31 January 2010

non-profit status

If The Global Citizen Project is fully funded by its February 22, 2010 deadline, I will file with the IRS for non-profit 501(c)(3) status. According to IRS Publication 78, charitible donations are retroactively tax deductable for a period of one year prior to the approval date.

more thanks are in order

Wow. It's been a busy weekend in fundraisingland and I have a lot of people to thank for getting The Global Citizen Project to the 37% pledged point. I have 21 days and a ways to go to reach my $20,000 goal, so please keep the kindess coming and pass along the word. Big thanks to all 104 people who have believed in my project. I couldn't do this without you love, pledges and support. XO

Angela and Ethan Stowell, amazing Seattle restauranteurs behind Union, How to Cook a Wolf, Anchovies & Olives and Tavolàta fame, I'm admire the Stowell's committment to creating an honest culinary experience and for representing the PacNW's kickass culinary scene.

Andrea Arria-Devoe, dear friend and former DailyCandy.com San Francisco editor, and quite possibly the cutest new(ish) mommy.

Michele Mandell, another super fun foodie friend, Bay Area gal-about-town and Palo Alto/San Francisco restaurant and chef publicist.

Christine Ford, wife and better half of Executive Chef Dory Ford of Ventana Inn & Spa in Big Sur, CA.

Deborah Lander

Kent E. St. John, Senior Travel Editor at GoNOMAD

Chris "Topher" Mueller, Technology Coordinator at Stevenson School in Pebble Beach, CA and fellow wanderluster/humanitarian.

media mention: go nomad

Thanks are in order for Kent E. St. John, Senior Travel Editor of GoNOMAD for his kind words and write-up of The Global Citizen Project today. What an unexpected surprise! Thank you for helping to bring attention to my volunteer project. I have 22 days left to make it happen and every bit of attention helps!

wine for haiti - thank you

An abundance of thanks are in order for everyone who attended, donated or supported Wine for Haiti in any capacity. Today's event raised more than $3,000, which will benefit Doctors Without Borders, YELE and The Global Citizen Project. A lengthy list of thanks is forthcoming, but I wanted to send out a "y'all rock" APB to all the event players, and especially Garren Katz for pulling Wine for Haiti together in seven days. Once again, I'm completely blown away by the generous spirit of others. Thank you for stepping up to the plate to support such a worthwhile endeavor. XO

30 January 2010

i heart michael jones of cachagua general store. thank you.

"Funding Charyn is like an NPR pledge drive: you listen to Car Talk every week, yet still resist $1 a week to fund all of NPR for a year. I see The Global Citizen Project as a test of Facebook: - can we as a community support own of our own? What are friends for? I ask you for the price of a beer for Charyn, so that a talented writer can go off to worlds unknown and awful, work her butt off...and tell us about it. Please." --Michael Jones, Chef/Owner Cachagua General Store, Carmel Valley, CA

29 January 2010

wow. thank you. the global citizen project is at $7,040. 23 days to go.

This Friday afternoon/early evening has been rocking with donations for The Global Citizen Project. Sending out big cyber love, high fives and hugs to the latest backers who helped push me over the $7k mark!

Thank you:

Amanda Kennedy, longtime friend from Hillside Elementary School whom I haven't seen in way too many years.

Colin Baugh & Erica George, newly engaged friends, Julian Serrano ain't got a thing on Erica's paella, Colin is Mr. Cocktail Extraordinaire and one of Seattle's top public relations pros. The Baugh/George duo is one of my fave couples to pow wow with -- especially on school nights.

Wendy Harvey, the public relations force behind The Fairmont Kea Lani, dear friend, and mama to the best-behaved, most well-mannered pre-teen daughter I've ever met. I often wish there wasn't an ocean between us, because everytime I see or hear from Wendy, I appreciate our growing friendship more and more.

I have 23 days left to fund The Global Citizen Project or else the project will not happen and I won't receive a cent. I need to raise between $500-600 per day for the next 23 days, so please help spread the word. If you feel so inclined, I've included some sample text you can cut and paste to your blogs and social media outlets. Feel free to tweak as you wish -- I'm just trying to make life as easy as possible for those who want to help.

Sample Facebook/Blog text
Help professional travel journalist, Charyn Pfeuffer swap her BlackBerry for a backpack and volunteer with 12 community projects in 12 countries over 12 months for The Global Citizen Project. She has 23 days left to raise $20,000 and if TGCP is not fully funded, the project will not happen and she will not receive a cent. So far, nearly 100 people have believed in TGCP and have pledged close to $7k. Donations start at $1 and there are several tokens of gratitude being offered for different levels of pledges. She hasn’t gotten this far without tremendous amounts of collaborative kindness and support and thanks you in advance for any donations to TGCP. http://globalcitizenproject.blogspot.com

Sample Tweet
Journo @global_gourmet is giving up a year to volunteer for 12 causes/12 communities/12 months. http://tinyurl.com/yamtr4y #kickstarter

media mention: be a travelbee

Aww...The Global Citizen Project is one of Be A TravelBee's "Three Travel Bites of the Week."  Yay! What's even cooler is that I get to share wonderful cyber edit company with The Vacation Gals, who are one of the five finalists for the 2010 Weblog Awards. (Hint, hint: you can vote until January 31, 2010!) Thank you so much for including me in this week's round-up, have a great weekend and good luck to The Vacation Gals! XO

wine for haiti - silent auction items

Here's a quick refresher on this Saturday's Wine for Haiti event in Seattle. Complete details can be found here or you can follow the festivities on Twitter at #NWforHaiti.

• Swing by the Vineyard Table on Saturday afternoon between 1-4 p.m. Please note: Vineyard Table can only accommodate 50 people at a time and this is a KID-FRIENDLY event.
• Make a $25 suggested donation, then plan on trying some exciting wines. We will be opening many fun bottles to try at the event and will also have some tasty snacks to nosh on - all while raising funds for three fantastic organizations focused on Haiti.
 • The first 50 people through the door will take home a bottle of wine from event organizer, Garren Katz' cellar with a value of at least $25. That is right, you will be taking a bottle of wine home with you. It’s a great deal.
• If you get that feeling – that extra credit generous feeling – bid on one of more than two dozen silent auction items listed below.

