Wider Worldview: Volunteering Abroad w/ Kelly Nash

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Transcript

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Oh

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Oh,

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Am I muted as well? Hello, everybody.

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Kelly, can you hear me? Are you with us? There's a little button done at the butter..

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How's just going? Wow. Good. I just said that whole introduction, and I was muted.

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I wondering that's what was have.

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Man, I nailed it too. I was like, I this wouldn't felt real good. So gotta go

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back up Hi, everybody, Troy, Peter. Welcome. Thank you so much for joining us. Let's go ......and

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we're gonna rewind.

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And I'm gonna do that over again. Thank you for buried with me you wow. This is quite a Tuesday.

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Okay. So I'm gonna for pretend like that didn't happen, and we're gonna start the top. Welcome, everybody.

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Happy Tuesday.

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Welcome to Wider Worldview, podcast exploring the power, travel how it to teach the world,

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sparked new ideas, foster to perspectives and Catalyst curiosity of life fun learning. I'm your host, Megan Bank, I'm martha by day, passionate Travel photographer, journalist when I can fit it in,

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i know lifelong winner, always.

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I believe the power of travel can make the world a better place, Join us for conversations

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from entrepreneurs, educators and explorers and get it aspire to tap it travel as an experiential learning and empathy building tool. For a seventh episode today, I am so thrilled to welcome Kelly Nash.

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She is so many things. She is the founder of Lipstick an ink, which is a Chicago based organization, focused to career content, advisors services and events to empower women to be their most. Authentic cells and advocates for themselves in the workplace. Kelly is also principal success manager sells force, fast. I'm sure we're all familiar with

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She's a speaker, a writer, a career adviser, and

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someone I also get to call my friend. Welcome, Kelly. How are you?

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Hey. Thank you so much. That i'm amazing intro. Thank you.

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Good. I'm so glad you deserve it.

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So thank you so much for being here. And everybody in the audience. Thank you so much for joining us.

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We are gonna be talking with Kelly

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about her experience volunteering abroad.

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So we'll definitely be leaving some time at the end for questions.

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Also,

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if you find that your network would find interesting. Please feel free to hit that little hamburger button in the bottom the left and hit broadcast to the world.

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We're ...this is a podcast for people who believe that travel can change the world.

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And so that's who we're trying to to talk to. So, Kelly,

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welcome. I'm so thrilled to have you on here.

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I know a lot about you, and I know we're gonna be talking about your volunteering a abroad experience in Rwanda.

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But for the audience, can you share a little bit about your background and how you found yourself planning to volunteer bed?

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Yeah. Sure. Thanks for that. So, yeah. As Megan mentioned, I work at Salesforce full time time and

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I also ...Am am the founder of of Ink, and

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that's really my blog, my events business,

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my career advising services, everything wrapped in that. So I do that on the side,

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but I ...you know, when we're talking about volunteering

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and, you know, traveling abroad, I I've always had this like, wander list and natural to, like, see the world, but also to, like, make an impact on the world. And so

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I created a bucket list. I think this is probably in high school. And, like, two of the things I on that bucket list. One of which was

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volunteer abroad, and the other was visit like, a third world country just because I wanted to expose myself to that type of environment

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get on the ground, you know, see how those people live, get to know them, understand their living conditions and how they live live breathing and work.

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So

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that's always been top of mind for me. And I just ...I I had looked through

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different volunteering

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abroad experiences

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throughout the years, and I just never

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anything that I could really connect with. Like,

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I I ...you know, there's a ton out there, of course. And through my actually working at Salesforce.

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As some of you might know, you know, we're very big into giving back and

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making an impact in our communities. And so they're very gone how about, you know, volunteering

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as the whole. We get, like, seven pages on two days a year and they're they're encouraging us date., day in and day out to to give back. So

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I threw actually working at Salesforce found out about this

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organization to call venture to impact, you which is an organization that really aims to help communities around the world break the cycle of poverty.

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So they do various trips around the world.

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And so when I found out about the the organization through actually my manager at the time,

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she she was telling us about her experience, volunteering

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Romania,

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that kinda just clicked in my head of something I really wanted to do. That hearing the things that she was doing on that trip to Romania.

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And then we found out about a trip an upcoming trip to Rwanda This was in, like, fall twenty nineteen.

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And so that was just something I was really curious about in dug into it a little bit more.

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And I just really

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loved the

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impact that venture impact does.

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Because what they do is they partner with

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that are really on the ground

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to help disadvantaged people in their community learn specific skills.

