Some people here on Medium may have heard me discuss some travel plans I have, well I thought it was time to touch on that, especially considering I hope to take Medium with me, where possible.
I finally decided which volunteer program I will be working with. I have made my deposit and plans are now flowing. I will be heading to South East Asia in early 2017. I will be working with an NGO in Cambodia, half field work with some local children in a child day care and orphanage. The other half, back office fundraising and learning the ins and out’s of how to run volunteer projects.
More on the above will come in time.
I have dreamed of travelling the world for a long time. I grew up in a family that had no ambitions to see more than their own backyard. Understandably so, we have lived what some would consider difficult lives. Barely scraping by, keeping our selves together, I guess it’s hard to see past our own stuff sometimes, particularly when it’s trauma related.
Whilst I agree that life hasn’t always been easy, I am a person who still appreciates what was given to me. It could have been so much worse. I have risen from the depths of the darkest places, I still go back there from time to time. My followers see that with many of my poems. That’s my way of healing. I write it out, in the hopes it brings healing to myself and to anyone else who has experienced similar.
By way of explanation, my drive to excel started at 14 years old. I grew up surrounded by crime, by violence and all the things that should turn me sour. It didn't, it actually drove me to become something better, something more.
So, I got my first job to make some money and be independent. To buy myself all the things I saw others get. It was also to escape my life. At one stage I had three jobs I juggled all before age 21. Through working I was able to meet inspiring people, and learn new ways to become a decent human being.
By age 24 I had a huge amount of debt, no savings and no real life plan. Sure, I was street smart, it was ingrained in me, you don’t see the stuff I did without becoming good with people, without knowing you can hold your own. But I was left with a feeling of being incomplete. I still feel that way, incomplete.
What I have come to realize at age 27, I have never really stopped. Not once, in fact I have spent my entire life proving to myself I could do it, not really making any difference to others lives.
I have longed for a way to use my strength to help others. So, I made a promise to myself that I would clear my debt, work hard and save up enough to go help others in the world. Sure enough, I cleared debts and now I’m working equally as hard( by hard I mean, I work myself to the point I sometimes wonder if what I’m doing is right) to get myself in a place where I can travel the world and use my odd skill set to help where I can.
Make no mistake, I am not Mother Teresa, I am not Gandhi, but they do inspire me.
As I explore new places, I will do it as much for myself and I will for others. But essentially if and where I can volunteer, I will.
I have always been a curious person. When I would read about other cultures and things happening around the world, I was instantly fascinated. Also extremely sad . Why? because in Western Society we are privileged. We have the basics provided. I know there are homeless and we have a lot to do in our own turf, but i’m drawn to other parts. Why? I haven't quite figured that part out.
I feel I can make difference! am I naive? Maybe, but I have to do it.
So, where I can’t articulate this longing inside my every bone, I write. I was writing when I was 9 years old looking in my mirror asking for help. Begging for a chance to escape. I got that help, one way or another, that is how I came to be the person I am today.
I came to Medium to heal through writing, I find myself now wanting to explore it further, more than just me and my baggage.
Shout out to Heath Houston, Thomas R. Barton, JD, Tremaine L. Loadholt, WalkerJojones, Colette, Tamyka Bell, S Lynn Knight and many others ( sorry so many people to thank) for making me feel okay with myself and at home here enough to share this.
Here is a cheesy rhyme that should express what I can’t.
Raise your glass in reverence
It’s been a bumpy ride
But it’s only just beginning
I have so much to decide
I will slide across the ocean
between waves of what’s to come
I'll drink the salty sea
if it’s mixed with coconut rum
Time is of no essence
see me bend it like it’s free
I will take the long road
if my heart accompanies me
I’ve never liked this routine
it suppresses my wild soul
I need to feel unbounded
I’m sure I can fill this hole
I will dance around a fire
with tribes from foreign lands
to feel what it’s like to wander
without the stress of plans
I will play among the children
from places most forget
in turmoil or in laughter
I want to give them love they won’t forget
You see this place is full of self
more than I ever thought
I’m done with this restriction
now is my time to retort
I’m here for more than desk jobs
that make me feel incomplete
I’m here to make some changes
I don’t care who follows me
Unless you’re resonating
then jump aboard my ship
I can’t promise it’s smooth sailing
however, it will be worth the mighty hit
Side note: expect to hear more on this as I become more comfortable writing this way.
I am going to end this with a Gandhi quote: