I'm joining a team that consists of 75+ avid travelers and travel writers all around the world banding together to write a book about the trip that changed our life. The book will be crowd funded with 100% of the proceeds donated to charity. Although meeting the Dalai Lama and going on volunteer trips are on my wish list for the future, each family we have taken so far brings us together and helps me reflect and understand myself better. We strive to make the most of our limited vacation days to be travelers rather than tourists -- visiting and learning about different countries, the people and their culture. I believe in exposing children to the world outside the suburbs is key to having an enriched childhood. I'm going to be writing about our visit to the Picasso Museum in Barcelona which was instrumental in our family trying to learn that there is more to Picasso than jumbled up limbs and eyes in wrong places.
My travel story might not be as captivating and inspiring as some of the other stories you are going to read in this wonderful book but when I learnt about Save the Children and Unbound -- both are great organizations that sponsor kids and their community, I was excited to be a part of it in some small way. Thai, a friend I met online is a founder of travel blog Up Up and a Bear, has been traveling the world extensively for the past five years and has a passion for interviewing adventurers about their journeys. He recruited top writers, editors, and ambassadors to contribute to the book, which contains anecdotes ranging from stories about volunteering during a political coup in Africa to navigating the Sahara desert.
"Travel, for me and so many others, is such a powerfully transformative way to impact positive life change," says Thai. "The Project Alpha team hopes The Trip that Changed My Life inspires readers to take their own journeys of self-discovery by exploring the world's wonders and meeting the people who inhabit them."
We can do no great things, only small things with great love. ~Mother Teresa
All proceeds from the book will benefit Unbound and Save the Children. Unbound is the only child sponsorship program to receive a score of A+ from CharityWatch. 92.5% of Unbound's donations go straight into programs to help those in need and they are the only children charity to earn an A+ ratings from Charity Watch. Unbound's philosophy is to support the children through community-based solutions. This approach looks at the whole picture to ensure that the family unit and the community are built up at the same time. I really resonate with this strategy. It really does take a village to raise a child. I encourage you to read into Unbound's approach and mission. More details are available at the Unbound Sponsor a Child Page.
Save the Children works with children in 120 countries, aiding in initiatives on nutrition, health, education and more. In 2013, Save The Children helped to rescue 21 million children from being exploited, abused, and neglected. This charity was directly involved in propelling Honduras to become the 37th country to ban corporal punishment, which includes abusive actions towards children. Save the Children creates "Child-Friendly spaces" in the midst of crises and emergencies, even in the United States, which helps to reunite kids with their families in the cases of separation. The organizations promotes their programs that raise awareness to combat child trafficking, amongst other forms of child maltreatment. In addition to aid for children and families in extreme cases, Save the Children features community-led activities to educate kids on how to protect themselves and better their lives.
If you are a travel startup, tourism agency, or an established travel company, looking to engage with travelers around the world to solidify and/or expand your brand -- you can sponsor this noble effort. You may also be a philanthropist looking to support a great cause. You can find details here about the different way you can sponsor.
Here is how you can support this great initiative, three versions of the book -- The trip that changed my life will be available: e-book with colorful images and links, a paperback and a colorful coffee table book. You can go here to buy the book through indiegogo! I urge you to sign up and show your support and as a bonus you get to read some awesome travel stories!