When good people do good things…

I love feel good stories. Getting a message a few days ago literally made my face break with joy – warm fuzzies before breakfast are the best things ever – and that’s what happens when people doing good things come together… let me explain…

If you’ve been following my Giving Back Projects, you’ll know that I run a Patreon page, write chapters for a book that is soon to be published called ‘The Giving Back Journals’, and that all proceeds go to annual volunteer trips to schools in developing countries that need teacher training and educational resources.

Today I’m very much celebrating the fact that we have a new lifetime Patreon, Michelle Smith of Curated with Conscience. Curated with Conscience is a socially-responsible custom gifting studio based in Melbourne, delivering to customers Australia-wide – they specialise in Socially Conscious Gifts and Hampers and proudly support talented Australian makers and premium ethical brands doing good in the world.

Curated-with-Conscience - good people

Michelle made a very generous donation of $750AU, her annual pledge to giving back to organisations like mine, that are ‘doing good’ in the world. I love the ethos behind what Michelle does, and it’s awesome to have her support and know that organisations like ours can work together to bring even more good to the world; the next trip to Sumba will be able to help more schools and provide better learning experiences for so many more kids, so thank you Michelle and here’s to you and your company!

You can find out more about what they do on their website, and on social media:




Want to get on board with the Giving Back Project?

The chapter this month that my Patrons have just received, is called ‘On being a traveller’. To give you a bit of an idea of what this one is about, here’s a summary of the sections:

✈️The difference between touristing and travelling.
✈️How travelling changes you.
✈️What travelling has taught me:
✈️ ?‍? Life Lesson 1: The world is full of decent people; arseholes are the minority.
✈️ ?‍? Life Lesson 2: ASSUME makes an ASS out of U and ME.
✈️ ?‍? Life Lesson 3: The Girl Guides are right: always be prepared.
✈️ ?‍? Life Lesson 4: Going on adventures is the fastest way to grow.
✈️How to get the best experience while travelling (or touristing).

Here’s a sneak peak of the chapter for you:


Touristing just didn’t feel right anymore. Once you’ve spent time travelling with locals, exploring their worlds, it’s hard to go back to the tourist traps. And hence, it was confirmed. Touristing was simply no longer for me.

You see, travelling changes you. Travelling through countries that have far less privileged education, health and legal systems changes you even more so. You see and learn things you cannot fathom, and tourist attractions have less and less appeal.

?Orphanages deliberately breaking the bones of young children to deform them, so they can become beggars on the streets.
?Kids in those orphanages being there because out of desperation their parents threw themselves under trains, or doused themselves in acid.
?Women impaled on broomsticks and paraded through the streets, shops looted and set on fire, as a thousands strong political demonstration (ok to be fair, it was a riot) literally heads directly towards you – complete with revved up motorbikes carrying men shouting ‘kill Suharto kill Suharto’ whilst carrying burning effigies. Get your head around that for a second. I was 21 years old.
?Witnessing the police and army open fire at each other across a crowded football field hosting an international soccer game.
?Getting blackmailed out of a country; having to hand back all the salary you earned to get your passport back.
?Being medically evacuated back to Australia with multiple organ failure, in a country where the nickname for the only hospital is ‘the waiting room for God’.
?Being screwed over by a dodgy visa company and getting deported on arrival, escorted back onto the plane, flanked on both sides by militia strong-holding you with one arm, whilst carrying machine guns in the other.
?Realising the only way you can get the signature from the head of the Police to finalise your visa paperwork, is to pay someone a $400 bribe. The HEAD OF POLICE.
?Learning that the maid that services your room, was hoodwinked into a 3 year contract and made to leave her newborn baby, not realising that the employer would take 90% of her wages to cover her ‘rent’ in squalid living quarters she had no way of getting out of.
?Watching fit, apparently healthy, bright young men simply ‘not wake up’ for no good reason.

You grow up.
Super fast.
You develop a bullshit radar that is next level.
Your tolerance for shitty, entitled or unnecessary behaviour hits rock bottom.
First world problems become a thing of the past and people who stress about them become completely alien to you.

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. – Mark Twain


Fancy getting on board and becoming a Patron? Find out more about the project, and the most recent trip to Sumba, here:

If you’re ready to become one of our Patrons, head on over to this page:

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