We have been on the road for nearly four weeks and I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone. While the trip odometer tops 3,000 miles, the distance I’ve covered can’t be measured solely in miles. It can also be measured in the people I’ve met: executives at nonprofit organizations intent on having an impact on the world; shopkeepers in small towns on country roads; students, teachers and administrators at campuses I tour; and volunteers from all over the world who are helping to promote social change.
The distance I’ve covered can also be measured in sights I’ve seen. From the beautiful red mesas of Utah to the snow topped tips of the Rocky Mountains to the flat plains of Western Kansas, each mile my mom and I spend on the road reminds us of the incredible diversity and beauty of this country. Much of my travel time in the past has been spent seeing the country from the air, as I end up in a new location almost as if by magic. Despite having already been to most regions of the country at other times, I feel like I am now really seeing the United States for the first time.
Perhaps most importantly, the distance from home can also be measured by the organizations at which I’ve volunteered so far. The range of issues these organizations address—teen empowerment, animal protection, ocean preservation, support for victims of domestic abuse—has already reshaped my thinking about the challenges facing my generation of volunteers and philanthropists. However, it is the moments that will stick with me for the rest of my life. Moments spent hugging a loving puppy who is waiting for his forever home at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. Moments spent at The Women’s Safe House in St. Louis, Missouri, meeting women whose only safe place in the world is that 50 bed shelter. Moments spent thinking about the jarring contrasts of a beautiful countryside filled with amazing people and
our need to surmount seemingly insurmountable challenges.
While the Do Good Adventure road trip has just begun, I know I’ve already travelled a lifetime.