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And so that was what we were tasked with doing while we were in Rwanda. So when we got on the ground, we partnered with

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an organizations called Hope in homes for children,

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and they have various

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locations across the world, but this one in Rwanda specific

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is

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really aimed to up upscale people on the ground so that they can qualify for better paying jobs so that they can ultimately

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reduce those childhood abandonment rates that

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are prevalent in Africa,

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African countries. And so

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there's this perceived notion

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in developing countries that maybe placing your children in orphanages. For example, we'll allow them to, you know, flourish. Live a better life than if they had lived with their actual families. And so open homes for children specifically is working to like debunk that myth and really get these people upscale so that they can provide further their for their children and keep them in the home. So I just really like the idea of of what we would be doing in terms of teaching these individuals and beneficiaries, like skills like English, computer skills, and then there was also a component of working with women specifically on business and entrepreneurial subjects

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because there's a lot of women in rwanda that own their own businesses. So because, you know, that resonated with me, just given the fact that I'm doing something similar, you know, On on the side

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with let's and ink. So that was kinda how I got involved and it was honestly all through my own company, which was really cool.

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That is so impressive. And, you know, as I was doing research, I Kim crossed this

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organization called

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Impact travel Alliance, and there was a

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a a thought leader named pivot who had written an article in twenty fourteen about val,

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which is kind of this idea where you can travel and and you can volunteer. But oftentimes times, there's actually this

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detriment to the communities that you're going to because when you go, you are not, like, adding anything to the community and it's actually like a lot more problem like that you're actually there, and so it's kind of this check of the box. Like, hey, look at me. I'm doing some good stuff, but really, it doesn't really benefit the

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organization or the, you know, the community that you're working with in. And so

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when I was looking at this venture to impact group that you had just talked about, which thank you so much for that. Run down, it really struck me as

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you were there to teach them English to up skill to get better at their, you know, and and build their onto entrepreneurial dreams and and and create empowerment for them and and do all this amazing wonderful things.

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And what I thought was so cool and maybe you can talk about this a little bit Kelly is that venture the impact is it seems a little bit different from some or other organizations out there because it's not just about material poverty.

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But also

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some, like, really complex in intangible and frankly,

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facets of poverty that I never even thought about, like, isolation

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or vulnerability or powerless

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or physical weakness. So do you feel like

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that was kind of reflected within the program when you were there.

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Yeah. A hundred percent. So, like, obviously, we're doing the actual volunteering

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and, like, working with the beneficiaries during the day. But outside of that when we would go back to where we were saying,

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we were mean,

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you know, actually before we went on and then we were meeting after, and then we also, were just discussing, like, because we were seeing all in the same place, but we had what we called team time quote unquote, where we were talking about specific subjects like you just mentioned, like, the vulnerability aspect and, like, other forms of poverty beyond what we ...what we know today. And so one of the things that we talked heavily about when on specifically was the genocide of nineteen ninety four there and just getting a queen with some of the things that happened that year specifically that was so detrimental

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to that. To the country itself and the people

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within that country, and we were exposed to the Genocide

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memorial Museum we able to go there and really dive deep into how this really heavily impact

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impacted the community and how still impacts the can community because pretty much every rwanda

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today has been affected by the genocide in some shape or form. So getting that level of understanding and really diving deep into that was super helpful just to understand, like, what these people have been through or maybe what their families have been through. Like, they've obviously wander asked people

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through the genocide, and, you know, was actually really interesting, like, one of the days in our English class we were playing like, a little game as to, like,

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who is the oldest in the class to the youngest. So we were ordering them up by their birthdays, and a lot of them kept saying my birthday, January first, my birth is January first, and I was like, wow. That's really crazy that everyone's birthday is this day. Like, it's ...you know, and afterwards, when we were in our team time, like, someone asked about that,

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and our leader for the hawaiian trip was like, they probably said that because they don't know their actual birthday because their parents we died in the genocide, and they didn't have their birthday documented.

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So just something as simple as bad was just

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eye opening and just like Whoa. You know? So

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I really appreciated that

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venture to impact the organization just like, it it it goes way beyond just like what we're doing.

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It's like really learning about these beneficiaries and, you know, the the lives that they're living today.

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That is so powerful, and I was reading your recap of of dear trip and what it meant to you, and I was just like, oh my gosh. I can't know, I was I was gonna ask you how did you prepare?

