SHARE: ShareTweetGoogle+PinterestE-mail Diary of a nomad. 116 countries, 11 years on the road. I decided to live my life differently. I do not have a house, a regular job, a car or a university degree. I got my education on the road and my inspiration from the people I meet along the way. I live the nomadic lifestyle. I’ve heard that “Travel changes people. People change the world”. Well, in 2005 I want to South East Asia, I learnt in 3 months of traveling more than all my 12 years of schooling (I didn’t know a word in english before I started traveling). I learnt about new cultures, people, experienced new and different things. I felt freedom like I never had before. This is what ignited my passion for traveling. I got interested on the nomadic lifestyle. I don’t remember the exact moment I decided that my dream would be to travel 100 countries but it was probably on the back of some truck in Central America. I have lived in the poorest neighborhoods of Africa and in the largest dumpsite in the Philippines. I crossed Siberia in the third class of the Trans-Siberian railway. I have climbed volcanoes and spanned deserts. I hitchhiked through Africa and lived with nomadic tribes in Mongolia and Central Asia. In all of my travels I have sought the authentic, a real experience. I lived among the locals, sharing their food and shelter.I learnt from them about their culture and history. I did this all on a small budget, in some places I managed living on less than a dollar a day. It took me nine years to accomplish my dream of traveling 100 countries. The most important things I learnt from these years of travel; that you do not need a lot of money to travel and that money does not buy happiness. In most third world countries it is much cheaper to travel than live in any of the big cities around the world. I learnt to trust people and accept their kindness. In exchange I have been able to share my story with them, a story they become a part of. Today traveling the world is far more accessible than ever before. The internet is full of bloggers sharing their experience and knowledge on budget backpacking. I really believe traveling is some of the most valuable life experience. It helps you to open your mind and shows you ways of thinking outside of the box. It takes you outside of your comfort zone and shows you different ways of dealing with situations. It will inspire you. It will give you the opportunity to face your fears and conquer them. Most importantly it will allow you to truly know yourself. Traveling the world gave me so much and made me into the person I am today. What did I give the world in return? – I learnt to accept and I learnt to give back. Two years ago I begun social projects all around the world. I volunteered with refugees during the war in the Ukraine and built a school in Cameroon. I helped the kids of ‘Smokey mountain’, the largest dumpsite in the Philippines, I visited prisoners in Japan, and helped the Jewish House in Korea and India. I volunteered and supported the “House for Homeless Children in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and my last project was to build an “Eco Park” in one of Rio’s Favelas. So how did it all begin? The evolution from nomad traveler to establishing projects all around the world? Two years ago I went to the Jewish centre in Manila, Philippines to celebrate one of the Jewish holidays. There I met a number of businessmen that were interested in my story and asked why I lived this kind of life. I replied that it was because I loved traveling and wanted to inspire others to live their dreams. It is also because I had met such incredible people along the way, many of which needed help. I wanted to help them. They were curious to know exactly how I could help those people. I explained that by living with them and sharing their stories with the world, I believed and hoped it would reach someone that had the ability to help them. Three of the businessmen there own a large furniture business in the United States called Modani. They offered me something that changed my life. ‘Let us help you help them’. They explained that they had funds they wanted to donate however they didn’t want to donate through the internet or give it to a large organization where a large part of the money would potentially get ‘lost in translation’. They believed the places I traveled to were places not many ventured and that I was able to reach the people that truly needed help the most. Most importantly they wanted their donation to be personal. Through me they would meet the kids they would send to school. They would know the full story and see exactly where their donations were going. Their vision became my dream, to travel the world establishing volunteering projects and in doing so helping the people I met along the way. Along my travels I met Megan Jamer, a Canadian Blogger and fellow nomadic soul that wanted to become part of my project. With her generous donation of $20,000 I could keep helping many people around the world! Our projects are a little different. I find each new project by going and living within the community we want to help. By learning, living with and helping them we work out what the most beneficial contribution we can make is. Together we can then build a project that will help the community the most! We are able to create and work on a plan utilizing our funds most efficiently. Throughout the project I film the progress to share with the world. Using the video I am able to also teach the local organization and community different ways to raise donations and find volunteers themselves. This allows them to become self sufficient. Our idea is for these communities to be able to carry on these projects themselves. If you give a man a fish he eats for a day, if you teach a man to fish he eats for life. Through the network of followers and fellow travelers I am able to find other people wanting to volunteer and share their skills in our projects. It is important for me to clarify that all my own expenses; my cost of living, flights, accommodation, transportation and food, all come from my own personal money! So you know that 100 % of your donation goes straight to the project. No funny business, your money goes directly to those that need it. There is no greater satisfaction than that which comes from helping others. If you are traveling and have time then come and join one of the volunteer programmes. Being a part of something that has a positive impact gives far more reward than any site you could see or do on your travels. Go nomad! For volunteering information visit my website www.lonelypeleg.com To follow “Lonely Peleg” on Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/LonelyPeleg/ By the Worldapacker Peleg Cohen. SHARE: ShareTweetGoogle+PinterestE-mail Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.