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Welcome to my blog! I document my experiences in travel including drinks, fashion, and food. Hope you have a nice stay!

For The Love of a Passport

For The Love of a Passport

The beauty behind the passport party project

Photo taken by M. Smith during our honeymoon in Istanbul

Photo taken by M. Smith during our honeymoon in Istanbul

 

Changing the world one passport at a time

Everyone has their muse in life - mine is travel. I find inspiration to do more in life every time I explore or see something new; and it is all thanks to the great opportunities I have had to travel and see so much around the world. But there are some people who are weary about travel because it can be expensive, seen as a luxury, or even be scary. However, there are plenty of organizations out there that are helping to break those barriers and fears - one of them is one that I have been following for a while and that is The Passport Party Project.

What is The Passport Party Project?

According to the organization’s website, “The Passport Party Project is a National Geographic award-winning initiative providing first passports, online global awareness training & first-time global travel experiences to underrepresented American girls 11-15 in an effort to help create responsive and responsible global citizens that travel with love.”

When the organization started, I was part of the first phase for the program which was to help locate an underserved American girl in the Chicagoland area and help her obtain her first passport. It was beautiful seeing this young Latina grow and obtain not only her first passport but her first stamp for her brand new passport.

Soleil and I holding our passports as we celebrated National Passport Day! (phase 1 of The Passport Party Project)

Soleil and I holding our passports as we celebrated National Passport Day!

(phase 1 of The Passport Party Project)

The Passport Party Project is now leading its third phase.  I’m ecstatic to once again have an active role as a mentor this year and being paired with a very vibrant young lady by the name of Deija, who is 14 years old. Over the last few weeks, I have been assisting her with her application for her first passport, prepping her for her first international trip, and providing her insights into how to become a global citizen. I am thrilled to be able to share every little detail I can with Deija as she prepares for this fantastic journey to earn her first international stamp and that stamp will be from our lovely neighbors in Canada! The girls that are part of this year’s group will be heading to Toronto this summer!

Deija showing off her new passport thanks to The Passport Party Project!

Deija showing off her new passport thanks to The Passport Party Project!

One thing that Deija is looking forward to is “the boat ride through the Niagara Falls. I think this will be a great opportunity to take beautiful pictures of the scenery.” I can’t wait to see her live through this experience!

Meet Deija - My teen mentee for Travel Party Passport Project 2016

Meet Deija - My teen mentee for Travel Party Passport Project 2016

Phase 3 wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of The Passport Party Project’s founder, Tracey Friley and the program’s generous sponsors (Toronto TourismPorter AirlinesNiagara Parks, National Geographic Maps, Heys Luggage , Hornblower Niagara Cruises, Francesco's Limousine Inc., and CityPASS),  who are as passionate about helping teen girls grow and become amazing global citizens!

 

Cheers to New Beginnings

Cheers to New Beginnings

A Year in Review - My Top Travel Moments in 2015

A Year in Review - My Top Travel Moments in 2015