So how has it all started, the evolution from nomad traveler to establishing volunteer projects around the world?
A year and half ago I went to the Jewish centre in Manila, Philippines to celebrate one of the Jewish holidays. There I met a number of businessmen that were interested in my story and asked why I lived this kind of life. I replied that it was because I loved traveling and wanted to inspire others to live their dreams. It is also because I had met such incredible people along the way, many of which needed help. I wanted to help them. They were curious to know exactly how I could help those people. I explained that by living with them and sharing their stories with the world, I believed and hoped it would reach someone that had the ability to help them.
Three of the businessmen there own a large furniture business in the United States called Modani. They offered me something that changed my life. ‘Let us help you help them’.
They explained that they had funds they wanted to donate however they didn’t want to donate through the internet or give it to a large organization where a large part of the money would potentially get ‘lost in translation’. They believed the places I traveled to were places not many ventured and that I was able to reach the people that truly needed help the most. Most importantly they wanted their donation to be personal. Through me they would meet the kids they would send to school. They would know the full story and see exactly where their donations were going.
Their vision became my dream, to travel the world establishing volunteering projects and in doing so helping the people I met along the way. Together with Modani we completed nine projects around the world. Our last project was to help in the construction of a school in Cameroon. My friends told me that now it’s time to find a new sponsor for future projects. “You guys started something amazing.” I assured my friends that I didn’t need to look for a new sponsor, the sponsor would find me!
Days after that conversation with my friends I landed in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where I met Megan in my hostel. A super cool girl that is cycling alone through Central Asia and Europe. Like me and all the other money-conscious travellers she sometimes sleeps in her tent or stays with families, cooks in the hostel kitchens and does her laundry in the sink.
Megan was curious about the lifestyle I lead, and we spent lots of time talking about my travel experiences. I showed her the videos of the volunteer projects on my website . I told her that I was looking for a company with a large budget to sponsor my projects, so that I could make a real difference.
Days later, she brought up the projects, “but… if an individual really want to be part of this?” she asked me again. “Well if an individual would be willing to donate $10,000 to my projects I will be more then happy to work with them,” I told her. Megan looked at me and smiled,” to be honest I was thinking more like $20,000.” I was shocked, I could hardly speak! So I just smiled.
It’s important to clarify that all of my cost of living, flights, accommodations, transportation and food while I volunteer and setting up the projects it is from my own personal money! That way 100% for the donation is going to the right places.
With G*d’s help we shall succeed in our new way.
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