Category Archives: Volunteering

Life is Today. Being Thankful to Wander

Look to this day,
For it is LIFE,
The very Life  of Life.
In it’s brief course lie all
The realities and verities of existence,
The bliss of growth,
The splendor of action,
The glory of power –

For yesterday is but a dream,
And tomorrow is only a vision.
But today, well lived,
Makes every yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope
Look well, therefore, to this day.

Wild Atlantic Way
Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in America. It is a tradition to take the day and be thankful. Thankful for “what you have.” A home. A job. A family. Life. Health.  Happiness.

I cannot help but be selfish during this time and be entirely thankful for the person that I am. I am thankful that I love this world around me, however imperfect that it may be. It is beautiful and strange and I appreciate all of it’s differences. I am thankful that I have strong beliefs in peace. I am thankful for all I have seen (even if it has put me in debt). I am thankful that I take risks in order to be happy. Not all my yesterday’s are great dreams, but the good ones always outnumber the nightmares. I am thankful for a hopeful future.

Notre Dame
Notre Dame Gargoyle

No matter where my wanderlust seems to take me, I feel that I am growing still from it, and do not regret the person that it makes me.

I am thankful for people who have been in my life whether it has been forever or only for a day, and I encourage everyone to find their happiness. Mine is the first step into a new country. A sunset over a new sky.

Ponte Vecchio
Ponte Vecchio

Lovely Blog Award!

My goodness! There is nothing more satisfying than seeing someone make a comment on my blog in hopes of conversing, but more than THAT to find out that my blog is appreciated by someone enough to include me in a nomination! I am so grateful! It is incredible to find out when other bloggers/readers read my work, and then also to enjoy it. I recently found while scrolling through my wanderlust pages. Thank you Thank you Thank you

The Rules

  1. You must thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  2. You must list the rules and display the award.
  3. You must add 7 facts about yourself.
  4. You must nominate 15 other bloggers and comment on one of their posts to let them know they have been nominated
  5. You must display the award logo.

One Lovely Blog Award

7 Facts

  1. The secret to my love is with Cadbury chocolate.
  2. I have been an actor since I was ten and recently have taken a two year break from theatre.
  3. I am a huge history buff, especially World War II…can’t get enough of historical sights while traveling.
  4. I have no idea what I want to do as a career. I know I want to help others. I want to travel. And I want to write. Perhaps my blog will become famous someday 😉
  5. I started to write a book about my travels, but can’t seem to finish.
  6. I believe in this company called The Ethical Volunteer and think they could really make a difference to the Volunteering world as we know it to be.
  7. I love to live a secret life as a travel photographer for my own pleasure.

I nominate:


Such a fantastic way to pay it forward! Happy Travels!


How To: Third World Travel

Third World travel from the Western World can be a tricky and sensitive thing. You want the truth?

You WILL be asked for money from someone who is so sweet and

Me assisting my mother while she works with the African clients in Malawi
Me assisting my mother while she works with the African clients in Malawi

lovely that your heart just might literally break. If you give that person money, there is a possibility of about 98% that they will tell their neighbor and their neighbor will come to you asking for the same. And it will continue until you must say no, and now you have introduced jealousy and greed and hate into the community. You WILL be asked for your phone number and/or email address, and however lovely it may seem to keep in touch with such wonderful people….you will then be asked to help financially. You being there is special, so much so that how could the people in this third world community not take the opportunity to see if you would give them a leg up? You WILL fall in love with the children whose entire being signifies “innocence.”

Truth: A wonderful present to give back to the people of the 3rd world is a smile and conversation.

Polaroid gift in Malawi Third World
Having a choppy conversation with a woman in Malawi

Truth: Taking a Polaroid camera for pictures to give back, is unlike anything I could compare. Most people have never had their picture taken and if they have they have not kept it. The look on this woman’s face viewing herself laughing frozen in a moment in time  is irreplaceable in my memory.

Truth: There IS danger in the 3rd world. Government regulations, informal sectors, driving….anywhere, wild animals, poisonous insects, and of course parasites living in produce waiting to feast in my stomach.

Third World travel is not impossible. It is not something to avoid, but is something that deserves respect and awareness. These people should be met. They are inspirational. These communities are beautiful and insightful on how we all should live. However they do

Volunteering in Malawi
Teaching high fives

NOT deserve to be treated like “human zoo’s.” This is a term I actually read in a blog about a travel writer who signed up for a tour into the slums of Manila (the Philippines). A tour of the mountain of garbage and people living off of this mountain. An actual tour. She stated that it was eye opening and unlike any experience she has ever had.

Let me just say it one more time: A tour group specifically designed to take people of the Western World to view those in poverty.

I have been fortunate to go to this same place. Her pictures hit me

Smokey Mountain
Smokey Mountain

hard thinking about my experience with the children and parents living off of that garbage and smelling that smell everyday. However, I went with a non-profit organization that was compiling success stories of people working themselves through poverty and out. We were there to congratulate a group of those people for working hard and to acknowledge their efforts. I am appalled that such a tour group exists benefiting off of others misfortune, and even more so that people are signing up for it. They are not an exhibit to view, to open YOUR eyes.

Please if you go to these incredible areas and meet these inspiring people (and you should), please treat them as PEOPLE.  Enjoy your time there. Learn to say “thank you” in their tongue. But please stop staring. Please do not support these tour groups.

Third World Travel
Alone in the village in Ghana

They are too good to be treated so poor.