Hi all! This is an easy post, but important. We finally got our fundraising underway for La Aventura Project. I figured the easiest way to share this is just to copy and paste the same letter I sent out to family and friends detailing what we’re doing and what we need. Of course you should also click over to the La Aventura Project website (link in the right sidebar) to see the trailer and more. And please, please ask questions if you have them! I’m feeling the vibe of a lot of doubts expressed by non-supportive silence by certain people who are close to me. And it really hurts. I’ll probably write more about that later, but for now, here’s the letter:
Dear Family and Friends,
Greetings! I hope you all are well! What is going on in your lives??? Since I’m fairly bad at keeping in touch, I wanted to write to you about what is going on in my life at the moment. I’ve been living in Williams, Arizona (near the Grand Canyon) for almost one year now with my amazing boyfriend Zachary Minnich. This is the first time for both of us to live out west and we’re loving it! The many mountains, creeks, and canyons to hike and explore keep us endlessly entertained and active. Most of our time is spent working, however. We both work in Flagstaff, Zach as an electrician and me as a server at a nice restaurant. We are saving as much money as possible for travel. We both have the same desire to see the world.
That brings me to our other main activity right now, which is planning a year-long backpacking/filmmaking/volunteering adventure in South America. On October 27, Zach, our good friend Melissa, and I will be departing from Chicago and flying into Colombia (which I assure you has become very safe and pleasant for tourists recently). We plan to work our way around the continent in a counterclockwise direction through Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, and Venezuela. We have budgeted $17 per person per day for an entire year of travel. In order to live cheaply and really learn the language and culture of these countries, we will be doing lots of volunteering, mostly through World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (www.wwooof.org). We so look forward to building relationships with locals this way, and to learning about and contributing to sustainable agriculture on our planet. We also will be finding other volunteer opportunities at orphanages and schools along the way, couchsurfing (www.couchsurfing.org), and camping. To finally put my film degree to use, we will be filming our experience every step of the way, telling our personal stories and searching for everything else worth documenting. Because it’s hard to predict what will happen on a journey like this, it’s hard to say exactly what our film will be about. Right now the working title is La Aventura Project and we are focused on telling the personal narrative of our journey and showing how travel and exposure to different cultures affects three 20-something Americans. I am hoping to tell our story and eventually edit a feature-length documentary to show in film festivals.
And now the part you probably knew was coming and that I hate to write…the request for money. Although Zach, Melissa, and I have all been working hard and saving, leaving on a year-long trip is quite expensive. We are each trying to raise $7000 for travel and living expenses, plus cover our loans and US obligations for the year, plus purchase some filmmaking equipment. Our film equipment alone will be about $6000 once we have everything we need. We are so, so close to having the money ourselves, but we need just a little bit of help. We are trying to raise just $5000 to split between the three of us to assist with equipment and travel costs. We really feel that this project will make the world a better place by enabling cross-cultural learning, challenging and growing ourselves, and telling what is sure to be an awesome story through film. We believe that world travel is the best education you can get, and that explorers and artists have and continue to change the world for the better. If you believe this too, and can spare even $1 to help La Aventura Project, we would greatly appreciate it. We are accepting secure, tax-deductible online donations via indiegogo.com. Our project link is www.indiegogo.com/LaAventuraProject. You can get some awesome perks for donating! Please also visit our website, www.laaventuraproject.com, where you can find our film trailer and blog updates throughout our preparation and travel. If you know anyone who would be interested in our project, please pass along those links! And if you have any questions, please reply and ask away!
Thank you all so much! And for those of you in Ohio, Zach and I will be back in early October and would love to see you before we leave!
“What’s the difference between exploring and being lost? The journey is the destination.” –Dan Eldon