Hi guys! Just want to let you all know about my new “Reader of the Month” page. Each month I will feature one of my blog reader’s and his or her story in a post like this one, as well as under this new page. Although one reader will be featured per month, his or her article will then remain on the blog. The first reader of the month is Carl Honeysett and you can read the inspiring article he wrote below:
What’s up World!? My name is Carl and I’m a travelling volunteer who runs a blogsite/website called “Volunteering Abroad.” I grew up in the amazingly safe and beautiful country known as Australia. My hometown is even safer and more beautiful (The Sunshine Coast, Queensland), where opportunities and lifestyles are handed on a silver platter. I’ve since left the comforts of my Australian coastal surfing hometown to give, inspire, learn, adapt, share & teach abroad. I made a decision to volunteer and help others instead of chasing monetary wealth in a pointless rat race. I haven’t always made good choices and I’m glad to be on the right side of life now. Let me tell you about my journey so far.
When I was 17 my brother died in a motorbike accident. Obviously this was difficult to deal with and even more so because I had recently/stupidly ‘dropped’ out of my final year of school. I had previously been in and out of homes due to issues with divorced parents. I just couldn’t seem to get anything right. All of these things happening at once mixed with an adolescent/arrogant teenage attitude resulted in me living on the streets, just three months after my brother passed away. Things from there got worse. I got involved with teenage gangs, fights and drugs. I was breaking into houses and cars to pay for drugs and food. I went to court several times and saw friends go in and out of jail. During this time, I wasn’t talking to any family and it wasn’t until I was 19 that I spoke to them again. That’s when things finally started to get better. It wasn’t until I was 21 that I had a fully repaired relationship with my family and now at 24 I’m happy to say it’s all in the past.
Last year, I decided to focus the rest of my life, career and/or spare time helping people in unfortunate positions and hardships. I also want to encourage people to travel, volunteer and leave their comfort zones, especially those who have made or are making the wrong decisions. The homeless, hungry, sad, beaten, angry, hurt, selfish, immature or lost are simply misunderstood people who have been dealt the shit cards in life or just need somebody to help/care. I know this all too well, though I’ve been through nothing compared to billions of others. It’s estimated that one fifth of the world’s population falls below poverty line standards. If I don’t do something about that crap, then who will?! In short, I want to volunteer, help others, teach others from my mistakes and take an army with me whilst doing it.
I volunteered in Cambodia at the start of this year for 5 months as an English teacher, which can only be described as the best decision I have ever made in my life and anyone else’s! This lead me to create my website, Volunteering Abroad. The site focuses on helping people start their volunteering projects. Many of us have the desire to volunteer but don’t know where to start and subsequently give up. Those who do follow through with the idea can sometimes make bad decisions, which I try to eliminate; others just need a little inspiration. The site has pages with inspirational and wise quotes. There’s information on how to get started with volunteering and pages on where to volunteer. There are also heaps of stories from travel experiences too. It amplifies the seriousness of volunteering overseas, but magnifies the fun to be had while doing it.
Just to clarify, I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of a few key people. One is a friend who gave me a place to live when I was on the streets. A few more friends helped along the way too, and of course my family is now the cornerstone of what I do. I want to thank Christine for allowing me to share my story, along with my mission. It’s now time for me to “Pay it Forward.” With the risk of sounding preachy or corny, I’d just like to add that when I’m selfless and humble enough, I take the time to thank god for the oppourtunity I’ve been given to do something that matters. It’s more blessed to give than it is to receive, trust me. Check out Volunteering Abroad and have fun!