Living and Giving
Last night I had the privilege of meeting adventurer, philanthropist and author Erin Michelson.
Erin who runs a personal Blog GoErinGo.com was doing a road show at a local REI in Las Vegas to promote her book,
However, her presentation sponsored by REI was not so much about promoting her book, as it was promoting the idea of philanthropy and adventure. By definition philanthropy is “the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money or personal time to good causes”.
And adventure, at least in Erin’s case meant a two year journey to more than 70 countries on all seven continents living and giving of her personal time and money.
To paraphrase a National Geographic article on Michelson, “Along the way, she donated time and money to humanitarian causes—including, impoverished communities in Uganda, HIV/hAIDS organizations in Ethiopia, and housing initiatives in the Philippines. She has also connected with local communities in ways that casual tourists can’t.”
Michelson says, “Adventure philanthropy is a lifestyle that makes giving part of your life and your travels.” And while her contributions to the people, communities and countries she visited and served are enormous there were also costs and other dangers.
Foot worms and other adventures
While she travels alone Erin rarely plans a particular itinerary preferring to just show up and see what the needs are. She has had some pretty scary things happen to her during her travels including being mugged a couple of times and kidnapped in Viet Nam, but she has never been seriously hurt.
One of her more intriguing experiences was when she discovered worms growing out of the bottom of her feet. That’s right, worms growing out of the bottom of her feet. She believes she got them near a beach in Tofo, Mozambique.
Want to see the outcome? See the video below.
Volunteering abroad & your own backyard
Most of us will never endeavor to do what Erin has done, but we can all learn a great deal about the love of adventure and giving of ourselves. Erin will tell you herself that what she accomplished and is still pursuing is not for everyone.
But she will also tell you that we all can contribute and learn something each and every day. Give to your church, synagogue or other charitable organization. Buy those Girl Scout cookies. Volunteer you time to help others in your own back yard.
Then, if you have the desire and the courage take it one step further. Go to another city, state or country and give of yourself there. You can make a difference. Erin did and so can you.
Want to be inspired more? Get her book here.
Want to know more about Erin and volunteer travel? Go here. GoErinGo.com
Until next time…. Keep living adventurously.
The Adventure Insider
Explore the Adventurous Life™ – Because it’s There
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