Amy Merrill, Cofounder at Journey
"The big vision: in the future, our generation won't travel, we'll journey. "
I had spent 10 years in the nonprofit and social enterprise world, working to get people to take action on big social issues: human trafficking, social justice, race relations, women's rights. Most of the time it wasn't that they didn't care: they just didn't know where to start, or if their donation would even make a difference, or didn't feel personally connected to the organization or need.
So in December 2015, my cofounder and I conducted an experiment: we took 20 people to El Salvador to build 20 homes in two day for 20 families living in slum conditions. Each traveler had crowdfunded the cost of a home, and the majority had never met. The homes were hard but rewarding work, and I saw hearts melt as families ceremoniously received their new houses.
After the build, we spent two days at the beach, processing the experience together over shared meals and dance parties, surfing, journaling and meditation. On the last night, as we lit candles and shared our final thoughts and intentions, it clicked. The combination of real impact, experiential learning, summer camp vibes, and human connection had given each individual meaning and community. It's what I had always wanted from my nonprofit work.
That was the beginning of Journey: a global community that supports one another like family, travels the world, and joins forces to tackle the most pressing social and environmental challenges of our time--together.
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