Tuesday, June 7, 2016

5 Reasons to take an Impact Cruise

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When I first started hearing about an Impact Cruise I was very interested to learn more. Combining the humanitarianism and giving back spirit with a vacation was almost unimaginable. Could Fathom Impact really deliver all the hype? When they announce dates to the Dominican Republic I knew I was in for a treat. This trip would change me for better or worse but I had to give it a shot! Here are some very important things I learned, that I strongly feel all walks of life, should experience, at some point in their life time. 
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1. Visit a Third World Country. I knew the text book definition of what a third world country was and that was about it going into this (I am from a small country town). I learned fairly quickly that "textbook" is not reality. At first I down right felt sorry for the people of the Dominican Republic. To live in such conditions and have next to nothing. As I involved myself in the culture and atmosphere my thoughts and opinions began to change. When I was ready to leave, I actually envied their love of life and strong family bonds with one another. I knew I would soon miss the simplistic life style, so easily covered up by electronics and dead lines back home.
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2. Embrace the culture you are in. I was rather scared at first to get my hands dirty. I could contract any number of scary things my health professional warned about as she gave me my shots before leaving for the trip. When I signed up for reforestation consisting of planting Mangrove trees to help stop flooding, I was not aware of said "dangers". I got my hands dirty anyway! No way was I going to wimp out while everyone around me was helping these people who clearly needed these trees to stop their dirt floor homes from being wiped away by floods. I immersed myself in the work and the activities began to impact me personally and mentally. I have heard giving back really makes you feel good. Guess what? It really does!
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3. It changes you. The first two reasons I listed above, I mentioned how this trip changed me moving forward. It really did! So much so, this article was the hardest, to date, to write. I felt it would some how diminish my experiences. On one hand I want people to go through what I did because I think everyone could benefit! On the other I wanted to keep it to myself because these experiences changed me so much. Expectations of what I thought would happened flew right out the window when I was faced with using the "bathroom facilities" on the side of the mountain, in the pitch dark without any running water. You really find your inner strength and just how flexible you can be, let me tell you. I will spare you the details but just imagine doing this whilst a group of chickens are racing around to add to the mix. Suddenly, going on the side of the road just seemed way more appealing! 
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4. Be prepared for culture shock. Remember those chickens I talked about? Yeah, they raise those to cock fight. I knew it existed and have seen things on the news but something about seeing baby chicks, in person and knowing their fate. It gets to you! I was also not prepared for the genuine kindness without expectations of something in return. Maybe that is an American thing. But it seems more times than not, when I travel, people only want my money or to sell me something. Whilst, I was creating products from recycled trash, to resell and benefit single working mothers I realized this. These women just were happy to show us something we had never done before. They were excited for the extra hands to help them. They do this every day to help provide for their families, If anything I was needing something from them because let's face it I am not very good at making recycled paper!
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5. We want everything. I cried on my trip, several times actually. Americans, myself included, want everything. The list of things I want materialistically is so long I bet I could not even remember it all to write it down. The Dominican Republic do not have the same mindset. This is such a good thing because they appreciate everything and do not take what they have for granted. I suppose when you have nothing something is always better? I taught English to children, some had never had access to a school before in their lives! Imagine never being able to express yourself through a language because you could not go to school, to learn it? Never in my life have I wanted to sell everything that I own to give them an education. Things will not complete you as a person but experiences will. Education will, inspiring others will, that drive is what I think is lacking in so many of us.
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I am not here to sell you on anything because I am not a good sales person. I will tell you though, no matter your age taking an Impact cruise could and will benefit you. If you are missing something in your life this just might be it. I was so changed when I got back home it took a few days to get back into the swing of things. Soon, I will bring my family on the same Impact travel and let them also experience it. I feel it is so important to get back to your roots as human beings and give back. 

31 comments:

  1. That sounds like a truly life altering experience. I would love to go on one someday because I think you don't truly understand until you see it for yourself.

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  2. This should be something we all do. It makes us truly appreciative of what we have. It also gives us a opportunity to do some good.I would love to take my whole family on a trip like this.

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  3. I loved reading your story. I can imagine how amazing it is to leave it all behind you. What a blessing to be on this trip and for you to experience this.

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  4. I see lovely brochures about the Dominican Republican. So nice to see the REAL side if it. Still lovely.

