Language barriers, surprising customs, intriguing history. A trip abroad can leave us knowing more about the world than we ever knew before. It’s safe to say that traveling can be transformative for the brain.
Picture yourself planning a trip overseas, how do you prepare? If your answer was by doing research, then we’re right there with you! You’d probably want to know about exchange rates, weather patterns, local holidays, etc. In fact, as of January 18, 2021, one-third of Americans had daydreamed about travel, a quarter have talked to someone about future travel and have researched travel ideas online. That is, after taking precautions for over a year to prevent COVID-19 exposure and spread. As we know, 2020 had tremendous effects on the travel industry with declines of 74% in international tourism.
We can't wait to hop on a plane whenever it’s truly safe to travel again. In the meantime, we’ll live through the memories and lessons that could not come via a google search. At DD, our team is sharing their experiences and re-telling the stories that drove 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 Matt and Christina who traveled to witness the work of our charity partners.
Matt Johnson, Director of Integrity traveled to Ecuador, the Philippines, Malawi, and Uganda with DialogueDirect.
“One of my favorite moments from all of my site visit experiences came in Uganda. We had the opportunity to visit a refugee camp that was being run by the UNHCR - the 1st charity I ever fundraised for. It was a great reminder of the scale of poverty and the problems that our charity partners are fighting each and every day. It was also awesome to see how all these different non-profits worked together to make the biggest impact possible for the people they aid. Site visits are always a great source of inspiration. They remind me why I do the work that I do. I began fundraising because I felt a need to make the world a better place. It's easy to lose sight of that amidst the daily flow of work. Being able to travel and take time to meet people whose lives have benefited because of my efforts makes everything that I do worthwhile.”
Christina Ola, Director of Community traveled to the Philippines with Children International.
“The most valuable takeaway from the trip was realizing the impact of poverty on multiple generations. My family is from the Philippines. My parents emigrated to the states in the 70s. My dad grew up with 10 siblings and always told me about his family not growing up with much. As a kid I visited his childhood home. Returning as an adult helped me see how strongly communities strive to change the opportunities for future generations. Returning to the Philippines for this site visit helped me understand the immense value of organizations supporting these communities, the fundraising that is absolutely necessary, and the potential we have to help one another. If I were to put my one takeaway in a phrase, it would have been that “it takes a village” – we all need one another to make real change.”
When we travel, we learn, when we learn, we teach! It’s unique travel experience like these that change our perspective on life. Although we aren’t travelling overseas today, looking back on these moments helps us remain hopeful.