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And then I ...you know, you you read a lot of articles and and then you went to the ...the

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the dedication

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memorial museum. And hey ...I ...oh,

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my gosh. I can't even imagine. I I guess,

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with that, because I kind of understand, you know, how you prepared. Was there anything that you wish

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in the the vein of

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abroad was their thing that you wish your future self knew

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before you were getting ready or was ...you know, was there a challenging or surprising thing that you

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had prepared for, maybe didn't prepare for, you know, for people who are maybe thinking about volunteering abroad.

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Yeah. I I actually mentioned this in article so you're probably familiar with it. But for those listening,

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in my blog recap, I mentioned that

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I had a strong perception of like, what Rwanda was gonna be like, You know, it's an African country, and I think when we're growing up in the states, if you haven't been exposed to

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you know, a third world country or an African country, like, there there's images that we've seen growing up in the media and that what we're conditioned to think of when we think about an African country. And, especially when we're thinking about poor African countries that are a need of constantine, we have this, like, visual of what it's a lot like there. So like, I had this idea in my head of, like, what Rwanda was going to be like,

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especially thinking, like, oh, the ramifications of this genocide, Like, I'm sure it's still impacting the country today. Like, I wonder what the infrastructure is gonna be like, there, like, power people we're gonna be living.

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So I imagine, like, a very, you know, run down poverty stricken in city, like, shame on me because that was so incorrect. And I think getting on the ground and just, like, being exposed to the area that we were obviously volunteering and, but, like, actually

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venturing out and

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taking little day trips when we had the time the the downtime to do that and just getting exposed to different areas of K golly, the mean city ever her wanted of where we were, was just super eye opening because everything I had

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stopped were wanted was gonna be was, like, not the case. Like, obviously, there were more poor parts of the city as a whole, but

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I was, like, related to see that, you know, it's a functioning and modern city. Like, there's cars. There's mop, like, tons of hotels and stores and restaurants bars, etcetera. So you just feel this like really positive energy, like, you know, elect the city, and I just felt like, wow. This is so not what I thought it was gonna be. So I feel like if I could go back and,

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you know, tell myself, like, what to expect. Like, that's what I would tell myself. Like, don't don't have this pre notion of what this country is gonna be like. Because it's gonna blow blow it out of the water. It's completely different than what you're gonna think it is.

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That is ...well, you basically don't you know, I had this question of, like, how did you feel before? And then what did you see after, but you you kind of have answered that. And I just ...I can't

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it's so interesting that you talk about perception. Right? Because

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we have these pre preconceived notions in our minds of everything

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because we have personal biases

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to all kinds of things. And so then you go and experience them firsthand, can really erode that and change

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the perception of of what you know, and then you can share it with other people.

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It it's just ...what do you think? Was there any

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I guess something to quantify maybe for people when they're thinking about doing things like, going abroad or, you know, I I really think about. I know we have Peter ...well, we had Peter and the audience. We had stephanie in the audience, but they gave a really

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interesting

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conversation a couple of months ago where it was kind of this people when they don't know things, they operate out of fear, and sometimes the fear can manifest as violence or, you know, other kinds of emotions where maybe things happen or things are said or there's biases and and things like that.

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And so do you think that

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when you're

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thinking about doing this process and and actually going there,

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what was one of the and if you ...if you don't my me asking and and sharing, what was something maybe a road black? Like a mental sort of, like, oh, maybe I i wanna do this or maybe I shouldn't do this and how did you overcome it?

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I mean, to be honest, like, I was really excited about going. I think the only like,

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fear, I think I would say was just traveling that far alone because I had never done that before, like, I've traveled to, you know, places just as far as as wanda, but I've always had someone with me. So knowing that I was gonna be going by myself was was definitely a fear, and I was going with some of my close coworkers, but they were traveling from New New York. So, like, we didn't meet up until we were actually, like, on on the ground and hire that, we had actually decided we were gonna go visit the ends bar for the week before.

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And so, like, I got some have to And bar actually, and, like, their flight got delayed. So I was in Exams Bar actually by myself, like, completely.

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Wow.

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So that's just that's another story for a different day, But I think

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just going through that, like, uncomfortable

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and, like, a little bit of that fear, Like, what what will happen I'm a young woman traveling alone, like, will someone take advantage of me with something bad happen, Like, I think just the the normal things that young women that are traveling alone probably go through first foremost before they actually get comfortable doing that on their own consistently, but that was probably my biggest fear. But, again, like,

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I think what call me Down was just knowing that, like, once I was there, I would be with people I knew.

