Well, it’s been an amazing ride for the past three Projects with TC. Together we’ve been able to raise over $30,000 for clean water and education in Northern Ethiopia. I’ve had the privilege, along with some lucky TC customers, to visit these communities and see firsthand how we’ve all been able to help. Hats off to all of you for making this possible!
Now as we move into our 4th Project, we want to do something a little different. A project that I’ve wanted to do since I started Traveller Collective.
One of the things I enjoy most about travel is the opportunity to meet and interact with locals from around the world. I love to hear about their lives and share what life is like in Canada. In every one of those experiences, I always walk away reminded of how similar we all really are. When it comes down to it, we all want the same thing—to be happy and healthy. However, I’ve found there’s something else that so many of us share and that’s a desire to see the world. It doesn’t matter where you live; we all dream of traveling the world and experiencing far away places and cultures.
Now, I can’t speak for everyone who's a part of Traveller Collective but I live in a country where I have the ability to make my travel dreams come true. Sure, I have to watch my spending and make some sacrifices but, at the end of the day, if I want it enough, I have the ability to save enough money for travel. But it’s just not the same for people in many other countries. They share the same dream of seeing the world but, in their reality, they will likely never get the opportunity. The idea of saving enough money to travel is impossible to comprehend and, unfortunately, their dream of seeing the world will almost certainly remain a dream forever.
I always find myself coming back to these thoughts, especially when the idea of travel comes up in conversations with locals. It makes me feel pretty damn lucky to have the opportunity to travel the world because I know these opportunities aren’t there for everybody.
My wife and I were in Chefchaouen, Morocco for our honeymoon back in November where I met a local woman named Fatima. She’s a friendly, kind-hearted, outgoing person that I really enjoyed getting to know. She told me all about her life in Chefchaouen and what it’s like working at the casa. One of her favourite parts of the job is getting to meet people from all over the world. She loves asking them about where they come from and what it’s like to live there. She has such a thirst for learning about different places and cultures. But Fatima's only been two places in her life: Chefchaouen, where she currently works, and the village where she grew up 80kms away. That’s the biggest trip she’s ever done.
From my time with Fatima, it was abundantly clear that she had dreams of seeing the world and experiencing the places that she only heard about. But, like a lot of people out there, she openly admits her travel dreams will never be a reality in her lifetime. With the amount of money she makes every month, the thought of saving enough to travel is impossible to comprehend. She also spoke to the fact that her 5-year-old son Ayat, who, in her eyes, is the most outgoing and adventurous boy in the world, will in all likelihood never be able to travel outside of his home village either.
Fatima didn't share these things with us as some sad sob story; just that it was their reality. But, I have to admit, it can be tough to hear and really makes me think again of just how privileged I am to have these opportunities to travel. I've also had so many people within the Traveller Collective community reach out to share the same sentiment.
So, after hearing stories just like Fatima’s for years, the timing feel rights to launch Project 4…to help someone less fortunate to fulfill their travel dream. And I can’t think of anyone better to do it with that Fatima and her son Ayat.
We're all unbelievably excited about this project, and have received amazing feedback from The Collective already! It’ll no doubt be a challenge, as there are a lot of moving pieces in order for this project to be a success, but we look forward to making it a reality. Throughout the coming months, we’ll keep everyone updated on the progress of the Project so we can all share in the experience together.
Until then, happy travels!