Family Volunteering Around the World

Teresa Keller is a single mom of three kids: Jennifer (18), Alex (13), and Bella (12), and she was feeling caught in a rut in what seems a pretty remarkable job. She was the Executive Director at the Archaeological Institute of America but has decided to shake things up with a departure…departure in every sense of the word. Teresa and her kids, plus a 17-year-old family friend (Meagan) are traveling for a year around the world, volunteering as they go. They’ve created a charitable organization and a website: Round The World With Us, where we can follow their progress, learn more about the sustainable projects with which they are volunteering, and lend our own support to the causes the family is taking on.

As fantasy-fueled as a full year of volunteering sounds to me, not every family member is entirely gung ho. There is some trepidation about what the road holds, as well as what life will be like after the odyssey since they have sold their home, withdrawn from school, cashed in retirement accounts, and left everything behind to backpack around the world. On their quest, beginning August 1, they will spend time volunteering with NGOs and non-profits in Russia, England, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, China, Japan, possibly the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), Peru, Brazil, Belize, Guatemala, and Costa Rica.

Ahhh to be a suitcase stowaway…but they are all blogging about the experience at the website, and a donor has pledged to give a nickel for every website view to their chosen charities, so click over regularly to check the progress and get a little green with envy.

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