An audio and video podcast of my trip hitchhiking around the world by sea.
Random header image... Refresh for more!

See the World. Change the World

Seth, one of my best friends, and I sat down for lunch at our favorite sandwich shop in Flagstaff. It was time for me to make a decision: take a job in Portland/ sail around the world. We tossed the pros and cons back and forth. Sailing around the world would be the adventure of a lifetime, but I’ve always had this burning in the shadows of my soul to do something more, something humanly worthwhile. It’s the voice that asks after a long day of work, while you lie in the quiet of your bed unable to sleep, “What have you done? What really matters…”

I explain this to Seth as one of the cons to sailing. To get involved as we move along. Stop somewhere, build a house, school, whatever. Seth, who understands I know as much of carpentry as I do of sailing, logically responds something to the effect of, “ So stop somewhere and help do something they know much more about than you?” Kind of like me helping Dan sail. The reality is it takes Dan more time to stop and try to teach me what it means to sail, then how to sail, before I can ever be of help. Good point.

Still the decision to sail the world was a decision to follow my dreams. I have two significant dreams: 1. See the world. 2. Change the world. 1, as it turns out, is easier than 2. But hopefully one will lead to the other. So when my friend and I were designing, the idea came to me: What if as people follow along and as we stop to do something worthwhile they can give to the cause? They’ll be able to not only give, but to see exactly what they are giving to. To watch their very dollar work. And I can blog about every step.

That’s why one of the first things you see when you sign onto is a “Donate” button. Before I left, I approached another friend who started a nonprofit company, Lampstand, so he could do that very thing: know where his donations were going. We opened an account specifically for, so every dollar that is donated by people will go not to me, or Dan, or sailing, but to helping people along the way. And not only that, since it goes through Lampstand, Lampstand writes a receipt and it’s tax deductible! Every dollar you give we will use for a cause along the way, and you can write it off. We just have to find the right place to give.

Now the exciting part. As we were letting everyone know of our adventure, we heard from a friend that we both knew from college who lives in the Dominican Republic. At the time, Dan and I didn’t know our route, but when we realized we would be close to the D.R. we asked our friend Jessi, where she lived. Turns out she’s just a few miles from the coast and works with at risk children through an organization known as “Kids Alive International” ( We sent Jessi an email asking what they were doing and if there were things they needed, clothes, dental hygiene things, etc.? Jessi responded as follows:

We are doing loads of construction for new classrooms and bathrooms and furnishing them with desks and supplies, etc. We’re good on dental products but could use hygiene products, especially spray deodorant, soap, etc…but again, with money those things could be bought here. Let me know anything else I can help you with. When are you thinking about being here? Can’t wait!

Dan and I both agree it’s better to not just throw money at a need, so instead we will take money donated and purchase the supplies they need first hand. It’s a vision Dan and I shared from day one, and one we daydream about daily. We just never imagined it would happen so soon! And now the goal: Dan sat across from me composing his “proposal” to all of his contacts. “What should we shoot for?” he asked. “What $500? $1,000? Let’s do a $1,000!” So there it is. We’ll get to the Dominican Republic probably the second week of January, giving us about a month. Ambitious, I know. Especially for the first “go round”. But if you’re gonna change the world, you gotta shoot for the stars.

It’s always strange to ask for money, so I think I’m just going to tell you what we are up to. If you feel inclined, you can give and I’ll blog about everything we do. Meanwhile, Lampstand will send you receipt if you want to claim it on your taxes.

I have no idea how much we will make. Dan thinks people will give more cause it’s Christmas, which sounds good to me. Either way if it’s $10, $100, or $1,000, we will take what we have and buy some supplies for this orphanage in the Dominican Republic. At very least, we’ll get our hands a little dirty. Whatever happens, it’s a step. Even as I write this I have a smile on my face. As one friend put it, “Ripples. You’re making ripples.”

Please feel free to email with any questions you might have about our ideas, Lampstand, Kids Alive International, anything. Drop us a note and we’ll get back with you. If you want to give, just click on the “Donate” button to the right. Anything helps and EVERYTHING will go toward the “cause”. We won’t take a penny for ourselves. That’s a promise. If you want to give specifically to Dan or I (as has been asked), drop us an email and we’ll talk. Frankly though, I think we’d both assume you just donate to the cause. Unless you have a dinghy that doesn’t leak air… we’ll take that for ourselves. 🙂

Thanks, and we’ll keep you posted.

1 comment

1 Heather Grace Quinn { 12.18.07 at 8:19 pm }

what so i’ lik’ you gon’ for te se’onds and alld sud-den yous like as’in ererybody for a “website” if theys gonna talk a you. well i don’t have a website and here i am, like it or not, buddy.
Hey I was subbing today, you know, living the dream at Mount Elden Middle School, and I was thinking of you. I’ve been in Flag you know, and you’re not here, and I miss seeing you. (bla bla bla you say, i never saw you anyway bla bla bla) but for real I do. The other day I walked into Macy’s and Seth said, so now you’re home and Derek’s gone. what the *&^%^&*? Anyway, I’m glad you went. I’m proud of you. I think it feels right. I’m enjoying reading your blog (yes, I’m actually reading it this time around) and it’s good. The whole 7 miles an hour exaggeration has been my favorite so far. sharks were funny but i like the knot talk which you convert to mph. sweet you’re tying in the work with people, I hadn’t talked to you about that part. The spirit of Christmas at work, it seems, truly. Anyway, while you’re out there at sea, in your sanctuary of salt water, I hope the spirit of Christmas is alive as ever within you and around you, that you are seeing and experiencing some new truth about the lives we live, and that you are being deepened and widened and opened for whatever it is you will walk to next, once back upon land. I miss you D.
idnt. Suns beat Spurs last night. talk about a gift. holla.

Leave a Comment