  • 90-minute massage or craniosacral session with Kathy Jakielski, LMP ($95 value)
  • Three 40-minute dog walks with Dawgs N Me owner, Alan Walk ($75 value)
  • Four wine tasting event tickets at Portalis wine shop + wine bar ($75 value)
  • Chef and Father DVD series w/bonus CD by creator, Greg Johnson ($60 value)
  • Original wall art from Mount Salvation creator, Conor Mitchell ($75 value)
  • Four one-hour Italian lessons via Skype, web chat or phone with instructor Karen Carver-Chambers ($200 value)
  • In-home cooking class for two families from Chef and Father creator, Greg Johnson, plus DVD ($300 value)
  • In-home three-course dinner for six prepared by chef Tom Black with paired wines from Trey Bush’s Sleight of Hand Winery in Walla Walla ($900 value)
  • One-hour massage from therapist, Laura Sanderson ($80 value)
  • Overnight stay at vineyard house at the Inn at Red Hills ($300 value)
  • Two hour family/couple portrait session with Seattle photographer Kenna Klosterman ($200 value)
  • Haircut at Coupe Rokei salon in Seattle with stylist Sara Preece ($75 value)
  • 1 lb. of coffee beans from Lighthouse Roasters in Fremont ($15 value)
  • Six pack of awesome Chutneys, Relishes and Plum butter homemade by Garren Katz (YUMMY value)
  • Six hour architectural design consultation with ROHLEDER BORGES ARCHITECTURE architect Daniel Gero ($500 value)

  • Alexanderia Nicole -  three bottle lot ~signed~ ($110 value)
  • De Lancellotti - two bottle lot ~signed~ Pinot Noir ($120 value)
  • Patricia Green - 3 liter bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir ~signed~ ($185 value)
  • Patricia Green - four year vertical of Eason Vineyards Oregon Pinot Noir ($100 value)
  • Thirsty Pagans -  “Communion” Horse Heaven Hills four bottle lot ~signed~ ($100 value)
  • Waters Winery - (magnum) ($100 value)
  • Waters Winery -   three bottle lot ($100 value)
  • Queen Anne Winery - (2) two bottle lots ~signed~ ($70 value)
  • Buty Winery - two bottle lot “buty & the BEAST” donated by Keith and Julie Salas ($90 value)
  • WineGirl Wines - two bottle lot “kamari black label” ($65 value)
  • WineGirl Wines - two bottle lot “Rat City Rollergirl” series ~signed~ ($50 value)
  • Falling Rain Cellers (TBD)
  • Elsom Cellars (TBD)
Big thanks to everyone who has donated and/or pledged support for this fantastic fundraiser. We raise a toast to you!

media mention: winegirlblogs

Thanks to WineGirlBlogs for featuring Saturday's Wine for Haiti event in Seattle on the blog today.

As you may know, Garren Katz has work tirelessly this week to pull together this ad hoc, wine-centric fundraiser for three worthy organizations that will help Haitian relief efforts:
Stay tuned this afternoon for a complete list of silent auction items.

28 January 2010

travel writer tip - 101 holidays - the harmony hotel

I admit it. I hotel-hopped like only Lindsay Lohan knows how in 2009 (in the name of work, natch). Although there were lots of memorable one-night stays, my slumber at The Harmony Hotel was made of top five memories and material.

Top UK travel writers and 101 Holidays editors, Mark Hodson and David Wickers, featured my travel writer tip for The Harmony Hotel today on their site. You can read about why The Harmony Hotel rocks here. You can also read my HotelChatter.com write-up, "Seek Out Cute Surfer People at The Harmony Hotel," here.

27 January 2010

the global citizen project has raised $6,665 towards its 20k goal.

Lots of love and thanks need to go out today...

The Global Citizen Project now has 94 awesome backers who have pledged $6,665 towards its $20k goal with 26 days to go. Thank you so much for pushing me that much closer to making my 12 country volunteer project a reality. You all are the best! XO

Andrea Burnett, longtime friend stemming from a saucy Marie Claire feature, owner of  Andrea Burnett Public Relations, constant source of super fun work (Hello, Siegfried & Roy?!)

Kim Farin, incredibly cool woman, mama to Nelson the wonderpup, and A+ advocate for the Boulder Conventions and Visitors Bureau. As if I needed another reason to love Colorado.

Craig Nyman, longtime work associate that I finally got to meet face-to-face last week in Las Vegas, works for Kirvin Doak Communications, killer hospitality client list

Jessica Rodriguez, the woman has her own beer stein at The Golden Bee at The Broadmoor, plus she's  heading up the new New York office of Wagstaff Worldwide, Inc. One of my fave people to paint the town red with -- whenever/wherever.

Sarah Braley, new friend made last week in Beaver Creek, still celebrating her fab 50th birthday (bring on a new bed and London!), Senior Editor at Meetings & Conventions

Diamond Public Relations -- I don't like to play favorites, but I've been working with Diamond PR for years and consider Jody and her team to be top dog pros. I pretty much find any edit excuse to  work with Jody and her clients. Big XO to Jody, Kara, Robert, Lara, Sarah, Allison and especially, Sandy

wine for haiti - this saturday

Hello and a head's up for my Seattleite friends: I am working with my wonderful new(ish) friend, Garren Katz, to raise funds via Wine for Haiti this Saturday for Haitian relief efforts. I have posted this on his behalf, but please know that I am fully involved, supportive and honored to be one of the recipients of funds raised for this worthy cause. Thank you, Garren for taking the initiative to organize this ambitious event -- especially on such short notice. I know it will be a smashing success!

Here's what Garren has to say about Wine for Haiti:

The earthquake in Haiti has been a tragedy of unimaginable proportions. The poorest nation in the western hemisphere has been turned to rubble and with more than 200,000 deaths – it’s hard to actually comprehend. When I realized that Tacoma has a population of 197,000, my chest clenched and I realized that I must do something. That was the genesis for the Wine for Haiti fundraiser.

Alone, I am unable to contribute as much as I’d like, so I decided to call upon the collaborative powers-that-be and put together a fundraiser with one simple goal in mind – to raise a boat load of money for people that are desperately in need of help. I don’t have a lot of extra money, but what I do have is a large stash of wine that’s built up over the years, and thus, Wine for Haiti was born.

The concept of Wine for Haiti event is simple:

•  Swing by the Vineyard Table on Saturday afternoon between 1-4 p.m. Please note: Vineyard Table can only accommodate 50 people at a time and I want as much foot traffic as possible.
•  Make a $25 suggested donation, then plan on trying some exciting wines. We will be opening many fun bottles to try at the event and will also have some tasty snacks to nosh on - all while raising funds for three fantastic organizations focused on Haiti.
•  The first 50 people through the door will take home a bottle of wine from my cellar with a value of at least $20. That is right, you will be taking a bottle of wine home with you. It’s a great deal.
•  If you get that feeling – that extra credit generous feeling – bid on one of more than 20 silent auction items (partial list below).

Silent auction items:

•  Large format bottles, as well as multi-bottle lots from some of the best wineries in Washington and Oregon.
•  Original art from local artists
• In home dinner for 6 prepared by amazing local chef Tom Black; paired with wines from Walla Walla   Winery Slight of Hand.
• A salon visit at Coupe Rokei in downtown Seattle.
•  In home cooking class for 2 families from Chef and Father creator, Greg Johnson
• Gift Certificates to local restaurants
•  An overnight stay at the Inn at Red Hills
•  A one hour massage from therapist Laura Sanderson
•  The remainder of the items will be added between now and Saturday

It’s my goal to raise $1,000 per hour, so please pass along Wine for Haiti details via word-of-mouth and your social media networks (Facebook & Twitter etc.). The more traffic this event receives, the more that we, as a collaborative effort, can help Haiti. 100% of these proceeds from this event will benefit Haitian relief efforts. Remember, this is a private event, so again, please pass this invite along to friends and family only. But, pass it on to a lot of them!

You may make your donation at the event (cash or check).

If you can’t make the festivities, but would still like to contribute, or perhaps you want to contribute with a debit or credit card, simply click on this link to complete your transaction in advance. If you are coming to the event and donated in advance, please print your ticket right from the BPT site. Our preference is for you to use this process, as it will make it easier for us to plan for the event.

You may also follow along on Twitter at #NWforhaiti -- we’ll be Tweeting all the feel-good fundraising details throughout the day.

Hope you can stop by for a fun-filled afternoon of helping Haiti. THIS IS A KID-FRIENDLY EVENT.

Wine for Haiti beneficiaries:
Charyn has traveled around the globe in the capacity of a professional journalist and have been profoundly impacted by the communities most underserved. It is her plan to swap her BlackBerry for a backpack and promote 12 selected causes and communities, as well as responsible travel via her platform as an influential journalist. Due to the tragedy in Haiti, Charyn made Haiti a top priority of the volunteer projects she’ll serve over the next year and has committed one month to Haitian relief efforts.

Find out more about Charyn’s project via Kickstarter here or her blog here

26 January 2010

overdue thanks

My apologies for the delay in giving a big, huge, heartfelt thanks to these 11 folks who've pledged The Global Citizen Project over the past week or so. I was in Las Vegas, NV and Beaver Creek, CO for work and got sucked into the Sin City vortex of neon lights, celebrity chef run restaurants, and oh yes, Viva Elvis -- Cirque du Soleil style. Next, I made my way to the Rocky Mountains, where my stay was timed perfectly with round-the-clock snowfall (and some really fun snowshoeing and skiing).

I'm back in home sweet home Seattle and rested and ready for the final 26-day stretch of fundraising for The Global Citizen Project. Right now, 88 backers have pledged $6,110 towards the $20k goal. Time is of the essence as I near the final stretch for fundraising, and I would be greatly appreciative if you’d consider making a pledge. Every little bit helps and you can even pledge less than the cost of a cup of coffee. I haven’t made it this far without tremendous amounts of collaborative kindness and support and thank you in advance for any love you can show to The Global Citizen Project.

With many thanks and gratitude,

Now, let's give a big cyber high five to these 11 awesome people:

  • Alberto Inza, friend and founder of Argentina 444, an all-inclusive, 10-day, first class, food-themed travel package taking place over 2010 to four cities in Argentina over four seasons with four renowned chefs -- Nancy Silverton (Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles), Chris Cosentino (Incanto, San Francisco), John Sundstrom (Lark and Licorous, Seattle) and Maria Hines (Tilth, Seattle)
  • Amanda Jackson, publicist extraordinaire at Ypartnership who also handles Visit Honduras.
  • Anthony Rosas
  • Caitlin Powell
  • Doug Spaulding, my dear travel writer friend, Amanda Castleman's incredibly funny boyfriend, my new friend, and one half of one of my favorite couples to play date with.
  • Geraldine Eisendrath, super friendly/sweet/kind new food and travel writer friend made on Twitter. Follow her on Twitter here or check out her website here.
  • Jennine Sower Salzgeber, a longtime family friend, wife to Clinton Sower (one of my stepmother's former students) and a lovely individual I haven't seen in far too long.
  • Shannon Hurst Lane, fab left-handed Louisiana-based travel writer who runs Travel Tips & Deals. Follow Shannon on Twitter here.
  • Terry Gallagher
  • Timothy Mitchell, a fellow Kickstarter and Pacific Northwest native.
  • Wendy Hartley, big-hearted PR gal for for London Drugs, London Air, and Sonora Resort (a property I lust to visit at some point in this lifetime). Follow Wendy on Twitter here.

new backer reward - complete line of kyoku from men - luxury japanese grooming line

Designed specifically for men’s skin by Asim Akhtar, Kyoku for Men products combine cutting-edge skincare technology with effective natural ingredients, such as ginseng, green tea leaf, bamboo, chamomile and avocado oil.

Kyoku for Men incorporates ancient Japanese knowledge of the active properties in natural extracts with up to the minute scientific research, resulting in the ultimate luxury grooming line for the active urban lifestyle.

Exfoliating Facial Scrub ($49 value)
Volcanic ash, adzuki bean powder, rice bran, walnut shells, and goat’s milk combine to deep clean and smooth away dead skin cells and remove excess oil.
Daily Facial Cleanser ($29 value)
Ginseng, camellia leaf, peppermint, calendula, sunflower oil, and oat straw extract work together in penetrating pores and creating a clean, healthy environment that promotes skin cell regeneration
Razor Repair Balm ($34 value)
Chamomile, witch hazel, aloe vera, and ancient Japanese oils team up to combat post-shave inflammation, reducing the appearance of bumps and redness.
Oil Control Lotion ($49 value)
Unique dual action microparticles absorb excess oil, leaving the skin shine free and fully hydrated.
Facial Moisturizer (SPF 15) ($49)
Bamboo, avocado oil, green tea leaf, aloe vera, plankton, and vitamin E combine to keep skin looking young, protected and extraordinarily smooth.
Lip Fuel (SPF 15) ($12.50)
A combination of three organic butters, avocado oil, green tea leaf and peppermint to soften and energize lips.

($202.50 total value)

the value of a volunteer

Randy LeGrant, Executive Director of GeoVisions, a US-based organization that offers volunteer abroad programs, work and travel, teach abroad, and wildlife conservation projects, does an excellent job explaining the role of a volunteer, the responsibilities of the project coordinator and how I will impact the 12 communities I serve. Thank you, Randy, for taking the time to comment on this topic. I really appreciate your insights and hope it lends some clarity to those who may be unclear of the vital role of the volunteer.

From Randy LeGrant:

As the Executive Director of GeoVisions (we send thousands of volunteers abroad each year), we work hard everyday to staff 70 projects globally. The notion that a volunteer can do no good unless they commit to a really long project is an argument we are dedicated to eradicating.

It isn’t the VOLUNTEER who is sustainable. It is the project. If I have 3 hours to volunteer at the local food pantry, I might never go back. But the food pantry had me for 3 hours to help unload a truck. The local food pantry will be here years from now. It is the project that is sustainable. Next week I might volunteer at a soup kitchen for 2 hours. I’ll be gone. The project will be there. The notion that we have to dedicate weeks or months to one project for our volunteering to be worthy is wrong. And it sends a negative message to people who are PLANNING to volunteer and now might think they are not doing enough.

I’ve personally looked over the 12 projects Ms. Pfeuffer plans to make a part of her life. She is:

• Giving up a year of her life to help others

• Calling attention to voluntourism through her writing and Kickstarter

• Making her trip “interactive” by listening to her readers about which projects will receive her

• Dedicating a lot of time to researching available projects and asking lots of questions

I head up a voluntourism organization, and if I had to choose to send one of our volunteers to one project for a year or 12 projects over the year I’d suggest to them the latter. In fact, you cannot volunteer with GeoVisions longer than six months.

Again, it isn’t the volunteer who is sustainable. The volunteer helps for a day, a weekend, a week or a month. Even gap year kids move around – usually 3 to 4 projects in a year.

Lastly, Ms. Pfeuffer is a writer. Her talents will be used to call attention to 12 projects in 12 months. I would love for her to be on one of our projects because not only will she write about it from first-hand experience, she would be able to tell us where we could strengthen the project and that is always information any project needs.

$20,000 for 12 months? I dunno. I look at one of my competitors here in the U.S. just down the road from me and it costs $4000 for a month. If Ms. Pfeuffer can do a year on $20,000, that is a story all on its own.

I don’t want anyone to think volunteering is based on how long you can contribute your time. Or that it is the volunteer who has the responsibility of sustainability. We place college study-abroad students on weekend projects. We have people call us from tours asking us if they can volunteer for a day – most recently a magician we sent to a school for a day (after his references were checked out). We send people for a week. And for six months. It is the responsibility for the project and for the project sponsor to make certain the work is sustainable. It is for the volunteer to lend a hand.

Volunteers always go abroad thinking they will change the world. Even those who are on site 6 months may return home disappointed that they leave behind a project still in need. That’s normal. That is part of the process, and from my perspective, Charyn will learn that on her own, if she is funded. She has some lofty goals, and some won’t pan out. Some will change and go in other directions. And she will have helped a lot of people, she will have written for a year and inspired a lot of people, and she will come home a different person.

You go girl.

Randy LeGrant

media mention: trip quips

Thank you Lisa Rogak, author of New York Times bestseller, Barack Obama In His Own Words, for writing about The Global Citizen Project on Trip Quips.

Read Rogak's article, "It’s a Small World After All" here.

"As the earthquake in Haiti demonstrated to us, the world is indeed a small place. And while many of us would like nothing more than to jump on a plane and head to the island to help out, the truth is that it’s often better to have our dollars speak for our intentions and let others go and do the real work..."

23 January 2010

letter of recommendation

Charyn is an outstanding steward of community service in her provision of her gentle spirit, time and good will. I can't say enough to underscore the merits of Charyn's good intentions and capacity for volunteering. I happen to know first hand as I met Charyn when she was a volunteer at the Women's Cancer Resource Center in Berkeley, California in 2000.

I was the Volunteer Coordinator and interviewed Charyn to be of support to women with cancer. I quickly learned of Charyn's personal and intimate catalyst to the giving of her time in this specific field of cancer as her own mother died of cancer when Charyn was a teenager. Charyn was profoundly affected not only with grief, loss and a permanent altering of her family structure, but also because Charyn experienced first hand what it was like to witness and experience hardship. I feel this softened and carved out Charyn to the amazing women she is today. I also see it as a prominent presence behind her many acts of selfless giving - whether it be of her time, her compassionate nature, her exceptional skill and ability to capture the essence of life in the written word or with practical resources. While Charyn's resilient and committed nature has been partially affected by her personal experience, it certainly does not start or end there. Her commitment to volunteering is humbling - and something I have admired within Charyn since the day I met her 10 years ago.

Charyn has moved me to my core with her intention and passion to be of global service with The Global Citizen Project. It takes a very unique, courageous and phenomenal person with the mind, energy and gumption to take this on. Very few people I know could do it - but there is no doubt in my soul that Charyn is one.

I feel honoured to contribute what I can to support Charyn - and I hope you can as well. If it isn't me working alongside Charyn in this capacity, then the next logical step is to support of of the most kind hearted, committed and selfless woman that I know to make it happen.

Tammy Dyson, MSW, RSW
Vancouver, BC Canada

new backer reward: two-night stay at the woodmark hotel, yacht club & spa

The Woodmark Hotel, Yacht Club & Spa is the only hotel on the picturesque shores of Lake Washington. Personal and comfortable, the Woodmark features 100 rooms, including 21 suites, most with views of the lake, and all with luxury amenities. The Woodmark is the ideal in-town retreat only minutes from downtown Bellevue and other Eastside destinations. It offers a full-service spa, two exceptional restaurants, distinctive event spaces and an intimate, residential, waterside ambiance. Most importantly, Woodmark people are warm and genuine, anticipating guests’ every need. Popular for corporate events, weddings and important family occasions, the Woodmark is ultimately a place where everyone feels at home, and home is a relaxing and rejuvenating place set apart by the water. Learn more about this fantastic property here. (This two-night stay is a $550 value.)

18 January 2010

media mention: tonic

Thank you, Annie Danger Scott for your fantastic article on The Global Citizen Project today on Tonic.com. I am really touched by your kind words (blush) and especially appreciate these observations:

"Pfeuffer's career and history actually make her exceptionally qualified to work as a worldwide humanitarian...Lastly, she's sure to write about her experiences when she returns and raise awareness about issues we've yet to fathom, as well as educate us about the beauty of our world...Charyn is just the kind of person we want representing America; earnest, kind, hard working and wicked smart."

Thank you so much for making my Monday afternoon and for believing in my project. I have 35 days left to make it happen and I know I can do it.

media mention: wandermelon

Big thanks to Ann Wycoff, co-founder of Wandermelon, one of my fave online travel destinations for news, inspired articles, insider tips/deals and all-around visual prettiness for posting this news piece about The Global Citizen Project today. Follow Wandermelon on Twitter here or fan this crew of travel insiders on Facebook here.

17 January 2010

pledge tgcp. get cool rewards.

I have several great tokens of appreciation for your pledges to The Global Citizen Project. Since new items are being being added regularly (or being pledged out of rotation), here's a grandmaster update of what your pledge can get you if TGCP is fully funded by its February 22 deadline. (I'm a list girl.) If anyone has anything they'd like to donate to the reward list, I am promoting all items via Facebook, Twitter, this blog and the Kickstarter fundraising page.

Any pledge amount: Coupon for one free beer at Watch City Brewing Company in Waltham, MA

$10 pledge: A handwritten postcard from Seattle (a.k.a. Emerald City)

$25 pledge: Theo Chocolate Bread and Dark Chocolate Bar (artisanal chocolate made in Seattle)

$50 pledge: Dinner at my house – either slow-cooked pork or my damn good chili OR half a pound of Lighthouse Roasters Coffee (from Seattle)

$80 pledge: The Seattle TourSaver 2010. TourSaver® is an easy-to-use travel discount book, with over 115 buy-one-get-one free Seattle travel deals for Seattle, San Juan Islands and Victoria BC.

$100 pledge: Dinner for two at Cachagua General Store in Carmel Valley, CA OR handwritten postcards from all 12 volunteer destinations.

$250 pledge: An overnight stay at Hotel Monaco or Hotel Vintage Park, both Kimpton boutique properties in Seattle.

$1000 pledge: Hand-picked tsotchkes from all 12 volunteer destinations. (Specific requests will try to be accommodated).

$1500 pledge: You pick one of my volunteer projects.

$1500 pledge: A three-night stay at Four Seasons Resort Lana'i at Manele Bay in an Ocean View Room. (The value of this stay is $2,849.75.)

16 January 2010

thank yous. or the reasons why tgcp is now at $5,473.

I'm doing my best to stay on top of thanking everyone on a daily (read: timely) basis, so my apologies in advance for the delays today, I'm thrilled to report that The Global Citizen Project is now 27% funded with 37 days to go. I've been on a incredible tear with fundraising and need the momentum to continue to each the  $20,000 goal by the February 22, 2010 deadline. Right now, I have a lot of great media/articles in the works, but still need your word-of-mouth help and social media outreach to get the word out. If TGCP doesn't reach the $20k mark, I don't receive a single cent and the project will not happen. So, even if you can only pledge $5, every dollar counts towards the big picture goal. I appreciate everything you've all done to help me so far and everything you'll continue to do. Thank you.

Thanks are in order for these wonderfully generous and supportive people:

Tamara Gunnerson – dear friend I met while living on the Monterey Peninsula. I've missed her wine-swillign company tremendously since I moved north and she headed south, but think of her, her fabulously talented photo hubby, Steve, and their their sweet dogs often.

Esther Kaplan – a woman I met via Kickstarter who has similar plans to take on the world via volunteer travel. She made her first dent with a recent trip to Vietnam.

Mark McLaren

Daniel Jones – A member of Michael Jones' amazing family.

David Jones - I'm betting you are part of the Michael Jones clan. Can you confirm?

Charles Lem – my pseudo brother-in-law, fellow avid traveler, dog lover, foodie and man on the Los Angeles town.

Jennifer Everhart – a dear friend, sassy gal and voice of positive change going back to my Baltimore days. Jenny's also the other half of the fab Everhart duo with my equally longtime friend, artist Tom Everhart. I love these two immensely and am grateful we’ve kept in touch for nearly two decades, although I don’t get down to Venice, CA nearly enough to see them. (But when I do, it's always like we haven't skipped a beat.)

Nan Massie – kind-hearted mother of travel writer friend, Maggie Massie Myers.

Gail Phillips – my significant other’s wonderful mother in Pittsburgh, PA.

Aye, Jack and Emma of Got Passport. This wonderful family is new in my world and I'm grateful that our paths crossed via the Twitterverse and like-minded causes and inspirations. They have plans this summer to pack up from Texas and move to Thailand to pursue a life as "Location Independent Professionals." Google it. It's a concept/lifestyle I can fully subscribe to. They write an engaging/informative/inspiring blog here or you can follow the "Empire of Three" on Twitter here.

Thank you all so, so, so much for believing in me and The Global Citizen Project. xo

15 January 2010

new backer reward. the seattle toursaver.

Pledge $80 to The Global Citizen Project and you'll get a copy of The Seattle TourSaver 2010.

TourSaver® is an easy-to-use travel discount book, with over 115 buy-one-get-one FREE Seattle travel deals for Seattle, San Juan Islands and Victoria BC.

Save on flightseeing, adventure travel, whale watching, harbor cruises and hotels. TourSaver is a handy, pocket-sized book, full of 2-for-1 Seattle travel coupons for Seattle’s top attractions.

All of the 2-for-deals are listed here.  Follow The Seattle TourSaver on Twitter here.

14 January 2010

media mention: matador network

What was your resolution for 2010? Did you cancel your subscription to World of Warcraft to save money? Did you trade in that bucket of ice cream for a Jack LaLanne’s power juicer to kickstart a new diet? Whatever it was, why not include an act of kindness toward a global cause?

While everyone else was setting more traditional resolutions this month, Charyn Pfeuffer decided to do something a little different- a one-year sabbatical around the world.

Read what Joannaline Young of Matador Network had to say about The Global Citizen Project here.

13 January 2010

giving thanks

I have a lot of reasons to give thanks today. Nine reasons, actually. Big thanks to these nine wonderful new backers who believe in The Global Citizen Project and have made significant pledges to bring the total amount raised to $4,843. I am so close to the $5,000 (or 25%) mark and I have 39 days to go. If  you can help, every single dollar counts and pledges start at $1. I appreciate everyone who has posted my project to their blogs, websites, Facebook and Twitter pages and told their friends. I am hell bent on making this project happen, but recognize that I cannot do it alone. Thank you for all that you've done and all that you continue to do to make The Global Citizen Project a success.

Pat Jones, my dear chef/friend Michael Jones' 84-year-old mother who still teaches ESL in Cachagua (Carmel Valley, CA). She beat breast cancer last year and a busted vertebrae and is currently fighting pneumonia. Please keep Pat in your thoughts for a quick recovery. If she's anything like Michael, I know she's one feisty woman and I hope I get to meet her the next time I'm on the Monterey Peninsula.

Carol Cone of Chairman of Cone, Inc. Carol has been building sustainable partnerships between companies and social issues for more than 25 years. You can follow Carol on Twitter here.

Lisa Jones of LJ Communications, Inc. Lisa handles public relations for Whitefish Visitor Bureau (Montana), a destination I've had on my "To Visit" list for way too long.

Julie Dunn is the former journalist turned public relations pro behind the boutique agency, Dunn Communications in Denver, CO. I'm pleased as punch that our paths will cross later this month in Beaver Creek, CO.

Annie Danger Scott is a newish writer friend in my world. Our paths crossed on the loveliest of press trips in Kapalua, Hawaii. She writers for Gadling.com, Luxist.com and Tonic.com. You can check out Annie's blog, The Annie Scott Experience, here or follow her on Twitter here.

Jennifer Husbands is my super-smarty Ph.D friend from Hillside Elementary School who is changing the world the education from her homebase of Chicago. To this day, I still have fond memories of what she gave me at my 11th birthday at Pancott Gymnastic Center - a gray one shoulder, half tee. (I also rocked a perm in this era.) Thanks for posting TGCP on our Facebook page, too.

Libby Seiter Nelson is also a childhood friend. We haven't been in contact in years, but I will forever remember Libby as the gal who broke all the popular girl stereotypes and was one of kindest, most outgoing and giving people you'd ever meet.

Christopher Howell

Steve Jones

media mention: jianantonic the perpetual traveler

Thank you to travel writer, Meg Massie, a.k.a. Jianantonic for the post today on her The Perpetual Traveler blog, "Consider This Cause: The Global Citizen Project."  I really appreciate your support of The Global Citizen Project and this wonderfully well-written piece "gets" my vision. I've traveled with Meg before, so her smart-as-a-whip perspective doesn't surprise me. Thank you.

