures and his support of PassportsWithPurpose, you’ve got me, writing about me. Enjoy.
Picture the scene: a group of (super-cool) high-school kids in a bar in Ireland sometime in the late ’80s.
The conversation stills for a moment (only a moment, mind you, because we’re Irish), and someone says: “Summarize each person with one word”.
I still don’t quite get why anyone would think this as a fun game, but the rest of the crew were pointing and shouting like, well, a bunch of Paddies in a bar really.
Someone pointed at me and said “serious”. I couldn’t refute the description but serious is a decidedly non-cool word – especially when you’re 16.
At 42 I’m much more comfortable in my skin. Maybe it’s 42 (heh, maybe that’s what Douglas Adams meant) or maybe it’s just life experiences. At any rate, I’m a pretty intense, fairly serious, sometimes unintentionally funny wife and mom of two who is a travel junkie.
Travel. I’m even serious about my travel. Some people might, y’know, sling on a pack and travel for a year. Me? I plotted a course following the path of the Incas in South America, the Khmer Empire in South-East Asia and the path of Marco Polo from China back to Istanbul. My poor children had to put up with my historical lectures Everywhere!!
Since I’ve been involved in Passports with Purpose, I travel seriously and, more importantly, with a purpose. I’m even more unapologetic about my intrinsic seriousness and particularly the purposefulness of my travel habit. I now know how much an individual with focus, intent, organization and a supportive community can do in the wider world and I can’t look back. Through Passports with Purpose and the extended travel blogger community there’s a school in Cambodia, a village in India and a library and literacy program in Zambia that would not otherwise exist.
Last year I visited 26 countries with my husband and kids. Before visiting every country I inhaled as much as I could about the history, culture and current affairs of that place. I regurgitated information to my kids and tried to integrate what I saw with what I knew. I watched and listened. I traveled with a purpose. I came home reinvigorated in the Passports with Purpose mission to “address basic needs in developing countries”. The scale of the world’s problems with access to food, clean water, sanitation, basic housing, basic medical care and education may seem insurmountable but they’re not. None of these problems will be solved overnight or by one country or organization. All of them require global participation in many projects to raise money or participate more directly. Through Passports with Purpose, I travel, I learn about projects and people, I help corral a community to engage. I have my purpose, what’s yours?