WELCOME to my new blog, Good Journeys. I’m happy you’re here! As a writer by nature (and chosen profession), I decided it was time to carve out a little corner of the Internet for my words and pictures, a place I hope my readers will want to journey to again and again. At least weekly, I’ll be showcasing my most passionate and personal writing and photographs in this space. Watch my header photo. It will always be one of my own shots, changing with each new post, and sync with what I’m writing about.
In Good Journeys, you’ll read about my journeys to impoverished communities around the globe, places I’ve journeyed in a purposeful effort to create positive change. My post “locales” will shift often — from the eastern lowlands of Bolivia to a slum in southern India to the rural highlands of Ethiopia — places I’ve built houses as a team-leader for Habitat for Humanity International over the last decade.
The header photo up now previews my next post. The wonderful smile belongs to a new friend of mine. Her name is Tedibaba, a brand-new Habitat for Humanity homeowner in Debre Birhan, Ethiopia. Tedibaba cooked amazing meals and brewed delicious coffee for my volunteer team as we worked together for two weeks hauling rocks, digging foundations, and slopping mud on eucalyptus walls to build her and others’ homes. In our off-time, we met Tedibaba’s children, visited her old, one-room mud home, spent time with her and her friends. On the workdays, we came to love seeing her infectious smile day after day. More about Tedibaba — and volunteering in Ethiopia — in my next post.
I’ll also be writing about my other purposeful journeys. Examples include traveling to see humanitarians-in-action in Honduras, or embarking on a cross-country bicycle tour of Tanzania in support of eco-friendly development there. I might even throw in a few posts about planning and enjoying the inevitable bumps of an off-the-beaten path honeymoon around the world. For those of you that already know me, I managed to plan such a thing four years ago — and yes, my husband and I indeed had a rather adventurous start to our life together. An adventure that continues today. 🙂
Along with regular posts, I’ll provide links to organizations that I feel are doing good work and could use a plug or two.
Good Journeys is about more than traveling, it’s about connection to people and places and finding what connects us all. Good in my view is not an elusive concept; we can all help create a better world (near and far), as long as we consciously embark on the journey to do so. It’s not a perfect process, one that’s often simultaneously frustrating, humorous, sad, beautiful and anger-inducing all at once. Sometimes finding connection means seeing things we don’t necessarily want to see. When we truly take in reality and do what we can to change it regardless of our initial reaction — that, for me, is where the real good journey begins.
Thanks for visiting Good Journeys, and I hope you’ll come again. Please don’t hesitate to comment on my posts if you like.
Colleen Kaleda is a freelance journalist focused on culture, nature, and global humanitarian need and solutions. She has journeyed in 45 countries in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Europe. Learn more about her on the “About” page.