“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”
It’s safe to say that as an animal activist, the here-above words of Dalai Lama XIV have shaped my thoughts and actions when it comes to making a change in the world we all live in.
I often find myself frustrated with the way I am unable to directly help or contribute to a cause that is close to my heart and therefore I find comfort in his words that if I can’t help an animal directly, then at least I don’t hurt them.
However, I discovered that that way of thinking was the way in which most of us try to comfort ourselves when we either, helplessly or purposefully, look on and do nothing. Which is why I have decided to give meaning to everything I do. Be it writing, talking, eating, or even traveling, I would like to give purpose to it all. This is why this article will circle around the ways in which we can all give purpose to one of the well-deserved and most productive activities in our lives: traveling.
There’s nothing better than going to your dream destination and visiting all the places you’ve always wanted to visit. You feel like you’ve accomplished something and you might even check it off of your bucket list of places you would like to visit. But once that’s done, what do you do next? Fill the void by saving up for the next place on your bucket list and completely moving on from the other trip? Sure the memories of your first travel destination will be there; you can always just look through the photographs of that time in your life. Maybe even post a #tbt with the caption ‘take me back’. But why not give purpose to your holiday. Create a line between that moment and your current life. That thought crossed my mind when I accidentally gave purpose to my cousin’s trip to Kenya.
We went to a baby elephant wildlife trust. My cousin had never seen an elephant, leave alone a baby elephant up close and personally. It was an experience he said he would treasure for life.
I love elephants and so I immediately fell in love with the place. So it was needless to say that I was over the moon when I found out that I could adopt one of them and then come back to see them whenever I wanted. They showed me a list of the baby elephants that I could foster and the stories behind why they had been orphaned. I chose a baby named Ambo and I’ve been one of his thousands of foster parents, for a little over a year now. I created a thread between me and that moment, a thread which stretched from that sanctuary to my current life.
By giving purpose to my travels, I gave purpose to my life. I gave into my ‘prime purpose’ of helping others. I got the most out of my travels by giving a purpose to them which is why every time I travel I look up different animal sanctuaries within that place so as to create a line between my life and that place. A line created by helping those in need and actively contributing to a cause close to my heart.
You can create your own thread or line by further exploring my website where you can find animal sanctuaries from all over the world. Visit them and give purpose to your travels.
Stay tuned to my next article, to find out which elephant wildlife trust I visited and how it gave purpose to my life.