Attention All Travelers: Together We Can Make A Difference!

The other side of traveling that doesn’t get discussed enough is how travelers often come face to face with pain, suffering, hunger, and needs.  Whether its a beggar in the market or looking outside the hotel window.  Countries with some of the most amazing natural beauty are often engulfed with poverty impacting every traveler who passes through.  There are many ways we respond to this pain.  Some become numb, or offended, feel guilty, or feel obligated to give what they can at that moment.  I have found myself at each of these responses at one time of another.

I’ve traveled around the world and found a common theme in conversations in every country I’ve been.  Justice.  It is what we all search for and injustice offends every person on this earth whether rich or poor.  We come to realize that the amount of injustice we see and our abilities to make a difference is like a drop in a bucket.  But, what if we looked at it differently?

blind
This blind boy named Rotha was seen in a rural school in Cambodia.  He is 14 years old and blind since birth.  We discovered that he was an excellent singer and through recording his voice helping to get his story heard.
Feelings: I don’t want to overlook the feelings that come over us as we encounter injustice.  This can change our mood in seconds.  We can be enjoying a perfect sunset on the beach when a woman with a sickly child comes begging at our feet.  The feelings can range for each person but often its often hard to enjoy the present when these interruptions occur.

Response: How we feel often determines how we react.  Often we make quick and immediate response to resolve our guilt but we know well that this leads to long term problems. But, could we better plan our trip so that we could make a difference?  Its these kinds of actions that can change the world.  I know, some of you may be thinking, but how could my small token or time make a dent in such a huge problem in the world.  Get this:

sunset-chaser

What happens when even a small fraction of 3.6 billion people agree to make a few changes to their travel plans in order to assist those in need in the places they will go?  What it means is that travelers, vacationers, travel bloggers, and even business trips collectively can make an enormous dent in poverty and needs in the world today.

So what are some ways we can change our plans to make this difference today?

  1. Choose hotels that have a reputation of giving back to community.  These are rare but worth checking out.  In our town there are places to stay that help the elephants.  Those who stay at these guesthouses can elephant trek alongside the elephants in their natural habitat and the money goes to help breed the elephants. www.naturelodgecambodia.com
  2. Plan a volunteer day into your trip.  There are many volunteer opportunities in each country you visit.  Get online and see what is available near you.
  3. Buy from places that give jobs to those in need.  Research the stores that sell items which support women freed from sex trafficking or hill tribe people seeking work outside of the opium fields.
  4. Have money to give? Visit organizations in country that help meet needs and choose one to give to.  These visits can bring an interesting perspective to your trip.  On warning: be careful in visiting orphanages as some crooked owners have been know to keep kids skinny and unclothed in order to increase donations.  This also requires a bit of research.
  5. Other ideas? Please share in comments so collectively we can make a difference.

orphanage-baby-swinging
Orphanage in Siem Reap Cambodia with more children than workers to care for them. Volunteers come through and hold, cuddle, and feed these babies.
So back to the question “why do people around the world crave justice?” No matter where we live, we are all created.  Created to love, have compassion, help others, and like our Creator, we have a heart for justice.  To see those needs met.  Can you think of a better way to spend your time on a vacation?  Not only do you get to enjoy the sites but you also get the warm fuzzy’s of knowing that you did your part to give back to those who helped you.  Want a secret to happiness? Check out this article to read more about what giving back can do for you! http://philosiblog.com/2014/01/17/those-who-are-happiest-are-those-who-do-the-most-for-others/

What will you do?  Please do share this blog so others can join in the community of change.  Do prepare before your next big trip to give back in a way thats meaningful and long term.  Do let me know ways you know of giving back to communities in need!

 

Advertisements

27 Comments on “Attention All Travelers: Together We Can Make A Difference!

  1. This is really amazing! It’s so true, every place in this world, no matter how beautiful it is, there is a sign of poverty everywhere.
    These people didn’t voluntarily choose to be poor and they do deserve some care and attention.
    This idea of managing a trip is just exceptional. I mean, you’ve just said such a big thing in such a simple way. This help isn’t costing the tourists anything but it is earning them happiness and blessings that will last a lifetime.
    I don’t have any ideas but on reading your thoughts I just couldn’t hold myself back from acknowledging you. Immense respect!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Wow. This is like the best comment I’ve ever received!! I am so happy you stopped by and please do check out my other blogs. I love your positivity but any criticism will be received too! Don’t be a stranger. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. First, thanks for stopping-by, and following my blog.

    It truly is unfortunate that, when people visit a country, they generally do not get beyond the Capital. Its often like night and day, between the two. And, oftentimes, the government has no idea what the rural people want or need, nor any interest in providing it.

    I look forward to reading more.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Cheekos! What amazes me is hearing this so often from people like you. It shows compassion that you notice the difference between the rural and urban people. Please continue to use your gift of compassion to love others! Thank you stopping by. I enjoyed your blog too.

      Like

  3. This is touching. Thank you so much for sharing such soul squeezing pictures. Children have a special place in my heart because they don’t choose the environment they are born into. We can do the best to help. Great points. I look forward to reading more.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. A very beautiful and important post. I don’t do much international traveling due to work and family and lack of funds, but I so admire those of you that do and I’m so grateful to be made aware of such things. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

      • We don’t vacation much, unfortunately, due to our work schedules and lack of funds. I am blessed that my mom has a cottage in Newport, Rhode Island, so we spend a lot of time there in summer. Also, we have family in Florida, so we usually go there at least once per year. I will be going to Prague in May for work and hope to get over to Germany, where I was born, while I’m there. in 2014, I spent three weeks in London and a weekend in Rome for work. Have been to Ireland, Bahamas, but that’s about it. My husband has our son into quarter midget car racing and it’s quite an expensive sport/hobby, so a lot of our cash goes to that. It’s mainly local, though.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Kim, your life is exciting! I would ❤️ to see that part of America. The beautiful snow, pine 🌲! And, Florida is a wonderful beach 🌊 break. Please do write and take photos around your home. It is unique to us in the tropics!!😉🤗

        Liked by 1 person

      • I guess I’d never thought of it that way. But yes, New England is a beautiful area of the country and Florida beaches are lovely. I’ll try!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. What a wonderful post and it really opens up the world to us. You’re right, there’s a lot that can be done, if we all do a little bit to help surely it will make a difference. My 16yio son and i had a discussion just the other day about injustices, poverty and the imbalance in our world. It’s so important we’re not blind to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, thank you Miriam. A teacher reminded me recently that “life is not fair but our hearts desire is that it should be!” I believe we feel that way for a good reason. It sounds like your son has a heart of compassion. I have loved your posts lately. You recently posted about a walk you took when feeling sad. I appreciate your honesty and listen to your wisdom. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you as well, that’s a lovely thing to say and so thoughtful. That teacher you mentioned is very wise. It’s good to be surrounded by honesty and compassion. Hope you’re keeping well.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Anna, if you have any more, please share. I know there are many others out there who know more than me! Thank you for coming by my blog today.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: