16 May 2011

"every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.” - seneca

Eeks. I have very mixed emotions about the completion of The Global Citizen Project. I’ve tried to wrap my brain around how to best sum up this year of my life in a neat and tidy blog post, but it’s next to impossible. So consider this the first several “Final Thought” installments. We’ll see how this plays out. All I know is that I don’t want to be confined to 500 words to verbalize up how I feel.

Truly, The Global Citizen Project has been the most inspiring year of my life. It’s pushed me well beyond my comfort zone and challenged me – over and over again. It brought me in contact with the best, and sadly, the worst of humanity, and shown me sides of people and places I’d never otherwise experience. It’s made compromise, sacrifice, speak my truths and bite my lip. It’s made my heart ache. And overflow with joy. It’s made me more capable of love than ever before. The number of people who’ve humbled me this past year makes my head swim – the 220+ donors who helped fund the project, the countless supporters from around the world, the people, communities and organizations I’ve been so fortunate to volunteer for, and the dedicated volunteers I’ve worked alongside – thank you. When it’s all said and done, I volunteered close to 900 hours. That’s a lot of help for a whole lot of people and I feel very lucky.

So where do I go now? People have been asking me this very question since I launched The Global Citizen Project. Last June. I went into TGCP with a very organic, take-it-as-it-comes attitude. If it evolved into something bigger than itself, like an Oprah Winfrey school for girls in Africa, fine (I kid). If it didn’t, fine. I enter most scenarios in life with very few expectations. It’s not that I don’t think big, work my ass off and shoot for the stars – I just make it a point to not tie myself to any particular outcomes in life. As my volunteer travels draw to a close, I’m nowhere near ready to abandon my efforts to promote responsible travel, voluntourism and humanitarian causes and will continue to make a difference and inspire others to do good.

This path has led me to MISSION, a media platform for global travel, humanitarian issues and (voilà!) making a difference in the world. I’ve signed on as MISSION’s Volunteer Travel Editor and plan to help as many people as possible “See the Planet, Change the World.” MISSION founder Amy Schrier created BLUE magazine (bluemagazine.com), the original Adventure Lifestyle brand presenting the world, its amazing peoples, places and the ways to explore them, through outdoor recreation, action sports + adventure travel. BLUE was described as “Not your father’s National Geographic” by The New York Times, and “National Geographic with a rock-n-roll beat” by New York’s Daily News.

The site, set to launch fall 2011, will be home to the first independent database of volunteer trips on the Internet. Site visitors will be able to sort by location, cause, time and cost required to find the trip that is right for them. MISSION will also create a magazine that brings the themes of global travel and humanitarianism to life in print and iPad mediums and host events that tie to meaningful social causes.

No one is doing what MISSION is doing – creating a humanitarian content media brand. MISSION is the bacon to my egg and I am humbled to be a part of its efforts.

Please check out our pre-launch site out and our Facebook group.

In addition to taking on Volunteer Travel Editor duties at MISSION, I’m coordinating social media and marketing for an area café and wine bar, as well as booking volunteer speaking engagements, consulting on all things media related for nonprofits and humanitarian causes, and continuing to freelance write about food, travel and lifestyle topics (albeit in a much more scaled back capacity). I really don’t know how to function unless I am multitasking like a madwoman.

So, thank you for being part of TGCP journey. The 12-month project may be over, but it’s inspired a new chapter that’s just beginning. I hope you’ll continue to join for me the next adventure(s). Like all things I engage in life, I pinky swear promise it will be fun.

No comments: