The flights are booked, bags are packed, and tickets are in hand. For many, traveling is an exciting experience with thorough preparation, for others it is an escape from everyday life. From the destination to tiny details most travelers strive to ensure that the new experience will be one for the books. But what about those unexpected parts of travel? The moments that no selfie could capture, the people we’ll never forget. That’s what we truly travel for.
This experience is different for every individual but what we found happens each time is connection. Whether it is connecting to people, to a community, or to a bigger purpose – connection is inevitable. At DD, our team is sharing their experiences and re-telling the stories that drive them to be a force for good.
We invite you to learn about their journeys and then discover your own connections near and far. In this issue of Traveling is ______ we share the stories of Jemimah and Autumn who visited different countries to experience the work of our charity partners.
Jemimah Thomas, Director of Opportunity, travelled to Ecuador in 2018 with ChildFund International. She shared the impact of stories and perspectives that gave her clarity and fuel to make a difference.
On her trip she learned about ChildFund’s partnerships with local schools, including their efforts to provide a global education for young girls. The students pictured below were programming wearables that would help improve the quality of life for the visually impaired. They’re standing next to the professor who forewent his opportunity for monetary wealth and returned to his village to teach girls how to code. Jemy describes how her experience further connected her to a broader perspective and purpose.
“It's been deeply humbling to validate the idea of a birth lottery: the circumstances of where, when, and to whom we are born. No one chooses it. This ticket isn't earned. And these winnings —the blessing of living in a developed country and earning a high-value currency— are not meant to be hoarded"
"DD has given me the chance to raise more than I could've given on my own. This is being a force for good: to live with perspective of your place in the world and grasp every opportunity to encourage generosity.”
Autumn Dimitris, Partnerships Coordinator, travelled to Myanmar with Save the Children in 2019. This was her first trip overseas - an experience she was initially nervous about that led her out of her comfort zone. The community was kind and welcoming. Autumn was received with open arms, this empowered her to connect. Visiting different country offices and an Early Childhood Care and Development Center were eye-opening experiences to fully understand the importance of sponsorship and the strong sense of community in Myanmar. Autumn shared that the nervousness she felt faded. In turn she gained a perspective of how Myanmar communities led life peacefully and unified at that time.
“My trip to Myanmar has impacted me tremendously. It has inspired me to continue my passion for activism, especially with their current political situation. Paying attention to global news is so important and doing anything we can to assist when we can is crucial to making a positive difference in the world.”
The gift of travelling is in connecting, and each of these experiences brings different perspectives and stories of inspiration. Although we aren’t travelling overseas today, looking back on these moments helps us remain hopeful. We’re reminded that we can still discover new connections in everyday life and we look forward to sharing more journeys ahead.