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Inspiration

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Inspiration comes in all shapes, sizes, and forms. When trying to change your life for the better, inspiration can help draw out what your heart is already telling you. Find the stories that can help inspire you below!

Fulfilling My Dream Of Flying

October 29, 2012

Ready For Takeoff

Ohio is the birthplace of aviation. It says so on our license plates. Yes, the Wright Brothers were born in Ohio. Now my parents live in North Carolina where the Wright Brothers did their first flight. I guess we have a thing for flying. I’ve done my fair share of flying, but always as a […]

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Support Suvani And The Kathmandu Literary Festival

October 28, 2012

Suvani And I

Like the Happy Laos project, this is a post out of order to support a worthy cause and celebrate and amazing person I met. I met Suvani Singh last week here in Kathmandu. She’s the friend of a friend, but the world is a small place and I’m lucky to have been able to meet […]

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A Day With Pencils Of Promise – Building The Future Of Laos

October 6, 2012

School 3

While in Luang Prabang, I had the pleasure of meeting up with some people who work for an amazing organization called Pencils of Promise. A friend’s girlfriend works for them and helped arrange everything. I tagged along for a visit to some of the schools they’ve already constructed. Before the school year starts back up […]

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Anh – The Smiling Undercover Superhero Of Da Nang, Vietnam

September 17, 2012

thumbnail anh

For me, Da Nang, Vietnam conjures up one image – the smiling face of Anh. In Da Nang I arranged to couchsurf with Phuong. But she told me I couldn’t stay in her home, but rather I’d stay with a friend of hers – the founder of an organization called Tam Thien that helps kids with […]

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Photo Friday – Inspiring Future Generations – Abellana National School, Cebu, Philippines

September 7, 2012

Inspiring Future Generations - Taken 4-Sep-2012 - Abellana National School, Cebu, Philippines

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So Many Questions And So Much Sadness In Southeast Asia

September 6, 2012

Amazing People (2)

So far my time in Southeast Asia has made me contemplate and look within a lot. It’d be easy to let the sadness of the recent past overwhelm all the awesomeness and smiles currently going on in these countries. But some horrible atrocities have been committed here very much within living memory – namely the […]

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Siem Reap, Cambodia – Asia’s Laboratory For Social Business?

September 5, 2012

Common Grounds Cafe

Siem Reap has a lot of exciting stuff going on from a social business point of view. I’ve never been somewhere so full of social businesses. What’s a social business? To me, it’s a business that exists to benefit a cause, a community, or humanity instead of maximizing investment return for shareholders. Or, put another […]

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Aki Ra – Change Your Community, Change The World.. A True Hero

August 29, 2012

Aki Ra thumb

Outside the city of Siem Reap is the Cambodia Landmine Museum. It was on my list of things to see, but had I not been encouraged by someone on my Facebook page I may not have gone. But, the stars aligned and I’m so glad they did. Aki Ra had a tough life by any […]

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Volunteering With Smile Group In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam And Visiting A Buddhist Orphanage/Nursing Home

August 21, 2012

Drawing With One Of The Kids

Smile Group is an organization started by Nguyen Van Hung to help children live in dignity with AIDS. More specifically, their mission statement is “to restore dignity and hope to children and families affected by AIDS, through financial, educational, moral and psychological support. We are committed to helping children and young adults have equal access to […]

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Being An American In Vietnam

August 20, 2012

Me And My New Friend Thanh

Many people asked me what it’s like being an American in Vietnam. I’d say it’s probably quite similar to being a Brazilian or a Swede in Vietnam. There were no problems or hard feelings at all. I experienced this phenomenon in the Middle East. When I moved to Abu Dhabi in 2004 I expected a […]

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Meeting Vietnam’s Most Famous Author – And Being Inspired To Write

August 18, 2012

Me And Nguyen Nhat Anh

On my last night in Ho Chi Minh City, Long, my couchsurfing host, and I decided to see a movie. We got the ticket and had two hours to eat dinner before the movie started. He told me there was a nice café nearby where we could eat and that Vietnam’s most famous author, Nguyen […]

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Peace Through Children’s Eyes

August 16, 2012

Peace Through Children's Eyes Paintings

At the War Crimes Museum/War Remnants Museum there was an exhibit dedicated to “Peace Through Children’s Eyes.” The goal was for children of Ho Chi Minh City to express their “thoughts and feelings on their peaceful and beautiful homeland and a war-free world full of friendship between peoples of the world.” Below are pictures of […]

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Happy Laos

August 12, 2012

lao movie thumbnail

Liena Lacey is volunteering at Saoban, a store in the center of Vientiane, Laos that works with villages throughout Laos to produce fairtrade arts and crafts. By itself, this is a cool story and Liena, an Australian, is doing great things here. But there’s another project she’s helping out with that she so kindly shared […]

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What Does “Helping People” Mean?

August 11, 2012

help wanted

This is a question I always have in the back of my mind and the answer has changed over time. Back as a naive nomad when first starting out on this trip, I thought any kind of volunteering was positive, any effort to alleviate poverty was good, and education was the key to breaking the […]

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It’s Hard To Try New Things – Especially Spam

July 28, 2012

Spam - Meat In A Can

When I got home I kind of settled in to the familiar routine. Despite staying with my uncle in Cleveland in an apartment I had never been to before, I still found myself automatically switch gears a bit to “home” mode. Of course, my life now is completely different from what life used to be when […]

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Do You See A World Of Abundance Or Scarcity?

May 19, 2012

A Doll Embodying Abundance

I feel like the modern world is one based on scarcity and money allows you to buy pieces of the scarce resources you need to survive. Contrast this with a traditional way of living (still practiced by many) where everything you need is available and abundant. But these two different lives get at the heart […]

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Is Your Imperfection Covering Up A Superpower?

April 23, 2012

Superman

I’m not sure when I realized it, but at some point when I was a teenager I realized my left breast was bigger than my right one and I became horribly self-conscious about it. I was heavier then, so their size was bigger and the difference was more exaggerated. I wore really baggy clothes partly […]

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