…they’d tell a story. They really could. I’ve been fortunate enough to have travelled different parts of the world over the past few years. This year has been no different – Ibiza, Paris, Toronto, Abu Dhabi and Dubai so far.
But the next journey is a true adventure. A test. A challenge. One that I’ve been looking forward to for months.
I’ve been lucky to travel for business and pleasure over the years, but this time, initially I will serve a different purpose. I’ll be in Kathmandu, Nepal, volunteering on a childcare project, helping those that face daily challenges. Those of which are alien to you and I.
Why am I doing this? It’s been a memorable year so far – good and bad – but there was a turning point and defining moment. This summer, I witnessed grief first-hand amongst my family. It was a difficult time, but in that dark moment there was a sense of beauty and togetherness. Everyone pulling together and helping one another. It made me evaluate everything in my life and it made me think: ‘what will you say about me when I leave this world’? At this point I vowed that I need to live life the way I wish and do things that make me happy. Live by my rules and ultimately do things my way.
Travelling and experiencing cultures is one of my passions. Naturally, I’m a helper. I try to be on hand for those that need me and help the best way I can. I’ve given to charity, but I’ve never seen the result or effect of my donation. I wanted to make a contribution, but also see the end result. Those that know me, you know I’m a kid at heart and I also love children. Be it in the streets of Vietnam or an island in Fiji, I’ve connected with them. And I am travelling alone, which makes me slightly nervous. But I know I’m capable of striking a conversation with most, so I’ll be OK.
Why Nepal? It’s a country with natural beauties: lakes, hills, tasty cuisine and of course, Everest! I wanted a challenge and somewhere out of my comfort zone.
Having viewed the devastating effects of the earthquake earlier this year, my curiosity grew. What’s left of the heritage? Nearly a year later, what needs to be rebuilt? Ultimately, could I help in any way?
The next task was to find a reputable organisation that I could work with. An inspired Google search later, I came across International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ). An organisation with ideals and a philosophy that I admired. They had a great story too – Dan Radcliffe backpacked and volunteered in Africa. He ditched his corporate life to pursue volunteering abroad. After doing his research, he found that there were not enough affordable options available to volunteer abroad. He began in Kenya, working with local partner organisations, which became embedded in IVHQ’s ethos. Eight years later, they operate in over 30 countries. Having found this out, my decision was easy.
I have been in touch with the local organisation that I’ll be stationed with. As the hours tick away and I’m only a plane journey away, my excitement is at fever pitch. I know what lies ahead will be a test of character and I will have to dig deep, but I know I won’t fail. I will make an impression and I will keep a smile on my face.
Why am I writing this? I mentioned earlier that travelling is one of my passions, writing is another. It’s something I’ve neglected for a while. Looking back, I really wished that I’d documented my travels a few years back. For some reason, I parked it in the lay by of life and I became preoccupied in other things. But when I decided upon this journey, it was a no-brainer. I needed to get back into it. This is my chance to put it right.
I intend to maintain regular entries, Wi-Fi permitting, to try and paint a picture of what I explore. I promise to keep it briefer than this, but I just wanted you to understand what got me to this point. I have nothing to fear and I’m ready! Peace out