I’m long overdue for an update!! I’m doing some serious promotion for TOAFN on the social networks, so I know that many of you are here for the first time. Welcome.
Let me start by rallying you all—old and new friends—to help me find paid speaking engagements over the next year…keynoting conferences, sharing my life and goals with college classes, addressing organizations.
In keeping with my nomadic soul, I will go anywhere!!! I have time and energy and passion. Please write to: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org They are coordinating and setting up my talks. Those of you who have been coming here for a while know that organizing is not my thing!!!
I’m a good speaker and I’m told that my talks awaken dreams and inspire people to think about how they can energize their lives. I’m passionate about my belief that getting out there in the world will enrich not only the individual participant, but the U.S. as well. The global intimacy that has developed through technology, and the seemingly endless fighting among nations has made it essential that we grow a population that has interacted with and learned to respect other ways of life. Our future depends upon understanding and working with other cultures.
And I want to shout from the rooftop (or at least from the blog) that THE JOY THAT COMES FROM CONNECTING IS LIFE-CHANGING. Please, buy a plane ticket and give it a try.
OK. Now a little catching up for those of you who are here for the first time.
Since the book, I’ve done a ton of traveling. A year in India, many weeks in Suriname, months in Tanzania, Kenya, Poland, Turkey, Peru…and most recently, three weeks in Madagascar.
Now I’m hanging out in the U.S., writing and talking about my life…and my passion: creating a Gap Year movement in this country.
I’m encouraging anyone at any age to get out into the developing world and discover the joy of connecting, the shared excitement of discovering that we are all human and, underneath the trappings of different cultures, we’re pretty much the same. I want everyone to realize that each of us can make a difference.
And I should mention that when I’m in an area to give a talk, I like to visit schools and talk to kids of any age (second grade through high school)…pro bono. (My 70+ kids’ books are an easy entry into schools in the U.S.)
I’m focusing most of my efforts these days on getting youth to take time between high school, before college or job or military, to get some experiential education by living, working, playing, and learning through face-to-face interaction with people from other cultures. It changes lives.
That year or so after graduating is time for young people to get to know who they are, what they want to do with their lives, and what the world is all about. These days, many colleges are encouraging a Gap Year; some are even paying for it. I’ll be doing a blog soon just about the Gap Year. Meanwhile, do Google: American Gap Association. They are certifying programs so parents can send their kids off knowing certain standards will be met by the program organizers.
Me? At the moment I’m in Coquille, Oregon, headed to New York, Virginia and Florida in July…for talks, family, business and a reunion. Before I leave, I’ll be at the Oregon Country Fair. I’m looking forward to the chaos and activity.
P.S. For those of you who haven’t read my anthology, Female Nomad and Friends, Breaking Free and Breaking Bread Around the World…please buy a copy. There are 41 different authors, it’s a perfect commute or bathroom book…and it has some fabulous recipes, too. But the most compelling part of your purchase is that all the royalties from that book are going (through Rotary International) to send young people in a slum in New Delhi to vocational schools. More than $45,000 has already been distributed and I would love to keep it going forever. Do buy copies for all your friends as well!!