I have a long list of thank yous to compile tonight, but in the meantime, The Global Citizen Project now has 62 amazing backers, $4,593 pledged towards the $20,000 goal and 40 days to go. Who can help get me to the $5,000 milestone. (If you've been playing along, you know how much I like round numbers.) Thanks to everyone for all that you've done and all that you'll do to help make my dream of 12 volunteer projects a reality.

new backer reward - dinner for two at cachagua general store (carmel valley, ca)

Cachagua General Store is hands down my favorite restaurant/dining experience on the Monterey Peninsula. Open for dinner on Monday nights only, there a million reasons why I love Chef/owner Michael Jones, but his culinary rockstar skills and kick ass friendship top the list. (Our recent foodie tour de force of Seattle was an afternoon for the records.) It also doesn’t hurt that he put this super delish salad on the menu: Charyn’s Roast Baby Beet Salad with Coconut Chevre and Balsamic Reduction. Mmm…Michael has already pledged The Global Citizen Project and rallied several other donations from Carmel Valley and Philadelphia folks and also decided to offer dinner for two. He’s one heckuva cheerleader and I’m glad he’s on my team. If you know about Cachagua General Store, I know you love it, and if you don’t, I’d love to use this opportunity to turn you onto one of the best dining experiences you will ever have. Getting there is an adventure, but the reasonably priced wine list and menu that spans everything from Fresh Sardine Bocadillo with Mojito Mayonaisa and Mesquite Grilled DuRoc Farms Baby Back Pork Ribs to Micah’s Pizza with Crème Fraiche, Corralitos Ham, Carmelized Onions, Fresh Basil, Fresh and Domestic Mushrooms and Niman Ranch Lamb Chops with Mint Molé, as well as friendliest dining vibe you’ll ever find will make you an instant believer. Pinky swear.

Want to learn more about The Store? Read the reviews on Yelp or check out their Facebook Fan Page.

12 January 2010

help haiti

Kudos to Julie Schwietert of Matador Network for taking the initiative to pull  together a group of volunteers to go help out in Haiti. Fingers crossed I can join these efforts.

I'd like to commit to bumping up the start date for The Global Citizen Project and volunteering in Haiti as my first project if The Global Citizen Project is funded by its February 22 deadline. Every cause and community slated for The Global Citizen Project is extremely worthy of help, but after looking at some of the post-earthquake images coming in and hearing initial reports of the 7.0 earthquake's damage, there is an immediate need in Haiti. Sending positive thoughts to the south and east.

the himalaya rescue dog squad nepal book project

I love hearing about other people's fascinating projects (especially if they're on Kickstarter, like mine!) I'm especially excited about author Deb Lauman's upcoming three-month trip to Nepal and her subsequent book about the only Search & Rescue team in the country and the many lives they have touched. Fan her on Facebook and get updates and view photos and videos of the project here, before, during and after the trip. Or, you can pledge The Himalaya Rescue Dog Squad Nepal Book Project on Kickstarter. She has $490 towards her $4,000 goal and 84 days to go.

media mention: greater seattle chamber of commerce

Thank you Kim Sklar-Fowler of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce for posting this article on The Global Citizen Project on their "It's Time for Business" website. I really appreciate your help and support in spreading the word about my volunteer travel project as I try to raise $20,000 by February 22, 2010 to make 12 volunteer projects in 12 countries over 12 months happen. Thank you!

11 January 2010

41 days to go. $4,233 raised so far. still need $15,767.

A few thank you’s are in order today for the five latest backers of The Global Citizen Project:


Carolyn Powers-Barr, the blogger behind "A Chocolate Covered To Do List," Foodista.com intern, and recent University of Washington Communication grad (in need of a job, hint hint). You can follow Carolyn on Twitter here.

Dave Nevins, Director of Visitor Services at Sitka Convention & Visitors Bureau. Our paths crossed in May 2009 when I visited (and fell in love with) Southeast Alaska for the first time. You can follow Dave on Twitter here.

Renee Brincks, dear writer and editor friend I met while living on the Monterey Peninsula. Her friendship and creative company made living in "the land of the newlywed and nearly dead" possible and I'm so proud of her for making the big city move to San Francisco. They are lucky to have you. You can follow Renee on Twitter here.

Robin Vogt, new friend from Connecticut with lots of creative background-y kind of things in common. You can follow Robin here.

56 backers. 41 days to go. $4,233 raised towards the $20,000 goal! Thank you to everyone who has pledged The Global Citizen Project so far. I really appreciate all your kindness, support and generosity! xo

10 January 2010

helpful nyt article: cheap mobile calls, even overseas

Great article in the New York Times on how you can save money making cell phone calls while traveling abroad. Thank you, Joanna Stern. My Verizon bill thanks you already.

hit the $4k mark. yay.

I'll admit it. I was $17 shy of the $4,000 mark for the better part of this weekend and managed to check my BlackBerry no less than 20 times an hour in hopes of a backer who'd put me over that milestone. Well, news of that backer arrived in my trusty inbox this morning and it was my winemaker friend, Dan Tudor of Tudor Wines. Dan makes incredible Santa Lucia Highland and Anderson Valley Pinot Noirs, as well some lovely wines with his second label, Radog Wines. Our paths crossed while I was living on the Monterey Peninsula and I wrote press material for Dan every time his wine would rack up a new award. (It was often.) Thanks to Dan, The Global Citizen Project is now at $4,083.

There are 42 days left to reach my $20,000 goal or the project will not happen. Please pledge what you can, because every single dollar is a step towards making my dream to volunteer with 12 projects around the world a reality. Remember: It's a winner-take-all scenario -- I don't make my goal, your credit card isn't charged. Thanks again to everyone -- your enthusiasm and support is inspiring.

09 January 2010

five new backers bring tgcp to $3,983. thank you.

Big thanks and cyber hugs are in order for The Global Citizen Project's five latest backers:

April Paffrath is a writer and editor who specializes in architecture, design, food, travel, science, crafts and more.

Lisa Bergren is the best-selling author of more than 30 books, with more than 1.5 million copies sold and primary Tweetster for The World Calls. You can follow Lisa on Twitter here.

James Connolly & Rachelle Escaravege

Greg Johnson is Seattle's famed Chef and Father, filmmaker and father of two. I wrote about his efforts to please picky young palates with tasty, healthy food in Relish last year. Read more about Greg here.

Thank you all, and every one of The Global Citizen Project's 50 wonderful backers for helping me reach the 20% funded point. 44 days to go. $3,983 towards the $20,000 goal. Please help me keep this steady pledge pace as I move closer towards the goal and my dream of volunteering with 12 community projects!

08 January 2010

the global citizen project is 20% funded. 44 days to reach $20k.

