Making a Long Walk More Meaningful
Time to think about others perhaps… ?
As you might know, in recent years I have taken up long distance hikes as a way of taking a break.
During the planning of our latest adventure walk, my wife Pat and I wanted to add some additional purpose to our journey.
We had taken some time out again, from the day-to-day, to walk the 790 kilometres of the Camino Frances from St Jean Pied de Port in France, to Santiago de Compostela in North Western Spain. This is an ancient Pilgrimage route to the tomb of St James.
It was the 3rd time we had made a journey like this, as a means to unplug, unwind and gain space, and to just walk and think and re-balance priorities. Like countless others who walk this and many other ancient pilgrimage routes, we find the ‘pull’ can become rather addictive due to the amazing impact it can have on our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
But this year we wanted to add some additional ‘external’ purpose. This walk wouldn’t be about us alone. We wanted to help others as part of the process. Others a lot less fortunate than ourselves.
As an integral part of our businesses ‘back home’ we make charitable giving a matter of habit, with each and every customer transaction. So it wasn’t hard to imagine how we could apply some charitable giving to the walk ahead of us. We already had the process in place! If you are one of our consulting clients, you will know how this works.
But we wanted to keep it a secret till we finished.
Well firstly, we might not make it! That could have been embarrassing. And in fact if you read our Blog you’ll see that almost happened.
But mainly it was that we didn’t want to add too much external pressure that might detract from and takeover what is really a very personal journey. Better we thought, that we would reflect at the end, on how we might mark this particular journey through helping others.
We got back home a week ago, and have decided to do the following to ensure that some ‘real’ external purpose was achieved from our walk this year.
- For each kilometre we each walked, we funded Vitamin A for a child in Kenya to help prevent blindness. 790 kilometres x 2 = 1,580 kids.
- For each coffee (café con leche) I drank, we funded a lunch for an at-risk child in the Philippines. 2 coffees a day = 90 kids.
- For each meal we ate, we funded a meal for an Orphaned child in Thailand. 45 days 3 meals a day x 2 of us = 270 kids
- For each metre of hill we ascended, we funded life saving water for a day for a person in drought-stricken areas of Ethiopia, 14,790 metres ascended = 14,790 people
- For each day we walked (45 days), we funded access to Family Planning education for a woman in rural India. 45 women.
- For each night we stayed in a hostel or hotel, we funded a night’s shelter for a destitute elderly person in India. (44 nights x 2) = 88 people
- For each visit we made to a health care professional, doctor, physiotherapist or pharmacist we funded a mosquito net for a child in Cambodia to help prevent Malaria = 10 nets
- And finally, for each dog and cat that Pat fed along the way (she carried pet food!) we fed a sick and malnourished dog in Nepal. That’s 50 dogs.
Maybe we’ll do this next time, when I walk 1,000 kilometres on the Via de la Plata?
Pat might skip that one 😊
Note: All charitable donations were made via our Partnership with Buy One Give One. A really cool organisation that puts businesses in touch with worthy causes around the World. (individuals can join too) Every cent donated goes to those in need. Nothing is deducted for marketing, business overheads, or anything else…… This partnership gives us access to about 1,000 worthy causes globally. https://www.b1g1.com/businessforgood/