People travel for all sorts of different reasons. Some people are running away from their current reality and some people are running towards their dreams. Some people are looking for a place to belong. Some people travel for work. Some people travel to "find themselves."
Have you ever watched the people in the airport, bus station or in their cars? It's fun to wonder what people's stories are: Who are they? Where did they come from? Where are they going?
In preparation to travel to Africa and start our 7,000 mile walk, I have read and watched many stories of people who have done long term treks, domestically and abroad. For me, the most interesting piece of all of their stories, is their motivations.
For some, the pure unknown is what drives them. For others, it is the challenge, to do something "out of the ordinary." A few have been looking to prove a point, that "people are good,") or that faith is sustaining faith is sustaining. Others seem to be on a quest, searching for something unidentified.
Since we have a few people involved in our walk, I think we have a bit of all of these motivations. For me, this all started as a mission driven by my faith. But that's not the whole story, for everyone on the team. There's part me, of us, that want to prove that impossible doesn't exist. There is part of us that is quite excited for the adventure of a lifetime. Although I'm not sure we're "looking for something", we know that this experience will be completely transformative within our own lives. And we do want to tell the story of the people we see, especially the story of clean water; and ITS transformative power in the world.
Our main objective is to make a difference for the cause of clean water; to raise funds for charity: water, so that others might have access to the most BASIC resource of life.But I would be lying if I didn't admit all of those motivations were at play in this journey for us. One of the best pieces of advice I got when starting to plan this whole thing was,
"You better be 100% sure that you are committed to this walk, and know WHY. Because on the 16th mile when your legs are aching, when you are emotionally drained, and want to curl up into a ball in sleep, but you still need to walk another 5 miles, you better have a reason to continue to put one foot in front of the other".
So, as people have considered over time whether or not they should walk with our team, that was always my question to them. Are you really sure? Are you really committed to seeing this through? Why are you doing this?
I knew if they couldn't answer that question of why, I didn't want them on the team. I knew if I couldn't answer that question myself, I shouldn't go.
What is the why? It's that our mission is bigger than us. I know that this walk has the potential to be effective beyond our wildest dreams, to inspire others, to make a difference for the cause of clean water. When I doubt the potential of the dream, I still have other motivations to drive me: my faith, the adventure, and the opportunity to help others.
These past few weeks have literally felt as if we are running towards a starting line. It's the mad dash to the beginning of the unknown.
And it's all worth it.