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Lisette Garcia, left, with Donovan, Paula and Angel.

Smiling in the Face of Cancer

Lisette Garcia, left, with Donovan, Paula and Angel. In the vast, sprawling metropolis of Mexico City there lives a little girl named Paula. She is 8 years old, and in many ways she is just like other 8-year-old children. She giggles a lot, she likes to play dress up, and she really, really wants an […]

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Volunteering and Going on Safari in Tanzania

In 2012, Keith and I took an amazing trip to Kenya and Tanzania. While we were there, we were lucky enough to be able to go on safari, and some of our best experiences came through Hostel Hoff, which provides a hostel in Moshi, Tanzania along with safaris that are much more economical than most, […]

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Passports with Purpose

Passports with Purpose, the travel blogging fundraiser, is raising money now through December 17, 2014 to help farmers in Honduras with Sustainable Harvest International (SHI). For $10 a try you can enter to win one of dozens of fantastic travel prizes that range from a week in Provence to a tour of the Grand Canyon to […]

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Travel Changes Everything: Giving Girls the Gift of Seeing the World

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard It’s literally the ticket to the whole world…but only 30% of Americans have a passport. Of course, many people can’t afford to travel internationally very much (although if you […]

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Bringing Education, and Hope, to Cambodia’s Children

My “Trading Places” stories usually have to do with me experiencing life in another place. Today, however, I would like to reverse that and share the Trading Places story of my friend Ponheary Ly, a Cambodian woman who is visiting the United States for the first time, and whom I got to spend time with […]

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Sea Turtle Release in El Salvador

They inhabit all of the world’s oceans, except the Arctic. They can live for 80 years, and play key roles in the ecosystem that is important not only to them and other wildlife, but to humans as well. Sadly, all seven species of sea turtles are on the endangered or critically endangered list. In the […]

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Top 5 Reasons to Volunteer on your Travels

This Sunday, I set out for my seventh trip to India, each of which has included a week’s stay at a children’s home in the northeastern state of Odisha. In fact, volunteering at this home where more than 100 parentless children live is the reason I went to India in the first place, back in […]

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The Top 5 Inspirational People I’ve Met in my Travels

One of the things I most love about exploring the world is delving into vastly different cultures, traditions and beliefs—and seeing all the similarities underneath this, that bind us together in the human thread. Part of really connecting with a place and having authentic, meaningful cultural exchanges is through meeting people who are truly giving […]

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The Benefits of Volunteering while Traveling

I admit it: I’m a travel junkie. I’m also a junkie for humanitarian causes. So when I can combine the two, the world just feels like a better place to me. I recently ran across an interview that author Nancy Christie did with me, on the benefits of volunteering, for an upcoming book. I thought […]

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A Road Without Obstacles is not Worth Traveling

Yesterday I was handed the best letter I have ever received. I was at St. Monica’s Home for Girls for the first time. Earlier in the day I had met Sarah, a 17-year-old junior in high school who has been living at St. Monica’s since fourth grade. Extremely intelligent, with a vocabulary and life philosophy […]

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