Last August I spent time in Israel and while I was there I had the fortunate opportunity of meeting Amy Merrill co founder of Journey. Amy is a special person and her passion and drive with building her company is inspiring and I am excited that Amy has written about Journey in the hope to encourage others to take a trip of a life time!
I’m the cofounder of Journey: an impact travel community. We’ve created a model for group trips that are part impact work, part mindfulness and adventure, and a marketplace to both find and lead them. Journey’s dual mission is both to create perspective shifts and to catalyze social impact, at scale.
I just got back from Mexico City, where I led 30 people between the ages of 21 and 71 on a two-part adventure: first, to build 8 homes for families in Mexico City’s canal district, then to integrate the experience at a retreat center in the jungle.
Homes aren’t the only type of impact our community makes, but it’s one of the most tangible projects to bring to life. The homes are built with nonprofit TECHO, and the two-day build accomplishes two things. First, providing a family with a roof, a locking door, and the dignity that comes with having a place to call home (TECHO has built over 100,000 homes in 20 years). Second, connecting the Journeyers with local student volunteers and the families authentically, with two days of hard work, shared meals, broken Spanglish and laughter, all culminating in a key ceremony where the group celebrates their accomplishments as the family enters their new home for the first time. It’s experiential learning and human connection at its simplest and finest.
Next, we spent two days in what we call The Integration: we headed to Hostal de la Luz in Tepoztlan and took time and space to process the build weekend, practicing meditation and yoga for mind-body connection, talked about our experiences with others in workshops and shared meals, and left with a perspective shift: a new frame on the world and how we want to show up in it. I even experienced a symbolic rebirth with a Temescal: a Mayan sweat lodge ceremony led by a Shaman and involving a human-sized pizza oven (wow—I’ll tell you about my visions another time…). We ended the week around a campfire with an impromptu talent show and a final toast. We headed home and back to our lives, but not alone.
Journeys to Nicaragua, Mexico, and Costa Rica are coming up: learn more and grab a spot here.