The Global Citizen Project is a wee bit shy of the $4,000 mark, but I'm not going to argue with Kickstarter for rounding up the $3,953 pledged so far to 20%. Forty-seven dollars more and I'll be at a nice round number. Thank you to the 49 people who have backed the project so far. I cannot tell you how much your belief in my project means to me. I have 44 days left (or less than half the total allotted project time) to raise a little more than $16,000 to reach my funding goal. Asking for help is not my strongest suit, but I really need it now and I wouldn't ask unless this project didn't mean the world to me. Please pledge what you can and pass the word along via whatever means possible. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all that you've done to help get me to this point and for everything you may do to get me to my goal.

four new backers = $187 until tgcp is 20% funded

It’s been an incredible Friday for The Global Citizen Project. I’m just $187 shy of reaching the $4,000 milestone (if you’ve been following along, you know how much I like round numbers), which will put me at the 20% funded mark. (Note: The Global Citizen Project must be fully-funded by February 22, 2010 to happen.)

Big thanks to these four fantastic women, The Global Citizen Project’s latest backers:

Lisa McElroy. Lisa became a new travel writer friend when our paths crossed in Aruba on a press trip. She's a multi-tasking mama, teaching as an Associate Professor of Law at The Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University. A lesser-known act is that Lisa was a recent contestant on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”

Nancy Uber Rose. Nancy is one of my favorite publicists, and it's not just because she has a killer hospitality client list. (Although I do think her client, Hotel Renew is the best budget boutique hotel on Oahu.) Recently married to her surfing sweetheart, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful bride. You can follow her on Twitter here.

Cheryl Sternman Rule. Cheryl is a new friend via my Google Foodwriters group. She's a freelancer writer
specializing in food, nutrition and education. I also found out today that she served in the Peace Corps in Africa, so I may have to pick her brain for some volunteering ideas. You can follow her on Twitter here.

Kayt Sukel. Kayt is a new friend via the Twitterverse via another new friend via Kickstarter, Peter West Carey. (Check out his The People, Places & Patterns Project here.) Her publishing credits are a mile long, but she also blogs regularly about traveling as a contributing editor for Travel Savvy Mom and restaurant blogger for Uptake.com. You can follow her on Twitter here.

I’d also like to thank Condé Nast's online sites, Jaunted, the pop culture travel guide, and HotelChatter for  retweeting The Global Citizen Project and its various pledge rewards today. (Full disclosure: I write for Condé Nast.)

Thank you to The Global Citizen Project's 46 backers who have generously pledged $3,852 so far. 44 days to go to reach the $20,000 goal! We can do it.

07 January 2010

live near boston? pledge tgcp and get a free beer

A big thank you to my former boss from my college/Donna’s Coffee Bar days in Baltimore, Frank McLaughlin, for generously pledging The Global Citizen Project. Frank now lives in Massachusetts and owns Watch City Brewing Company in Waltham (about 10 miles northwest of Boston and billed as “the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution”).  Frank has generously offered to give a FREE BEER to anyone who pledges ANY amount of money to The Global Citizen Project. Pledges start at $1.

From Watch City Brewing Company’s website:

Welcome to Watch City Brewing Company. As both a restaurant and brewery it is at the core of a vibrant dining scene in the Metrowest. Since 1996 it has consistently provided its customers with fresh, handcrafted beer and intensely appetizing and delicious meals. Watch City beer is highly regarded on both a local and national level, winning distinctions for a number of the styles produced at it's Moody St. locale. Much like the jeweled pocket watches this city once manufactured, there's a professional respect for the craftmanship of it's Brew Master, Aaron Mateychuk. The beer is always satisfying and never sparing for flavor or character.

media mention: the vacation gals + four new backers

Big thank you to The Vacation Gals for today’s article on The Global Citizen Project. I first crossed paths with this fabulous trio of women – Kara Williams, Jennifer Miner and Beth Blair – a few years back at Travel Media Showcase in Palm Springs, CA. They went on to become part of the award-winning Traveling Mamas, before founding The Vacation Gals, an online resource for expert advice on family travel, girlfriend getaways, romantic escapes, plus travel gear, travel tips and giveaways. Thank you ladies for your kindness and support!

It’s been a busy Thursday morning/afternoon in The Global Citizen Project pledgeland and I am thrilled to have four new backers:

The Vacation Gals

Johnny Jet, Travel portal featuring travel websites, travel deals, travel guides, travel tips, weekly travel newsletter with up-to-date travel information, and more. I'd been privy to Johnny Jet for quite some time via cyber circles, but had the pleasure of traveling with him and one of the best press groups ever to The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua on Maui in October 2009.

Amanda Lipnack, a friend I recently reconnected with via Facebook from the Conestoga High School days, who happens to be a big Seattle fan. (Hint hint: come visit!) Big congrats again to her on her recent engagement. (P.S. Calling all Ireland recommendations from my travel writer friends for her honeymoon.)

Kirsten Graham, one of Seattle's most whipsmart publicists, specializing in culinary and literary publicity. She's also a friend and one of my fave people to play happy hour (or any dining experience, really) with.

As of this afternoon, 41 wonderful backers have pledged $3,488 towards my $20,000 goal. Thank you! I have 46 days, or until 4:15 p.m. on February 22, 2010, to reach my funding goal or else The Global Citizen Project will not happen. I can reach this goal many ways, but if every one of my Facebook friends pledged $26 or if every one of my Twitter followers gave $12, I'd be there in a heartbeat. Either way, I'm committed to making my funding goal even if I have to wrangle 16,512 $1 pledges. xo

06 January 2010

new backer reward. three night stay at four seasons resort lana'i at manele bay

So maybe it's not exactly affordable luxury, but this three-night stay at Four Seasons Resort Lana'i at Manele Bay in an Ocean View Room is one heckuva deal if you consider that a $1,500 pledge to The Global Citizen Project is good for a stay valued at $2,849.75. It's perfect for a long weekend from the West Coast or part of an island-hopping adventure in Hawaii. Sending a big thank you West across the Pacific Ocean to Katie at Four Seasons Lana'i for her generous support of The Global Citizen Project.

Four Seasons Resort Lana'i at Manele Bay
Discover an ocean-side paradise bordering a marine preserve that teems with colourful reef fish and protected species such as green sea turtles and spinner dolphins. Laze on the white-sand beach or golf on two world-ranked courses. Explore this untouched island playground, and experience your own private Hawaii.

Ocean View Room
Offering 576 square feet (59 square meters), spacious Ocean View Rooms enjoy views of Hulopo‘e Bay and the surrounding coastline. Settle back in rustic wicker furniture and savor the feel of an exotic tropical island on your own spacious, private lanai (balcony).

The value of this stay is $2,849.75.

05 January 2010

the fab four

Good things typically come in threes, unless it's this fantastic Tuesday afternoon, when instead, they come in fours. Sending a big cyber high-five to these folks who pledged The Global Citizen Project this afternoon bringing the grand pledge amount to (a moment of silence, please) $3,361 -- or 17% of the $20,000 goal. Thank you Marc, Doug, Colleen and Damon!

