And then I realized, travelling is the best way to learn – Anonymous
Throughout my life I have been given the opportunity to travel on amazing trips filled with unique experiences that have a lasting impact on my life. With every city or country I have visited, the venturesome experiences and the different perspectives I have gained has helped shape my desire to continue travelling. It gave me a platform to diversify my experiences; shaping my life as I discover myself, my purpose, my true desires and potentials while I venture out in a new place.
One of the sole purposes of why I travel is to simply learn and gain perspective along with the other benefits of travelling. As some of you may know, I recently travelled on a volunteer trip to Kenya where I devoted my time to build a school with the local community members of Enelerai. Working alongside the community members has helped put life into perspective. Having said that, being able to see the conditions that rural Kenyans are currently living in, helped me alter my perception of poverty.
It is worth mentioning that poverty is not the result of a single cause as the issue is more complex and rooted in a number of correlated social and economic factors. Regardless of the money and resources that are invested in tackling one issue, the cycle of poverty will persist. To address the causes of poverty, the group and I participated in leadership modules where we had the opportunity to learn about the five primary causes of poverty.
With WE Village’s five-pillar development model, we learned holistic and sustainable solutions that work to help communities lift themselves out of poverty. The five pillars include education, water, health, food, and opportunity. Each pillar that we addressed is a critical component in breaking the cycle of poverty; working in tandem to transform communities. In a separate post, I will be discussing how each pillar are interconnected to one another in creating a better life for many rural Kenyans. Additionally, participating in these leadership activities helped me gain a better understanding on social issues first-hand and allowed me to build my leadership skills. Working with our trip leaders, the group and I had the opportunity to develop our own action plan — a blueprint of how we’ll take what we’ve learned to create sustainable changes locally and globally.
Travelling to Kenya has also helped me gain exposure to different cultures and customs; expanding my horizon and allowing me to gain a new perspective. Whether it be trying a new dish, learning a new language, or being exposed to a new cultural custom, it is vital to immerse myself in the city or country I am in. Apart from building the school and learning about poverty, I was able to immerse myself in the Maasai culture where my group and I participated in different cultural activities that stimulated my interest. From joining local women on a water walk to training with my Maasai warrior guides, these experiences allowed me to connect with the community members in a raw and powerful way.
To conclude, these invaluable experiences from my Kenya trip has helped shape me into the person I am today. Travelling in general has allowed me to embrace the new cultures and customs that I have been exposed to; opening my doors to new opportunities. Every place I travel to has a story to tell and having said that, makes me more appreciative of our world.