“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”
– John A. Shedd
People Constantly Surprise Me
Or more specifically, YOU surprise me.
That’s probably been the most consistent thing I’ve noticed over the past few years of building Live Your Legend.
It’s also been the most inspiring. I constantly get to hear unbelievable stories of people – I’m looking at you – doing things and pursuing projects most would never even think to consider.
And that’s why we launched our Reader Spotlights back in 2012 – to show the rest of you (and the world) what kinds of crazy adventures your fellow Living Legends are getting into.
Because the more we see and experience people doing the things we think can’t be done, the more it becomes normal – and the more likely we are to set off on an adventure of our own. And that’s the whole point.
It’s hard to believe the caliber of the company we all keep in this community.
So in the spirit of adventure, today’s spotlight has a special focus – three of our readers using the lens of world travel to make their difference and push the kind of limits we rarely hear about, if ever. This also makes for fun timing as Chelsea and I begin to plan our year around the world in 2015, where we hope to visit many of you!
Enjoy these examples of three people doing something that matters – not just to them, but to the world.
And please pick a simple way to support one of their projects. I assure you, they’ll do the same when you’re in the spotlight!
Oh, the places travel can lead…
1. A 15-Year-Old Filmmaker & Social Justice Advocate Launches 6-Month World Tour to Profile People Standing Up for Their Beliefs
Living Legend: Kasha Slavner
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Why and How Kasha is Making an Impact:
Last year I went to the United Nations as a youth delegate and met people from around the world coming together to solve the world’s most terrifying issues. The experience was humbling, and it motivated me to use the skills I have as a photographer, writer and filmmaker-in-training to tell positive stories that can inspire the world to take action.
That’s when I decided to start The Global Sunrise Project. Even though I’m only 15 years old, I’ve been an entrepreneur and social justice advocate since I was 8, and my idea is to take time off school to travel for 6 months around the world to make a documentary that will inspire humanity to take positive action on the planet.
I’m inspired by people who have the courage to take a stand for what they believe in – people who are brave enough to dream for a better world. I’ll be looking for stories of hope and resilience that connect us all to each other and inspire others. I feel that positive stories can inspire us more to take action than the negative stories – and there are many that need to be told.
How you can help:
I need a caring, creative, connected, community to help mentor and champion my project. I’ve worked hard trying to raise money the past five months. I’ve raised $6,000 but am still about $20,000 short to get on the road. You can help with our campaign by donating cash or in-kind contributions, creating a group to collectively pool airline points for round-the-world tickets, help us find sponsorship, or hosting us in your country. Help spread the word!
You can make make a direct donation or find other ways to support on this page. Even a few dollars goes a long way!
Check out Kasha’s campaign video below…
Learn more here: To find out more about The Global Sunrise Project and how you can help Kasha travel the world to tell otherwise untold stories, check out her website at The Global Sunrise Project.
Fun fact: Before my iPod broke, I used to really enjoy having conversations with Siri.
Note from Scott: Kasha and I spoke on the same stage at Jonathan Field’s RevolutionU LIVE event in New York last month and she absolutely stole the show! It was awesome. Talk about the real deal…
2. A Man takes a Serene Vacation in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Iran to Expose the Good Behind the Headlines
Living Legend: Paul Luning
Location: San Francisco, CA / out of a backpack
Why and How Paul is Making an Impact:
My hypothesis: “Scary” places in the world are not nearly as dangerous as the media makes them out to be. In fact, there is much more normalcy, humanity, hope, and happiness in these places than one might expect.
To prove my hypothesis, I am quitting my job, packing up my apartment, and taking a whirlwind trip to some of the places most negatively portrayed in the news, including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iran, Mali, Eritrea, Burundi, and the two Congo nations.
My goal is to visit at least 10 conflict or post-conflict countries and befriend at least three locals in each country. I will connect with normal, everyday people in each place and find out what is happening in their lives and how they are doing. Hopefully, their stories will be more positive than those in the headlines. I strongly suspect that they will be.
How you can help:
The impact of this project will depend on how many people I can reach with my message, so publicity is the number one goal. Scott was already kind enough to connect me with a fellow LYL member in Pakistan, whom I spent the day with to kick off my trip! The blog will be my primary method of communication, so please spread the word!
Learn more here: Interested in learning more about Paul’s adventures or perhaps meeting up with him along the road? Visit him at Beyond the Headlines to get involved.
Fun fact: Despite growing up in Florida, my first language is Estonian; I almost failed first grade because my English was so poor.
3. Raising 1 Million Dollars by Running Across Every Country in the World to Promote Global Connection and Help Orphans around the World
Living Legend: Akshay Nanavati
Location: Basking Ridge, New Jersey, USA
Why and How Akshay is Making an Impact:
On foot, I am crossing every single country in the world and raising $1 million for the organization Create Global Healing. So far I have crossed two countries: I have skied 350 miles across Greenland and run 33 miles across Singapore.
The purpose of this expedition is:
1. To push myself beyond my limits and inspire people to see within themselves the infinite capacity of the human potential to accomplish anything. I want to show people that all of us can get what we want in life. We just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
2. To unite our human family that is currently torn apart with strife by demonstrating that despite all the unique qualities within every single human being, we are all one. No matter what our background, nationality or religion, we all experience the same joy and the same suffering.
The scope of the Live Your Legend local meetups inspired me to connect with our global human family in my own way. I was so impressed seeing how many people participated from all corners of the globe, and I wanted to connect with all these people. I couldn’t think of a better way than traveling to every country and crossing it on foot to experience the land and its people in a deep, spiritual way.
How you can help:
Learn more here: Existing 2 Living
Fun fact: When I run, I often listen to 90′s boy bands like Backstreet Boys and N’Sync. I am not ashamed to admit it.
Hearing these three stories reminds me of something…
We Rarely Give Ourselves Enough Credit
This is what I’ve found to be the real difference between those who dare to do and those who don’t.
Often it’s because we don’t have enough examples to spur creativity and expose possibility. Or worse, we’re surrounded by the opposite.
We start to feel like we’re just some normal person.
But here’s the thing … you are.
So am I. So are Kasha, Paul and Akshay. We all are.
Normal is where everyone starts.
But normal people do the extraordinary all the time.
You just have to know where to look.
Before long, your own impact starts to become inevitable.
When it does, come back and tell us about it!
And in case you missed it, here’s one more thought for today: Get out and see foreign lands as often as possible. Nothing inspires adventure like a good adventure! Hence my addiction.
P.S. Now pick one of these projects and spend a couple minutes learning more about their mission and find some way, big or small, to support the impact they intend to have on the world. That’s how we roll around here. Remember, no one does anything on their own.
If you want to tell the world your story, please fill out the Living Legends Reader Spotlight form to get a chance to be featured in one of our upcoming articles.
Image Credit: Chelsea and my map of past travels as we plan for next year’s big trip. See more of the adventure on Instagram.7 awesome comments