Why is it that the negative stereotypes through the media of other cultures and places cause such fear and a growing sense of absolute ignorance? The varying reactions I receive when I tell people what I'm doing continues to astonish me. Just last week I was at the dentist and the young woman that was providing me with a thorough, and I do mean thorough cleaning, began asking typical questions I'm sure are part of the daily conversation of topics among herself and her patients. It wasn't until I mentioned that I was leaving on a rtw that almost instantly her interest was peaked. It reminds me of the same excitement I see in my nieces faces when I tell them I have gifts or buy them ice cream. The child-like excitement often dissipates with age, and I hope to regain this on a daily basis.
Last Wednesday morning I had the wonderful privilege to meet Jeff Power, of Global Hope Network International and founder of Pangeo Coffee (please visit their website on the banner from the donation page on the website). In April 2010, Jeff was named the second most influential individual humanitarian on Twitter by Reuters News Agency's "AlterNet," and I have to continue to applaud him for all of the wonderful life-changing works he is involved in. I told him that I would love to assist in the efforts of his organizations in Africa and throughout the other areas of the world by making a difference and contributing some of my time and energy because I know that even for myself it will be life-changing. While I know that I am very privileged with being able to venture out and see the world, as scary as that may sound to some of you, I also hope to give back to those less fortunate than myself by volunteering. This is not what you would imagine being a "typical" vacation by any means, but a journey as I trek around the globe by truly experiencing unique areas, and all too often those experiences bring a very real–very human face to them and I hope to give back to the local people and community which takes me in.
As I've mentioned before with anyone that plans a rtw, my travel itinerary might have just taken a very large turn. There's a chance that I may travel to Haiti and the Dominican Republic first for a few months and then head to Africa, most likely for at least a year! Of course this would transpire after pursuing more Spanish lessons and purchasing more materials on Central America. I hope to keep you all posted. Once again for a more accurate up-to-date information of where I am and where I am going visit my travel route or follow me on twitter.