Hi Guys and a happy Friday to you! Hope you are having a blessed one. Please keep me in your prayers. The weekend is here and I know many families may be planning travels to faraway locals or to local gems. Honestly, I find no difference in either type of trip. As an avid traveler, I have seen how traveling has evolved in the last twenty-some years. Back in the day, people used to travel for work purposes only; there was no wonderment or curiosity. Then slowly the philosophy changed to people traveling for enjoyment. Although many people still didn’t partake in it because of how expensive it was, it became slowly became the norm as the internet made faraway locales more accessible. However, today the travel philosophy pendulum has shifted again as people travel to “get away”. Which brings me to the intention behind this post.
Today, I want to discuss my travel mantra since forever-traveling with a purpose. While some of my trips have been about learning about art and culture, or trying exotic foods and lifestyles, some of them have been to learn a new skill as well. We can all learn from one another and have fun doing it. During it all, once must acknowledge to themselves why they are traveling in the first place. As Rick Steves advises in his TV shows and books, we need to become anthropologist and ambassadors whenever we travel to foreign lands. Locals in those countries gain a lot of insights and opinions about Americans when they see us in their home country.
A few years ago (2010, I think) I came across the Ace Camp Travel website (See HERE) while planning a trip. Travelers who travel through them partake in workshops and classes and sightseeing. They believe that learning a new skill associated with a country or culture enriches the whole travel experience. And that is what traveling SHOULD be about-the experience, not to check off an item once you have photographed it. Let me let you in on a little secret; while it is wonderful to capture memories in photographs, it is equally gratifying to live in the moment. If you don’t believe me, watch the movie “Yeh Jiwaani Hai Dewaani” (See HERE) and you will gain the best travel wisdom ever.
Carrying the travel with a purpose mantra in your heart, how about traveling to do philanthropy? Honestly, I haven’t done this yet, although that was my plan for the postponed trip I was taking this month, but it seems like a noble and gratifying way to travel. Now, there are many organizations who organize philanthropy opportunities in foreign lands, however, I honestly haven’t had an any such experience to give advice on it. However, you can research ahead to gain some knowledge. For Pakistanis, how about spending the day playing with cute cats and dogs at the Ayesha Chundrigar Foundation (See HERE) or listening to stories at a Edhi women’s shelter or even teaching a fun lesson to orphans at a small low-income neighborhood school?
Some other ideas for travelers going to other places, there is plenty of relief opportunities in the Middle East. Please, please research the organization and the conditions to calculate the risk and then plan accordingly. Go to an animal sanctuary in Africa to feed the giraffes, organize a fundraiser in Mexico, recycle in Europe, the list is endless.
Honestly, I wish there was a service that connects travelers to temporary volunteer jobs. This article, which I found during my research teaches how to combine philanthropy and traveling (See HERE), which is a start, but honestly, if you do some research ahead, you can organize a day stint at a non-profit organization on your own.
Sorry guys, I wish this post would have given you more information, but the truth is there are not many travel-for-philanthropy organizations I trust enough to recommend here. But, please what you can do on your travels is to participate in little philanthropic endeavors like donating to a church you are visiting, or tipping a street performer, or even feeding the pigeons some bread and water that can make you feel good. I hope I have given you some stuff to think over before your next travels. I hope you have fun wherever you are going. Happy Travels!!!