I have 47 days to reach my goal, so if you're thinking about giving the The Global Citizen Project a little monetary love, please give what you can. (Big hugs and thanks in advance.) Pledges start at $1 and your credit card will not be charged unless the project is fully funded by its 4:15 p.m. February 22, 2010 deadline.

Okay, enough of the full court pledge press. Here are the four people I am thankful for this afternoon:

Marc Anteparra-Naujock, Creative Director for Quango in Portland, Oregon. You can follow him on Twitter here.

Doug Anweiler, Vice President, Corporate Marketing and Communications for Authentic Seacoast™ Properties in Chedabucto Bay, Nova Scotia. You can follow him on Twitter here.

Colleen Stephens, of Stan Stephens Glacier & Wildlife Cruises in Prince William Sound in Valdez, Alaska. You can follow her on Twitter here.

Damon Billian, of Damon's Diorama: Wildlife and Thailand Photoblog, amateur photographer, freelance dude, social media guru for @HotelTravel. You can follow him on Twitter here.

new backer reward

Two passes good for admission to all the exhibitions in the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum. The mission of EMP/SFM is to explore and amplify ideas that fuel contemporary, creative culture. Its exhibitions and public programs engage the senses; deepen our understanding of art and culture; and examine their relevance to our lives.

This reward is valued at: $30.

EMP/SFM is located at 330 6th Avenue North, Seattle, WA (206) 770-2700

(photo courtesy of papalars)

04 January 2010

causes, communities and commitments

I try to live my life without too much attachment to any one particular outcome. I learned long ago that you can only control so much in this world, and even then, there are still no guarantees. It doesn’t mean that sometimes, there aren’t certain scenarios that I really, really want – like kissing my 7th grade crush on the ski lift during a school trip (it resulted in a broken arm), conquering my fear of baking (a seemingly simple Bon Appétit sticky bun recipe once resulted in $120 of groceries and having to go out for bagels), and right now, the success of The Global Citizen Project.

Sure, I’ve been 100% hell bent and committed to making this project happen since the moment I launched it on Kickstarter.com. As I commit to specific causes and communities, the emotional investment only increases and the project only intensifies in personal meaning. There has been such an incredible outpouring of support for my project from both friends and kind-hearted strangers (a.k.a. new friends), which has further fueled my intent to succeed and share the volunteer experiences with the world.

What started out as a one year freelancing “time out” to put my talent to good has rapidly evolved into something far greater. It’s made me further re-evaluate my life and how I want to live in this world. It’s also made me realize that I’m in a very fortunate position to use my voice and platform as an established and esteemed journalist to help raise awareness of the causes and communities I plan to serve. If The Global Citizen Project comes to fruition, it will inevitably change my life in ways I never imagined, the lives I touch in a volunteer capacity, as well as a wide audience of readers. I’m giddy and excited and open to all of the possibilities of change it could bring and would like to think its impact could be limitless.

I have 48 days left to reach my funding goal of $20K to make The Global Citizen Project happen. Right now, I have $3,281 in pledges (16%). If the project is not fully funded by 4:15 p.m. on February 22, 2010 it will not happen. Kickstarter will not charge your credit card for any pledges made unless the project is fully-funded, so you can pledge now and pay later. (I know money is tight for a lot of folks, especially right after the holidays.) I ask you to please give anything you can. Donations start at $1 and every single bit helps the big picture effort. Big hugs and thanks you for all that's you've done and continue to do to help make The Global Citizen Project a success. I couldn't do it without you. xo

media mention: world news vine

The Global Citizen Project and an in-depth Q&A with moi (read: I never shut up) are featured on WorldNewsVine. Read it here. Thank you, Joannaline!

03 January 2010

2009 travels

I just filed away a bunch of 2009 paperwork and took a few quick minutes to flip through my dayplanner and see where my travels took me in 2009. I covered a lot of territory (as you can see) and visited some incredible destinations. I am extremely grateful that my professional career has encouraged a path of constant exploration and cultural curiousity.

Here's where 2009 took me:
Ushuaia and Buenos Aires, Argentina, Aspen, CO, Big Island, HI, Bonaire, Chile (from Calama to Cape Horn), Colorado Springs, CO, Costa Rica, Denver, CO, Kauai, HI, Las Vegas, NV (multiple times), Los Angeles, CA, Maui, HI (twice), Miami, FL, New Orleans, LA, Oahu, HI (twice), Park City, UT, Lima, Cusco/Machu Picchu and Puno, Peru, Puerto Rico, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Québec City, Canada, Santa Barbara, CA and Southeast Alaska (twice).

As 2010 starts out on a low-key travel note, expect updates from Las Vegas, NV and Beaver Creek, CO later this month.

media mention (unrelated to tgcp)

The media circus surrounding my experience at Four Seasons Resort, The Biltmore Santa Barbara (a.k.a. "The Greatest Twitter Hotel Service Story Yet") continues.

Yours truly is mentioned in View From a Corner Suite's blog post today, 9 Unsuspecting Travel Hero and Travel Zero Awards Spoiler alert: Four Seasons Resorts, The Biltmore Santa Barbara won the 2009 Unsuspecting Travel Hero Award. Congrats!

You can read all about my Twitter tale hhere.

Who's going to be next to give Four Seasons Resorts props for their exemplary use of social media?

02 January 2010

picking up speed

The Global Citizen Project is rockin' and rollin' with new backers! It's managed to pick up $725 in pledges over the past five days, bringing the total pledge amount to $3,281 (or 16% of the $20K goal). Wow. I have 51 days to go and hope you will help me reach my goal, whether you pledge money, tell a friend, retweet my cyber-pleas for help or simply pass along the link to my blog. The success of this project depends upon both my commitment and passion and your support (in all its various, wonderful forms), so if you believe in volunteer travel, let's work together to make 12 volunteer projects happen in 12 countries. I'm typically not a resolution kinda gal, but if I had to make one (it is a new decade afterall, and I do like big, round numbers), it would be to ensure the smashing success of The Global Citizen Project.

Since I'm talking teamwork, I'd like to take a quick moment to thank The Global Citizen Project's latest backers:

Sascha Stokes, UK travel writer

Sally Clasen, Travel writer, and dare I say, dear new friend? We met traveling in Costa Rica earlier this year and reconvened in Park City, Utah for the opening of Dakota Mountain Lodge & Golden Door Spa.

Anne-Marie Kovacs, Lifestyle and trend watcher

Hakim Sayyed-Terry, Illustrator and designer

Thank you all (plus The Global Citizen Project's 29 other backers) for being part of what has so far been one heckuva inspiring ride. 51 days to go--let's keep it going!

01 January 2010

support the global citizen project = your new year's resolution

It's pretty cool that Northern New Mexico Examiner, travel writer and photographer, John Lamkin thinks a worthwhile New Year's resolution would to support The Global Citizen Project. Thank you so much, John for supporting my volunteer travel efforts and for helping to spread the word about my project. So, if anyone is lacking for a New Year's resolution -- hint, hint.