This story is my hope to inspire others to include altruism in their travels. We are much more capable of changing the world than we realise.
It first started on a short journey through Northern India in 2012. I had travelled many times before, stood at the foot of the Eiffel tower; gazed at the beauty of the Colusseum; basked on the white sand beaches of Mykonos, however it was in 2012 that I experienced a journey of a different kind, a journey that opened my eyes to the contrast of the world that we live in. Experiencing life in the developing world was a huge divergence to the world I had known, but for some reason this gave me a remarkable feeling of worldliness and intrigued me in a way I had never been intrigued before. You become grounded when you are surrounded by a community that are not rich in possession, but so rich in joy and gratitude. It’s a remarkable contrast from a world so rich in possession yet deficient in gratitude.
I always felt very privileged to live in the developed world. I often thought about the opportunities I was provided and always felt that I should use those opportunities to give something back to the world that has provided me with so much. I knew I loved to travel, and I knew that I wanted to make a difference to the lives of others, so one day I began to look into ways that I could combine the two and came up with this journey. It took a long while to put my thoughts into actions, with a full time job, study, hobbies and being a girl that is scarcely unoccupied the idea of embarking on such a long journey seemed so far out of reach. However as with any dream, if you believe in it enough, work hard enough, and make some sacrifices, it will eventually come true.
My travels through India
Anyone who is passionate about pursuing a journey knows the sacrifices you can take to make it happen. My Dad looked at me with bewildered eyes when I mentioned at nearly thirty I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Malaysia and wasn’t really sure when I was going to come home. You feel like that one little fish that is swimming in the opposite direction of his fellow school members, but that’s the sacrifice you are willing to make.
So the purpose of this journey, as you may have gathered, is to spend a year abroad, focusing on ways that we can incorporate altruism into our travels. I want to meet people from far away cultures, I want to share their stories of hope and love and everything in between. I want to immerse myself into the unknown and let the universe, and a lonely planet travel book, guide me from one destination to the next sharing stories of goodwill throughout the globe.
I hope in some way this story inspires you, educates you or encourages you to go on your own altruistic journey, or at the very least perhaps pursue a passion of your own.
I’ll end with this Mark Twain quote, because no travel blog is complete without a Mark Twain quote 🙂
“Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain
Where I’ve Been