The last time I was in Thailand was 1977. I was 24. Admittedly, that admission dates me. When it comes to age, 62 is definitely not 24. Today, when I go on the road, I think long and hard before I do something both physically and mentally draining like travelling to six destinations in three countries in 25 days. Back then if I wanted to go somewhere, I did. Frequently, I did not know my ultimate destination.
In 1976, I took a road trip. I spent two years circumnavigating the globe. I had no idea that would happen. All I meant to do was visit some friends in Greece and one day I was on my way to Pakistan overland via Turkey and Iran. There was no grand plan. That journey as a younger man formed me, and, to a greater amount remains part of me today. But, back then, hopping on a vessel, whether it was a bus, train or ship without really knowing what to expect when I arrived at my destination was a non-issue. Today, the idea of going on and off the grid, the idea of not knowing where I will lay my head at night is not optional. One may say, “Oh, those days when anything was possible are long gone. Age catches up with you! You can’t do at 62 what you did as a younger man!” Obviously, this is true, even if I would prefer to argue against it. Actually, because the seduction of the experience is so intense, I have convinced myself that as long as I prepare properly everything will go relatively smoothly. I know that is not true, but that is what I say to myself nevertheless. Here is the reason why.
Every time, as I did in my twenties and every time as I do today, the same thing happens. My senses perk up, my energy level skyrockets and my brain goes into overdrive in anticipation of what will happen next. I cannot really explain it, but for me the cultural immersion, the intensity of “being” on the road, especially when it includes stepping into a cultures so different from my own is exhilarating. I do not know why it does that to me. It just does. When you couple that visceral response to being on the road with the opportunity to represent the Greater Impact Foundation’s interest while on the road it adds up to the perfect storm for someone like me. Instead of just wandering nomadically like the prodigal son taking in whatever might happen as I did long ago, I have a greater purpose and if all goes well I will have the honor to give back and serve that greater purpose more than I ever thought I might have.
So, I am off to northern Thailand. Then five stops in India. Then an odd detour to Ghana before coming home. If all goes well the Foundation will have four or five new enterprises to consider for funding and that means, potentially we could be helping up to 1500 more people find a pathway out of poverty. And that is a beautiful thing. Take a look at some of the enterprises I will be visiting. I think you will be surprised.
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