"We relish news of our heroes, forgetting that we are extraordinary to somebody too." – Helen Hayes
Create change in your travels! In the last few years, my idea of "home" has taken many forms. When I became a flight attendant, my world view grew larger, and the more I traveled, the more that home warped into wherever I find myself, living, breathing, enjoying the moment. I became a citizen of the sky, which also meant that routine on the ground was thrown out the window. I began looking for ways to create change in my everyday life, through my travels, and eventually creating something of a routine of my own. Below are six ways to give back in your travels. No matter where you are, no matter how much money you have, YOU are totally capable of creating change in the world. My hope is to encourage you to create change from wherever you're standing.
1. Donate to a local shelter.
Collect your hotel amenities and pens, throw them into your bag, and store them in a box until it's full! Someone needs those! I partnered with Mosaic Family Services in Dallas, but there are many shelters around the nation full of struggling families who would be most grateful for your contribution!
2. Fight Human Trafficking with TraffickCam.
U.S. Department of State estimates that 14,500 to 17,500 persons are brought into the United States each year for labor or sexual exploitation. By uploading photos of your hotel room, you can help in the rescue of these persons. Your photos will be used to determine where perpetrators of sex trafficking are committing their crimes. Download the TraffickCam App!
3. Turn Someone’s Day Around.
Write a kind note to someone, compliment someone, send someone a photo you took of them, or share a song with someone who may enjoy it. This one may be fairly obvious, but I still wanted to include it here. It doesn't cost anything to be kind, and yet it can mean so much to someone else, just to know that you're thinking of them. Hannah Jones has compiled a great list of ideas and spotlights stories of kindness at her website, Kindness is Beauty.
4. Support The Little Man.
Check out how to download Google Maps.Me so that you always know where you are no matter how far you travel! To help the small businesses you visit, write reviews for them! This helps to support the local economy, gets the word out about small businesses, and helps those local entrepreneurs to thrive! My husband Angel is now a Local Guide because of how many reviews he's written- Pretty cool, right?!
5. Create New Friendships.
If peace is understanding, then by simply introducing one culture to another culture, you’re expanding their mind, helping them grow, and in understanding why we do the things we do, we begin to grow empathy in others. This is not a new idea. When John F. Kennedy founded the Peace Corps, the second and third goals were to help promote a better understanding of Americans as well as of other peoples on the part of Americans. In the same way, one friend might introduce his friend to another, introducing a group of people to another may just be the way to promote peace, understanding, and harmony!
6. Write Love On Her Arms
To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery. I was impressed when in response to the tragedy at Orlando’s Pulse Night Club, because of the ongoing need for counseling, TWLOHA was proud to help fund raise thousands of dollars. I love what they're about and I have supported this movement by buying a shirt every year for me and my hubby. Plus, the scoop neck shirts are really soft! This is one of the rare cases in which I enjoy shopping- online and while supporting a great mission! Use this link and you will receive 20% off your order!
I hope that this post inspires you to go forth and make the world a better place, no matter where you are in it. You don't need money, nor a routine on the ground, to create change while you are traveling! I would love to add to this list, so please send me more ideas!