Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday Travel Inspiration: Hope

I've been thinking a lot about hope lately.

In the wake of all that has happened in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), and its impact on my friends and colleagues there, clinging to hope has become a source of motivation and keeping a positive attitude.

Hope is what I reached for when we lost communication with our GoAbroad Asia offices during the storm, when word started trickling in regarding staff safety, and as I viewed image after image of the sheer devastation done to the country.

It was heartbreaking to see and hear about things from thousands of miles away; I don't even begin to imagine what it must have been like for those who lived it. I still struggle to even know how to write about this. I can only send my hopes for recovery, trusting in the strength that defines the Filipino people, and all the volunteers providing on the ground relief support.

Thus, it seems appropriate that today's #TravelTuesday be about the hope that guides us - through the good times and through the darker ones.

One of the things that has amazed me the most about this recent natural disaster is how quick people have been to volunteer their services, their energy, and their time, to help provide support. Whether it's through sharing and donating to a campaign, or inquiring about volunteering in some of the hardest hit areas, there has been no limit to people's generosity. It evokes an indescribable feeling -- one which reaffirms my belief in the human spirit and the ability to make a difference, no matter how small.

These thoughts, these beliefs; these are the things we carry with us in our travels and in our day-to-day lives. They feed the hope that keeps us putting one foot in front of the other, just when it seems we've reached the end of the road.

There are also those you meet along the way who physically manifest this hope. In this case, I can't help but think of my boss and GoAbroad's Founder, Troy Peden, who was residing with his family in the Philippines at the time of the typhoon.

I can't even begin to vocalize all that he has done in the wake of these circumstances, but I will tell you this: it's because of leaders like Troy Peden that the world is a better place.

From checking in on individual staff members to affirm their safety, to distributing relief goods, and encouraging others to share their stories, I'm beyond humbled by the perseverance and strength of this man. And that gives me hope; hope that no matter how steep the road to recovery may be, there will guiding lights along the way. All we have to do is reach for them and they'll be there to lend a hand.

No matter the trials or tribulations you have faced, or may come to face in the future, don't give up on hope. There will be experiences that make us want to hide from the world, rather than embrace it; to run, rather than stay. These obstacles will test our sense of self, they may shake us to our core, and without doubt, will define our future paths. With a bit of hope on your side, though, you'll find strength in navigating towards the light at the end of the tunnel.

I don't always know much, but I do know that to be a truth to live by.

If you are interested in getting involved with GoAbroad's Relief Efforts, please read more on the GoAbroad Blog