The world that we live in from here to Great Britain (Download my first ever Hip Hop mixtape; The P-Funk Mecca Fusion which includes a track called “Back to Tha Basics” on which you will find me rapping like a boss. I produced the music for the whole mixtape and recorded the vocals with a friend in a hotel room [studio] here in Hong Kong) has been known to be a massive playground in my eyes and I plan on playing in it. In this playground you find children acting like adults and the exact opposite. Adults trying their best to be young again. In this post, I hope to give you the tools you will need to take a well needed “baby-retirement”.
This post plays off some of the ideas that were discussed in my previous post (you can read the post here) of pattern deconstruction and you need to be able to do the same with you life when your side of the playground gets tough. I’ve always been a fan of making new friends on the other side, because the more kids you know in the playground, the better chance you have of dominating it.
What we want to do is find a cheap method to expand our horizons and experience life to its fullest. What is better than traveling? Answer: not much. I love traveling. I equally love exploring and learning new things and why not do that at minimal cost? How you ask? It’s really very simple. International Volunteering!
There are two sides to International Volunteering, like almost everything else. The good and the bad. The bad in this case is not necessarily bad for you, but the reason that the volunteering is available is because of some sort of breakdown in society or a natural disaster took place. The good side of International Volunteering is when you volunteer to further expand something of use to the world. I know it all sounds a bit vague at the moment, but I will elaborate shortly.
As a philanthropist myself, I tend to veer towards the bad side of International Volunteering and more specifically war effected zones (i.e. Gaza) which is why I started The Palestine Forever Foundation. Breakdowns of any sort can be great experiences: nervous, communication, etc. They allow us to return to center and to refocus on what it is that truly matters. There are people who dedicate their lives to this and completely retire to tend to the world that so desperately needs us. I wish I was as committed, but in all honesty, I really have quite a bit to lose by dropping everything in my life, so for the sake of this blog and the variety of readership, I want this post to apply to the masses, rather than one group of people that are willing to take a complete plunge into the deep end.
Ok, now that we’ve got that out of the way, we can move onto our baby-retirements. Now, take into account that I am making a big assumption here, but I will assume that you have enough money to arrive at a volunteering location. This is the minimum you will need to continue reading further. If you cannot yet afford to do that, then you will need to explore money making opportunities before you can enjoy a baby-retirement. For those that can afford the travel costs, then there are many opportunities where your host will cover all expenses for you except for personal spending & partying like a mad person. One such organization is the All Hands Volunteers (visit them here), here’s a little bit about them:
All Hands Volunteers is a US-based, 501(c)3 non-profit organization, that provides hands-on assistance to communities around the world, with maximum impact and minimum bureaucracy.
Our Mission: To provide immediate, effective and sustainable support to communities in need by harnessing the energy and commitment of dedicated volunteers.
Our Vision: To be the most effective organization at providing committed volunteers the opportunity to give immediate and sustainable help to communities in need and to those suffering in the wake of natural disasters.
I will not go into details about the projects, but this is a global initiative and they will provide you with a place to sleep and food so all that’s left for you is to spend some money on traveling to the project location and you’re set! You are about to jump into the heart of a new culture and you’re not going to pay much to travel the world.
In my personal opinion, here are the benefits of International Volunteering:
- Cut Travel Costs
- Be Immersed in a Different Culture
- Meet Fellow World Travelers
- Challenge Your Mind & Body
I mean really, what more do you want from life? The playground is there. You are busy making 101 excuses why you can’t leave your home and there are loads of people actively playing some fun games on the other side of the playground! My suggestion…go and play with them. It will only make you a better person.
Here are some other reputable organizations you can play with:
Every summer Burning Man participants (aka Burners) meet in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada to re-engage with our community, and to celebrate shared values of radical self-expression and self-reliance. We celebrate the power of community, honor the importance of art, and enjoy the immediacy of experience. Then we leave – without a trace of our having been there.
But that experience and those values don’t get left behind in the desert. They inform who we are, and how we interact with the larger world around us. BWB is a manifestation of what can happen when we take our values off the playa and out into the rest of the world.
Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health problems with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world’s first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now provides medical training and health education, as well as conducts humanitarian assistance programs in more than 35 countries.
Over the past five decades, Project HOPE has demonstrated its ability to develop and permanently institute long-term solutions to pressing health problems, the true essence of helping people help themselves.
Project HOPE remains as committed as ever to addressing the world’s new health threats by playing a leadership role forging new alliances among those on the frontlines of health and together seek new solutions.
International Relief Teams mobilizes volunteers and distributes medical supplies to support the organization’s four missions: 1) domestic and international disaster relief, 2) medical education and training, 3) surgical and clinical outreach, and 4) public health. Since 1988, IRT has provided more than $5.6 million in volunteer services, and more than $112 million in medicines and supplies to families in desperate need in 42 countries worldwide.
Relief International is a humanitarian non-profit agency that provides emergency relief, rehabilitation, development assistance, and program services to vulnerable communities worldwide. RI is solely dedicated to reducing human suffering and is non-political and non-sectarian in its mission.
Et Voila! I have given you enough information here to eliminate excuses. Browse through all those websites and select a location in the playground that is our world to take your next baby-retirement. Don’t want to go at it alone? Then take your loved ones with you. It will be an experience you will never forget and for an added bonus, check your real & karmic bank accounts when you’re done. Your real bank account will not look as depleted as it would after a typical vacation and your karmic bank account will be full of karma. Your heart will feel a lot better and in general you will feel very proud of yourself for helping struggling people across the playground live the lives we all should live.
No I didn’t forget. The above options are all disaster relief options (the bad side), and I promised to give you the good side, so here’s an experience I will probably go on myself:
How would you like to volunteer at Smithsonian Research Island? It’s like heaven on earth.
A visit to Barro Colorado offers the opportunity to discover the splendor of a humid tropical forest.
Barro Colorado, the largest forested island in the Panama Canal waterway, is part of the Barro Colorado Nature Monument (BCNM) and is the site of an internationally recognized biological research station.
The wildlife there is extremely diverse. There are probably thousands of insect species and more than 120 species of mammals, nearly half of which are bats. If you are patient and observant, you will discover amazing things. You will learn about research in progress and about the rich natural history of Barro Colorado. We hope to pique your interest in tropical ecosystems, because you are key to the protection of this natural environment.
Even if it costs me more, I would love to take a trip to a research island. That alone sounds cool, no?
Well, we’ve come to the end of the post and I hope you got something out of it. If you plan on taking any of the above mentioned baby-retirements, then please let me know which one you chose and why. When you get back, please share your pictures with me. I’m always interested to see what everyone gets up to in the playground. As always, I like to suggest you use the comments section below, but it seems you all prefer to get in touch with me directly, which is also fine, but if you have experiences to share, then why not share them with everyone so they can learn about them too?