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  5. I've never heard of an impact cruise before but this definitely sounds like a bucket list item. What a great way to give back while expanding culture and seeing a new place!

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  6. This sounds like it was a great opportunity and a wonderful experience. I wish everyone would try do do something meaningful and learn how good it can make you feel.

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  7. This was a great read! I would love to try something like this some day with the whole family. It would be a wonderful life experience!

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  8. I have never heard of an impact cruise before! That's awesome! I think that it is awesome to be able to give back when you are on vacation.

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  9. I never knew there was such a thing as an impact cruise. I will be looking into this. I think it should be a part of every high school student's education (American). I am sure that this would make a positive impact.

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  10. I would love to try something like this some day with the whole family. It would be a wonderful life experience!

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  11. This sounds like a life changing cruise.... Ive never heard of something like this! what a great concept....

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  12. I have never even heard of an Impact Cruise before. I really love this idea! I will have to check some out.

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  13. Wow, I'd never heard of an Impact Cruise but it sounds like a great experience. I visited India when I was 16 with my family and you're right that visiting a 3rd world country puts your life into perspective. Despite the surreal poverty, there is such warmth, love and beauty in its people. Pinning to my See the World board.

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  14. I didn't even know that this was an option! I have always wanted to take a cruise and I have always wanted to help out! This would be an amazing way to do both!

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  15. I had no idea that this type of cruise even existed. How amazing that you had the opportunity to do it! I would love to travel to a third world country and help out like this. It's always been something I've wanted to do for the experience.

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  16. Wow what an amazing experience. I love the idea of going on a cruise but then also have the opportunity to help others and learn about another culture. I will be doing some research on this.

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  17. I had no idea that something like this even existed. It sounds like it was a good experience for you.

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  18. This is something that my aunt does. Not the cruise aspect of it, but right now she's in Peru with a group to help do repairs on rural villages.

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  19. Wow, what an experience. I didn't even know cruises like this existed. I've been to DR, and it was definitely shocking. How great of you to take the time to do this.

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  20. I have never heard of any type of cruise other than one for pleasure. This is so cool. When I saw your Facebook post about an impact cruise I assumed it was a new cruise line.

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  21. We have been looking at taking a cruise next year for vacation. I never knew that there were cruises like Impact Cruise where you were basically doing a mission trip. I've helped in a small capacity in our community for those in need, but nothing quite like you did. I'm always amazed at how blessed I feel when I leave. What a great experience!

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  22. I heard about the Fathom cruises and how they do this. I think it's an absolutely wonderful thing. Impact travel is a fantastic trend.

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  23. I've never heard of an impact cruise but my goodness. I really want to do this. It sounds amazing.

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  24. Wow, I have never even heard of these cruises but this sounds like such great work. I am sure it is so good for your spirit to help in ways you could never imagine. I'll have to keep this on my list to do.

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  25. I have never heard of this before, but I absolutely love the idea. I'm going to look into this more, I'd love to swap out our regular family vacation for something like this once my boys are all old enough to understand the experience. Seeing this first hand must have such an impact and be truly eye opening.

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  26. This is so amazing!! I had no idea this what what an Impact Cruise was but I think it is definitely an amazing way to give back and explore a world beyond our own. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  27. I know what you mean about unexpected kindness, it seems that people that come from third world countries seem to be a lot more generous and thoughtful. I was having a complete breakdown yesterday because of bad personal issues that are happening at the moment and having overheard my conversation they offered to help me out and even gave me some money and food because I had nothing. It touched me when they had nothing themselves but would rather see me be ok than themselves x

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  28. Looks like a great cruise for those wanting to help out! Glad there is an option for those looking for something rather than pleaser out of a trip.

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  29. I've never heard of theses types of cruises! That sounds like a truly life altering experience. I would love to go on one someday! Thanks for the information! :)

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  30. I am ready to immerse myself in something good and participate in opportunities to give back via an Impact Cruise after reading your post. I am so delighted that you shared your experiences, valuable insights and compelling reasons to take an Impact Cruise at the Healthy Happy Green Natural Party! I'm Pinning and sharing this!

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  31. Cool idea. Cool experience. Thanks for sharing the lessons you learned about your trip and you. Nancy A.

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