I know a lot of us have chosen family - especially through marriage and adoption (and my Grandparents selflessly did that too). My family has had the unique...
I want you to close your eyes for a second, for me, and think of the first time you traveled to a far away place. Whether by yourself or with another, but somewhere where you felt uncomfortable, but excited. Enlivened, enriched, scared, but above all alive. I also want you to think of the person you became when you returned from your journey, and what that set in motion for you for the rest of your life. I know you're thinking about it, even as your reading these sentences and you can feel that welling in your chest...
To My Fellow Travelers:
I’ve spent a considerable amount of time this week (like every week) lusting after jungle hikes and turquoise water, and I’m sure in some ways all of you are doing the same. I’ve have phone, email, chat, and in-person conversations with friends old and new this week to share stories and a common bond that has threaded us all in this weaving of life – one that has defined, shaped, and forever changed us simply through one magnificent thing: travel.
Travel has changed my life in the past decade in significant ways. It has opened my mind to the possibility of not only my immediate influences and community, but to the possibilities of the world and the expansion of the human soul. It has taught me my greatest lessons, allowed me to relish and experience beauty and two things that has forever changed my life that I’m sure you can agree with:
My only regret with travel that I think some of you share with me, is that I wished I started traveling sooner. Growing up in a very small town, I did not know the possibilities of travel or even thought about what was out there. In my self-absorbed world, I thought more about the things that were directly in front of me that affected my life, but also that prevented me from thinking about others around the world, not to mention who I could become by simply engaging and meeting them – by sharing stories. The beauty I could see, the people I could meet and learn from that would not only hold my hand, but that I would eventually allow to hold my soul.
Travel opens up so many possibilities in our lives, not to mention it creates a whole realm of perspective and forces you to become a different and enlightened human being, one that I believe is better for all of mankind both directly in front of us and indirectly everywhere in the world whether we’ve met them or not.
I want you to close your eyes for a second, for me, and think of the first time you traveled to a far away place. Whether by yourself or with another, but somewhere where you felt uncomfortable, but excited. Enlivened, enriched, scared, but above all alive. I also want you to think of the person you became when you returned from your journey, and what that set in motion for you for the rest of your life. I know you’re thinking about it, even as your reading these sentences and you can feel that welling in your chest…
I’m sending you this email not only because I know as travelers we all share this same universal energy that uplifts, transforms, and above all just moves us. I’m sending this email not only to ignite you, but to ask for your help in igniting another. I want to introduce to you a new traveler, Shanna, who is about to embark on her very first real adventure of travel to help the children in Uganda.
Shanna is set to graduate from high school, yes, HIGH SCHOOL, and will spend the summer between high school and college working with Children of the Nations in Uganda. Shanna has not traveled to a destination like this before, and I know as you’re reading this you’re thinking to yourself, wow – what an experience and my gosh this is going to change her. Shanna is already an incredible gal. She’s smart, faithful, amazing, and already embodies the love and good heart of a traveler. I can’t wait to see how this experience is going to open that up and allow her to share it with the world, as well as allow the world’s love to change her.
I’m writing this email to ask you to support Shanna in 5 ways. Please bear with me:
1. Welcome. Please welcome Shanna to this new life, this new ‘club’ if you call it – that is about to change her for good. She didn’t choose to go to Mexico after graduation, or spend it at a summer home on the beach. She’s going to Uganda, friends, to share joy and love with one of the most orphaned countries in the world and cradle and learn from children of God. A very special trip indeed. If you are like me, fellow travelers, her anticipation and what she’s about to embark on makes you anxious, excited, and in such aniticipation for her to learn these experiences. SO excited!
2. Give. As we all know travel is expensive, and when you’re only 17 years old – far more expensive than you can fathom at the moment. Shanna is paying for this service project herself, not to mention doing it before she enters one of the most expensive times in her life – the start of college. She is fundraising right now for her program, and I ask that you donate toward her trip not only to go, but to help with the transformation of her life. It does not need to be $1,000 – even just a small gift of $10 – $100 is a HUGE token to show your support of what Shanna is doing. I know you all know how unselfish and worthwhile any dollars to this endeavor is. Go here to donate: https://cotni.org/venture/trips/227247/participant/228693 and the donation box is on the left. Shanna is $2,400 away from her goal! Donations are also tax-deductible.
3. Share. Share a story. As you can imagine, Shanna (as well as her family) must be nervous about this upcoming journey and the unexpected can be nerve-wrecking. I invite you to share a travel story with Shanna, long or short – about how traveling has changed your life. If you could, PLEASE CC me on the story because even if I have heard it before, I would love to hear it again as well. It sets my heart ablaze to hear travel stories and continues to fuel me in my life, so share with Shanna (email@example.com). Share with me (firstname.lastname@example.org). Share with others!
4. Support. If you do not have time to share a story, please feel free to send a quick note of support, of prayer, to let her know the traveling community is thinking of her and what she’s doing is AWESOME! Again, her email is: email@example.com
5. Love. Last but not least, send along your good travel karma (we all need it) as you know what good energy out in the world for others really does when you travel. The good energy tends to find you in the darkest of places, when you question yourself, humanity, what you’re doing, who you’re becoming. The good energy from other travelers is SO important – so please share!
Thank you for taking the time to read this long-winded email, but a passionate one about the thing that bonds us all; the thing that has brought us all together; the thing that will continue to fuel, shape, and create us for the rest of our life – travel. Thank you
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