Hi! My name is Chelsea, I am a keen traveler from Brisbane, Australia.
Ever since I was a young teenager I have loved the idea of traveling and exploring the world. I love going on adventure and learning new things. Although, it seemed there was always something holding me back, always an excuse not to go; whether it was money, waiting for friends to come with me or some special event I had to be home for. It hit me how much I needed travel in my life when a friend pulled me up, saying that she had never seen me so low. I had always shared my passion for travel with her but I had been struggling in my job and not been able to find my happiness. This special friend encouraged me to do what will make me happy. It made sense that if I really wanted to go traveling then I shouldn’t let anything stop me, I should do it. “Just do it” she said, pretty inspirational, huh? I didn’t know at the time what an impact travel would have on my life.
I started really traveling on my own in 2013 when I went backpacking through South East Asia and Europe for 4 months. This was on my way to live in London for two years.
I loved my first adventure. It lit a fire in me, I craved the new experiences I knew I could only get from being in a new and unfamiliar place. It took me out of my comfort zone to meet new people and find my way around places I had never been, I even learnt to read a map! I met so many wonderful people and learnt so much about history , culture and about myself, I became a whole new person. When I was living in London I worked 2 jobs to support my addiction to travel, going away every second weekend. I was very fortunate to have that opportunity and see as much as I did. When my 2 year visa expired though it was time to go home to my family back in Aus.
I had only planned to be home for 6 months, I just knew I had to keep traveling. However, I fell into a job and a routine and got comfortable. My Dad became very ill and I knew I had to be home with my family, I couldn’t be away from them just yet. I could only do short trips to New Zealand and South America within the 2 years being home to feed the travel bug. Seeing my Dad go through his illness and watching him pass away was the hardest thing I have ever been through but it did help me gain a new perspective on life and enjoying every moment.
I mostly really love my job as a travel agent, but it doesn’t have my whole heart. I sometimes feel like I don’t fit in this modern world with strong societal pressures and the materialist marketing that can have such a negative impact on peoples values. I find it sad that people don’t connect with each other on the same levels as we used to and that money drives our world.
When I finally had a chance to go to Kenya in September 2017 I instantly felt at home. I had been dreaming of going to Africa for years and had looked into volunteer trips in the passed. I was so lucky to have a friend that founded a charity building houses in Kenya and so this is what took me on this next adventure that stole my heart. Although I spent a lot of my time traveling around Africa as well, my time working with the people and building houses for families in need had the greatest impact I think any experience ever has. It was a very emotional couple of weeks. We formed a new family of volunteers and locals working together. We got to meet the families and celebrate the opening of their new houses together.
It was the people and their stories that had the deepest effect on me. I believe that everyone should be equal, and have the same opportunities. We should all have the same rights and freedom. After all, we are all just people who go through the same life with our own struggles and experiences.
From being in Kenya and seeing first hand the way they live I just knew I had to get involved more. I needed to come back, spend more time here and connect with the people. I had just finished my teach English as a foreign language (TEFL) course so that way my first idea, I could teach English in schools to help the teachers and children. I could join the house build trip again and I could help with this other foundation that I had just connected with, the Lee Sisters Foundation and their connection with Days for Girls. I connected with some amazing people during my time in Kenya which gave me the opportunity to do more. I knew from the feeling in side me the first time this idea popped into my head that I had to do it. My heart was full and I was happy, YES! I have to come back, how and to do what, I didn’t know yet but I felt at home there, it was the simple life and I was sure I could help. In my head I heard “Just do it!”
So now this new fire burns in my belly, I have been spreading the news with friends, family and customers to raise the awareness of the foundations I will be working with and the projects we are working on. It is only 1 month until I go back to Kenya, I am excited, I am nervous but I am ready!