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Friday, October 8, 2010

And so it begins!

I have always wanted to do something extraordinary with my life. As a child my parents taught me the importance of giving back and following my dreams. When I was a teenager I began to search for a purpose in life, which led me to the military. I deployed to Iraq when I was 19. I learned alot about myself and what is truly important to me. I saw the true nature of modern warfare and the endemic corruption that follows. I was a terrified kid caught in the middle of a war that I didn't truly believe. Following Iraq and my tour of duty in the military I have since joined the organization Iraq Veterans Against the War. (IVAW). As a member of this organization I try to contribute to the end of global conflict but on a personal level I want to find a way to do what I can to help reduce the collateral damage of war.

Soon I will be embarking on my second big traveling adventure, although this time people will not be trying to kill me (I hope!). I am so excited about this opportunity of a lifetime. The thought of this trip originated as a desire to hop on a plane and just simply travel. After researching possibilities based upon my budget and my desire to explore spiritual practices, I decided on south east Asia as my destination. Not wishing to be the variety of traveler who simply hangs out poolside, I started to do some research into Non Government Organizations (NGO's), meditation centers, monasteries, and other aid organizations in Cambodia.

Now as most of you know I am a fanatical cyclist. I have ridden over 5,000 miles this year alone. My wish is to incorporate my love for cycling into this trip and "do good" while I'm there. My mode of transportation while venturing through cambodia will be by bicycle. During the course of my research, I have come in contact with a man named Charles DiBella, who does something I think is really extraordinary. He's been living and bicycle touring in Cambodia for four years; sponsoring children towards their goals of achieving higher education. He is a pretty awesome guy.

Charles has been invaluable by answering all of my questions about riding a bicycle and living on the fly in SE Asia. I quickly realized that I could turn this into a "save the world" (or at least a few children) trip. An idea that was originally something pretty self-involved, is turning into a project that has some spiritual depth, and weight. This is where this blog comes in, because I can't do this alone. I am asking for your help.

As I am traveling, my goal is to identify communities where I can be of the most service. What I have learned from my research, is that these kids really need technology. I plan on mentoring and sponsoring high school age kids that have a good foundation in english. With technology they can become self reliant and create a revenue stream that can help supplement their continued higher education. Using Charles as an inspiration my plan is to work closely with educators in these communities, matching students with the necessary technology to achieve their educational goals.This organization is amazing and their video will give you an idea of what it's like in Cambodia.

My plan is to leave early January and spend anywhere from 3-6 months (maybe more!) I will arrive in Bangkok on January 5th and stay with a friend. After the jet lag wears off I will set off on my bike and make my way across the Cambodian border. I will sleep in monasteries nd villages as I make my way to the city of Siem Reap where I have connected with some students over the internet in the past few weeks.

Due to the educational nature of this trip I have partially funded it by student loans. I need donations to fund the altruistic aspect of this project; specifically children in need. These kids I sponsor will need laptops, digital cameras, etc. I am going to teach them how to set up websites and document their lives, and help them share their stories with the world through social media and networking. I need support from all of you. Anything you can donate will be greatly appreciated. Our outdated technology is more than useful for their needs. Support me and watch this blog as I travel the world and do what I can. First and foremost, monetary donations will be most helpful so that I can purchase items when I get to Bangkok and Cambodia. I am also looking for any used electronics such as digital cameras, USB storage devices, and even laptops. Due to my traveling by bicycle for this whole trip, I need to travel light, so smaller items would be ideal. Any of your old outdated stuff can be super useful, especially for these developing countries. You can contact me at call or text me to arrange for a meet-up if you want to donate used electronics. 860-248-0889

Please click donate at the bottom of the page.

l want to thank all of the amazing people that have been a part of my life for helping me progress as a person and helping me get where I am today as well as wherever this crazy adventure will take me.

Love and Light

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