I walked into the brightly colored room with pillows and cushions strewn across the floor; the setting begs you to grab a book and lie down for a good read. Each wall was painted in a primary color; the little mountainside library was full of energy and fun. My eyes immediately went to the rows of bookcases neatly holding stacks of Nepalese and English books. I picked one up, flipped through some of it and saw the familiar logo on the inside front cover – Room to Read donated the books to this tiny village which I called my ‘Nepal home’. I was proud; proud I was a part of putting together this library in the little village of Puma, Nepal.
After volunteer teaching there a year prior in 2008, I had provided the principle with a financial donation to have the bulky library shelves be transported from Besisahar up to Puma which was perched high on a mountainside. It was such a treat to see that the shelves did actually make it up the mountain and had been filled with books just as we had discussed. The books were from Room To Read; an organization which works in collaboration with communities and local governments in developing countries to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children.
We all frequently read about companies and philanthropic organizations helping out in other countries, but when you can be a part of it, see it with your own eyes, and see the outcome – it takes on a different meaning. It’s one of the most rewarding things about my traveling lifestyle; being able to make a positive impact on a community, family, or person.
We take books for granted. They sit on our shelves, we probably don’t even think about them. They end up in old boxes in an attic, forgotten. But for other countries, books are a commodity in great demand.
Books lead to education, education leads to reducing poverty.
That’s why I was thrilled to hear that Passports with Purpose, the annual travel blogging fundraiser, would be working with Room to Read this year. An organization which I believe in, and I’ve seen in action first hand in Nepal.
Holiday Giving Back
Passports with Purpose raises thousands of dollars each December as they partner with travel bloggers and travel industry leaders to host a large raffle fundraiser; giving away amazing travel prizes for the small price of a $10 raffle ticket. The last few years they raised enough money to build a school in Cambodia and a build a village in India. This year we are raising money to build libraries in Zambia via Room to Read!
The goal is to raise $80,000 through the travel bloggers who secured prizes from travel businesses. It’s really a wonderful way for the whole online travel industry to work together to improve the world in which we travel and do business.
Why should you care?
You should care because I’ve secured a kick ass travel prize from one of my favorite travel companies I worked with this year. In short, I can make your Europe travels this year cheaper and more rewarding – I guarantee it!
In the words of a used car salesman…”You’d be crazy to pass this up!”
I’m so excited to work with a Oh Barcelona this year to give away such a coveted lodging prize. Why? Because it’s not just any company – it’s a company I used when I traveled in Europe this year. I have met the people there, I love how they do business, and I believe in the many benefits of staying in apartments when traveling.
Apartments for Extended Travel – Namely it’s a way to travel slow and integrate into local neighborhoods equaling a more rewarding travel experience.
So – as you do your holiday spending this coming month, take a moment to think about your future travels and consider helping the future of kids in Zambia. It’s a mere $10, such a small amount to make such a large impact. Hell – you’ll simply spend $10 for parking this holiday season as you shop away with no real impact. So put your $10 to good use this holiday and consider giving to Passports with Purpose and consider it a down payment on your future Europe travels!
A huge thanks to Oh-Barcelona apartments for donating the prize on behalf of Ottsworld. If you are planning travel to Europe this year – you must check them out for your Europe apartment rental! Plus – if you have any plans to travel in Barcelona, then don’t miss their Barcelona Blog – it was my best source of information on what to do in Barcelona beyond the tourist sites!