I’m the girl from Canada who decided to sell her all of her shit, quit her job, became a nomad and backpacked through Central & South America. While travelling I wrote two articles – You Better Belize It – Go Slow, Go Solo & No Filter Just Paradise and I hope they both inspired you to grow outside of your comfort zone, play, and experience something out of the ordinary. I hope you added some sparkle to your life and took on a new challenge – whatever that may have been, from being more open to strangers to deciding to finally going to that museum you been “dieing to go to”. Learn to play more, your inner child will thank you for it.
My play time involved backpacking through Central and South America which was the greatest gift I could give to myself; I experienced life. I embarked on 5 day trek to Machu Pichu, celebrated the lunar eclipse by the fire in Bolivia, experienced the Amazons with an insane range of flora & fauna, rang in 2016 on an exotic beach in Brazil and experienced the Carnival, and to top of it all off I finished my travels by going to an incredible music festival in Costa Rica. The adventures of self discovery through meeting new people and exploring new walks of life has really given me a new set of vantage points on life. All those life lessons have rolled up into me joining an NGO called The Power of Play. Playing has a vital role in the development of a child. Taking this understanding along with the fact that every child has a right to play, I want to now focus on children who may have had this basic right taken from them, and strive to bring joy and happiness back into their lives.
But before I go into how you can help, let’s first take a look down my path.
Pampas – Bolivia
I tapped into the unknown, and it lead me through a journey of self-discovery. I was able to overcome my fear of sparking a conversation with a stranger, and as a result I was able to connect with amazing people that made me excited about the future of our beautiful planet. Exceptional people that have landed on Earth to do good & to have fun while here.
In 2015, I had just arrived to my hostel in a city called Huaraz in the central Peruvian Andes. If you are a mountain or nature lover, I would highly recommend paying Huaraz a visit; it is the spot for hiking and trekking tours for beginner and/or advanced mountain enthusiasts.
Huaraz – Peru
As I was settling in my room and organizing my bags, I met another beautiful soul. I was beyond excited to learn that he was also born in Iran, and lived in Vancouver – I had always envisioned myself living in Vancouver. After a brief conversation we had to say goodbye and start packing our bags as we both had a 4-day hiking trip through the Andes the following day; and thanks to the good ol’ Facebook, Reza and I were able to stay connected over the years.
Fast-forward 4 years later, I now live in Vancouver, and I LOVE this City! With the Ocean on one side and the Rockies on the other, I am a very happy girl. Winters are mild, and it rains flowers in May. Yes, gas is more expensive, but real sushi is cheaper so things just balance themselves out 😉
Less than a year ago, on a hot summer day while strolling down the street in my neighbourhood, I ran into Reza. It was such a treat to see him again. He told me he had just gotten back from his travels to Africa and India. His main purpose of his trip was to build playgrounds for children in need of a space to play through his for-purpose organization. Over the years I had followed his work and adventures, and I must say I had always admired Reza’s loving heart. This random encounter sparked a very special friendship.
Before moving to Vancouver, I had set the intentions to stay open to all possibilities and to create a network of friends who are not only loving, and fun but also influential; because after all you are the average of all the people who surround yourself with.
In the most authentic way, Reza shared his mission, values and struggles while running his for-purpose organization. This powerfully called me into action; to get off the bench and get into the field. And I am most fortunate to have become part of Reza’s team, called ‘The Power of Play’. The organization strives to create a safe, loving and fun environment that allows children to do what they do best – play!
We work together with the local communities around the world, to provide a space for teamwork, learning and play, all around the world. With a concern for our planet the playgrounds are built environmentally friendly, using recycled materials as much as possible. We have a World Map, and the built playgrounds have been marked with green stickies. Our goal is to have as many of these stickies on our map as possible, and surly without your help this would not be possible.
So I ask you to take action; raise a campaign, sponsor a playground through Fundrazr, pledge your birthday and click on the Donate Button– because every dollar will make a difference to the lives of these children. Want to take action? ask yourself if you know a community like One Young World, or Sandbox or Global Shapers of the World Economic Forum. Then reach out to me and let’s plan projects that have real impact in the lives of children.
Check out our website, and give us your feedback. We value your ideas.
Let’s give a kid a chance to be a kid.
or send us an old school email: firstname.lastname@example.org