Interview With Caroline Stolzy

When I first met Maia, almost 2 years ago now, I was struck by her smile and openness. Her face was literally an invitation to talk. When I discovered her passion for travel and volunteering, I knew that open face had to have been earned, at least partially, through human experiences, and sometimes tough ones. Imagine my delight when I learned that she now has a blog where she writes about her adventures! Because I think she can inspire many people, and because I think we all love a little bit of good food for thought and beautiful smiles in our lives, I offer you, passerby and client alike, this interview with Maia Williamson, traveler extraordinaire. Caroline C Stolzy-Maia, say something about how you came to be interested in international volunteer work within less developed countries, and what it has done for you… Maia Williamson-For starters, I’ve always loved [...]

By | January 16th, 2015|

The Quest for Balance in 2015

After two weeks of volunteering in small town Haiti without the western comforts of Wifi, air conditioning or consistent showers, I did something I normally don't do - I allowed myself a few days to decompress at a fancy schmancy hotel once back in the capital. This may not seem odd to some because this is generally what vacationers do, but I'm being honest when I say I've never done this. Ever. And it feels weird. Like, really weird. Typically my vacations consist of either volunteering somewhere rural and dusty with the threat of malaria not far behind or taking a whirlwind backpacking trip which includes sketchy transport and cheap hostels...with the threat of malaria not far behind. However, this trip took quite a lot of out me on an emotional level (to be explained in an upcoming post when I can make sense of my time in Haiti), so [...]

By | January 2nd, 2015|

So, this is Haiti…

After a brutal day of flights, delays and crappy airports, I all but squealed in delight when I got to the airport in Port-au-Prince (PAP) and met up with both my driver and luggage successfully. After he dropped me off at my hostel, my plan was to hide in my room, do a bit of writing, and crash. Haiti Communitere turned out to be a little slice of hippie commune NGO heaven and what's even better is that they're the real deal. They are a hostel but more so a grassroots community building, project doing organization. I sized up the few people there as your typical backpacking hippie-dippies by the looks of them chugging beers while feverishly updating Facebook statuses in their hemp shorts. However, after talking to a few of them... OMG, I felt like the underachiever at the party. One college kid from New Jersey is in Haiti [...]

By | December 19th, 2014|

When is doing good not so good?

With the technology and mobility that our world now enjoys, people of all walks of life freely gallivant around the globe en masse, all the while documenting it for the world to see. People travel for adventure, relaxation and sometimes an escape from reality. Check, check aaaand check! However, many people travel because they like to do good. What could be negative about that, you’re wondering? Those of you who like to escape the cushy first world comfort zone while travelling know that ‘voluntourism’ is all the rage right now. However, it’s not free from controversy as critics gripe that it often does more harm than good. Opponents feel companies that help organize these types of trips are in it for the money and are more concerned with profiting off of potential do-gooders than providing worthwhile humanitarian aid to organizations and communities in need. The focus is largely on providing [...]

By | December 1st, 2014|

What does travelling mean to you?

A spring-break week in Key West or a Disney Cruise are definitely forms of travelling, but just not for me. Actually, I’d rather poke my own eyes out than do either. What I refer to as travelling is going somewhere off the beaten path where you stick out like a sore thumb, eat food you think might walk off your plate, play charades to communicate, and cross your fingers that whatever shite you managed to get yourself into will work out in your favour. Somehow. And make no mistake, I don’t disregard the pre-packaged tourist vacations if you’re into that; I just define travelling based on where it has taken me and what it has done to me on the inside. I definitely identify myself as being a traveller. And not just because I dust off my backpack and fill up my passport a few times a year. I am a [...]

By | November 23rd, 2014|