There’s something very humbling about starting a blog. And not just because you’re putting yourself out there, so to speak, in a more personal way than a paper, or, you know, a business related document. There’s a very real vulnerability in saying “hey, here’s what I think about this thing.” Because as human beings, we are infinitely different from one another, and there will always be someone who disagrees – and that’s fine and dandy in theory, but nerve wracking when it comes to the internet.
Also, I’ve never been particularly praised for my writing. That might seem strange coming from someone who was literally published at nine years old for writing, but it’s true. I was never a conventional enough writer in school to earn any kudos for it, and going into the professional world, my writing was always too dramatic. So, I guess it’s a good thing I’m in the field of blending luxury travel with environmental and social regeneration. Nothing’s more dramatic than that.
Just last week I came across a village in my travels where I watched young girls peeking inside school rooms, playing at being shy and running away when they were caught daydreaming about being in school. Their innocent game of pretend school juxtaposed with the very real situation of women’s global undereducation made me feel frustrated.
This isn’t new to me, I started a school when I was a child having seen the same thing. Children pretending to go to school because their parents couldn’t afford the registration fees, books, or to let them out of the fields. When everyone’s full bellies depend on the whole family working on the harvest, that’s just what you do. But it didn’t mean that those girls were any less left behind. And children are continuing to be left behind around the world.
That isn’t to say there aren’t enormous efforts being launched by governments and NGOs around the world, because there are. But I also think it’s important for each industry, no matter how seemingly unrelated, to pick up a piece of this challenge. And it is a challenge. So many factors contribute to limited or no education in a child’s life. And not all of them can be mitigated by companies. But shouldn’t we try?
Sequestered Ecotourism is trying. We’re launching the most ambitious educational program I’ve seen attempted in rural developing countries. And it hasn’t been easy (and it probably won’t continue to be easy – insert face palm emoji here – for the next decade). But we’re still doing it. We’re trying. We’re picking up our side of the rope and pulling towards…? Away from…? (This metaphor has gotten away from me.) But in any event, we’re pulling for (I think it is) the girls of the world, the boys of the world, the people who are left behind and need us to think of them when no one else will. And we’re doing it through hospitality.