Planning for future travel plans (that you know you definitely will embark on – not one of those oh, I’m sure I will do that one day moments) is an extremely exciting affair. The incredible amount of resources online make for hours and hours of fun. I spent countless hours staring my computer screen, and occasionally dropping a note or two on my travel planner (yeah I have one. I’m dead serious, guys). AirBnB, Workaway, MindMyHouse, Lonely Planet, Guidegecko, and so on have become my favorite haunts.
Admittedly, I found independent travelers’ blogs to be better reads. It’s always easier to relate to someone who has been there and done that – such as Lea Woodward from Location Independent or Mark from Migrationology. My favorite post was this – an amazing 101 guide to backpacking across Southeast Asia, which I am going to embark on in May.
The best part is that most of these resources are totally free. The only exception I have made so far was to pay S$37 for membership at Workaway, in order to contact potential hosts. We’ll see how that investment pans out, I have high hopes for it!
In the midst of my planning, though, I started to have one of those moments of reflection. You know, that moment when you’ve spent 12 hours researching on something exciting (I’m exaggerating, of course… I think) and you suddenly think, What am I doing all this for?
That’s exactly what occurred to me. What was my purpose of travel in the first place? To grow as a person; to experience the world and all it’s colorful cultures; to experience independence on the road; to find life’s calling. I realized that it was all about me, me, me! There should be more to it than just me, right?
At the end of the day, I added one more item to my list of aims: To contribute to the less fortunate in the world in a tangible way. Sure, I might not make a huge impact on the economy of Africa, or solve the political issues of Myanmar, but just by staying in one family’s house and helping with the chores, with their business, and with their lives – in this way, perhaps I could start a small ripple of change that could go far.
I could do my small part for the world.