“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” – Paul Theroux
Making the decision to travel was supremely easy. Deciding where to go was a completely different story. I have been progressively going to new countries and didn’t want to travel to the same places I had already been but I also didn’t want to go to ‘normal’ locations. I have only semi planned up till end of November because one very important stop needed to be booked in before I left.
The first stop was easy. I have been in the Middle East for nearly 3.5 years and my favourite city in the world is Paris so flying from Dubai to Paris was a given. It is also a days train ride to my first adventure.
Sometimes you get messages or signs about what you should be doing. The Camino de Santiago was one of those for me. Be it blogs I was reading, television shows I was watching or random movies I picked; I was drawn to the Camino. The Camino de Santiago deserves its own blog but basically it is The Way of St. James. The Way is the pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the apostle Saint James are buried.
The Way I will be taking is the Camino Frances which stretches nearly 800 kilometres from St. Jean Pied du Port on the French side of the Pryenees to Santiago de Compostela in the north-west of Spain. This is a personal and very spiritual journey for me that I am very excited about.
Upon completing the Camino I am going to head briefly into Portugal. I am trying to arrange a quick trip to Dakar, Senegal. There I hope to meet my sponsor child but waiting for the approvals to come through. Either way I will head back into Spain and then depart for Cuba. I am hoping to stay with Cuban families my entire time in Cuba, take wonderful photos of old cars and funky buildings. All while learning more about the people and hopefully learn how to salsa with a spunky Cuban.
From Cuba I head into Central America to complete a TEFL course in Guatemala and then to perhaps the experience that will be a defining moment. I have arranged to spend two months in an orphanage in Mexico. I knew I wanted to volunteer but with so many options I felt sure I would never be able to decide what to do.
Well I believe the universe conspires to make things happen when you make up your mind. The very next day after making the decision to volunteer a friend posted a comment about an orphanage in Mexico. Now there are probably hundreds if not thousands of orphanages in Mexico so why did this one appeal to me?
Misión México is being run by Alan and Pamela Skuse who’s son I went to high school with. If this is not divine intervention I am not sure what is.
Misión México provides a loving, secure home for children of all ages who have been abused, neglected, orphaned or abandoned, and mostly from backgrounds of extreme poverty. The number of childrenin their care changes constantly but on average they care for between 40 and 50 children on a permanent basis.
I have an amazing life and almost all of the children they care for have in their short lives suffered extreme poverty, violence and abuse. I am under no illusions that this will be a easy 2 months in my trip. I am not going there to be a do-gooder or anything of the sorts. I am going there because I can give time, love and myself to assist.
Now it when I go out on a limb and ask you to assist. Every step of the way I am going to be raising awareness and money for Misión México. Whether you can only donate $10 or can arrange a fundraising event and raise more I ask you to look at your live and see how you can help me to give this children more love, life and hope!
One of the favourite activities the children and staff alike enjoy is going to the beach to surf. I read a post recently that they were having troubles with the vehicles that allow this ray of sunshine and joy. So together I would like us to raise enough money to buy them a much needed people mover.
Lets see how far we can spread the love.