One thing that connects us all in the #LiveLikeYoureTraveling community, is how we’ve all been touched and changed by travel. This month’s weekend pass is led by Maria Russo, who started traveling at the age of 16. It was then that she began to dream of a life filled with adventures across the globe and in her early 20s she began embarking on trips that inspired her on such a profound level that those experiences actually shaped who she is and what she does today. Follow along as she takes us on her journey through self discovery, healing, spiritual awakening and service.
For me, travel has always been a means to self-discovery and reflection.
Each trip I take brings new perspective to my life. My journeys in different countries inspired me to launch TheCultureist.com and later, after encountering the great juxtaposition between rich and poor in countries like South Africa, India, Guatemala and Rwanda, I founded Humanity Unified.
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We all need a place to rest and to heal from the wounds life inevitably inflicts upon us.
I found my place of healing in Africa. Whether it be Rwanda, Kenya or South Africa, a few days in the bush brings clarity and respite. The stillness, overwhelming sense of calm and sheer beauty of nature forces me to be present and mindful bringing a feeling of renewal and appreciation for life.
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The more I traveled the more I knew that there is something greater out there.
A bigger picture; a connection; a network of sorts that links us all – sun, moon, sea, animals, humans – together. And now when I travel I look for it. I found it in the trees in Sri Lanka, in the moon in Bali, in the laughter echoing from children playing in a rural village in the Amazon…it’s in everything and in everyone. We just need to be present to feel it.
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The greatest thing I have ever done is make the choice to live a life of service to others.
I have been fortunate because I was given the opportunity to see the world while creating stories for The Culture-ist. I have seen the great abundance that exists and I have seen the need. The idea for Humanity Unified, came about after a trip to Rwanda that changed my life. It was there that I realized it was time that I begin dedicating my life to a more meaningful purpose. A year and four months later, Humanity Unified Int’l was formed. The nonprofit organization works to empower poor communities to rise above poverty through education, food security projects and economic opportunities. We start by investing in women.
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Traveling is like dancing.
When we feel life’s energy - its music - we can flow with it, let go and move with the different rhythms, harmonies and songs this great planet plays for us. It’s only then that we can begin to hear our own heart strings and follow our dreams.
~ Your Traveling Changemaker Neighbor,
Maria of @thecultureist & @humanityunified
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