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That's a really interesting ...idea

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as well. And and it's something that I'm really fascinated about understanding this, like

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mental road black baby. So speak of people, like, wanting to do some something, like, especially within the travel room, and then maybe just, like putting up this, like,

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road, I guess, for lack better term and what that is and how you can break it down

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because I I think that that is something that everybody runs into. So

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Well, I'm so ...and it sounds like your excitement kind of blew you. So totally, Yeah percent. Yeah. I'm definitely did. And I think for anyone that's, like, scared of those same fears. I think

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if it's like your first trip, like, yeah. Maybe try to see if there's someone you can go with that you're come west tell like calling those nerves. But I think once you do a trip, like, and you've you've gone through that uncomfortable, like, it gets easier easier with time to. So I feel like I could use like, go on

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another volunteer trip on my own and feel perfectly fine with it Now that I've done it. Totally, because you have one under your belt, and I think that is everything. Once you have the experience, it's so easy to do it again.

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I love that. Well, the ariel

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I'm sorry if I pronounce that incorrectly, so please correct me if I'm am wrong, but thank you so much for joining us. I ...oh, Ariel. Okay. Great. He doesn't.

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Wonderful.

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Okay. No problem..

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I no. You you pronounce my name. Right. It's Ariel.

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Yeah. I ...I just ...I just think that ...what

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is it like, the first place I remember traveling to ever by myself?

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Was Washington Dc,

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and I'm from Los Angeles.

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So, like, seriously like, going across the country,

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it's like you're going to a different

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country, even though it's like the same one. So that was so cool for me.

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You you ...you know, the funny thing was, like, I stayed at a hostile, like, one of those youth hospitals.

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And when I didn't lock up my things because I got there so late.

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So many of these thoughts were running to through my head, like, oh my goodness.

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What if one of these people like, wanna steal from here? Take

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or, like, take my things when I'm asleep or do this

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And then slowly, but surely, those thoughts started going away when I started thinking to myself, like, well, would I ever do something like that to these other people? And I'm like, no. Not really. It's not really worth it. And then

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I I don't know. I ...and and then and then I like, I wasn't so afraid of solo travel anymore.

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I love that. And I have to say as soon as you ...this is I'm outing myself with my own biases

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I ...Western News you that I stayed it in the house. So I was like, oh my gosh. She like, how is that? Did you get anything so? Oh my gosh.

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Because I have ...no ...I I have never done it before, and I have this

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sense of unknowingly and perhaps reading from here. I'm gonna call out my bias here.

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Area, I'm I'm thank you for sharing that. That's really ...I'm

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I'm I'm glad that you had that experience Basically ...because when I woke up from that bed, and I and I just started talking to people and getting to learn about them, it it kind felt even better because it's like, I get lonely in a hotel all by myself, you know, you know? And and and stuff like that. But I did visit some tells and pretended that I'm coming back next month just to get the feelings

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Absolutely.

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Well, thank you so much for sharing that. And did you ...is there a that you had for tell you that you wanted to ask her about volunteering abroad?

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Like,

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That's a good one.

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Is it is ...is

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is it just like key core or there other kind of, like, organizations? Is it like you get your expenses paid or does it all depend on who you

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that's a really good question. I think in varies by

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organization that you travel with. So there are a plethora of of different like, volunteering to abroad

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that you could find online. But this one in particular, we were expected to

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raised five thousand dollars. And so what what was nice about working at Salesforce. And, again, I don't know what company you work for, but

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Salesforce at least, like, matches fifty percent of our donations towards nonprofit organizations. So what I was able to do was ...I only had to raise twenty five hundred dollars of my own money, which, you know, I basically that that Christmas of twenty nineteen just started asking my family. I don't want gifts, like, just give me on for my rwanda trip to help pay for this. And I ultimately he was able to move that

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and

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did that and then salesforce match the other twenty five hundred. So that that covered the flights, like, all of our room and board, while we were there,

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you know, transportation while we were there. So that was kind of an all inclusive cost.

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Okay. I got. So different companies, different kinds of like, structures on, you know, what you're expected to pay with their expected to pay and and stuff like that. So kinda runs

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Yeah. Exactly.

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That's great. Thank you, Ariel for asking that question because I actually gonna ask you, Kelly, how you sort of

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foot the bill so to speak because, you know, that ...that is an interesting concept that I do like to or in the show is sort of that accessibility of travel. And it's awesome to know that there are avenues out there that,

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you know, you can find some assistance I had no idea that maybe a company was capable of doing something like that..

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Thank you, Lily. Welcome so much. Thank you so much for joining us That's here. Do you have a question for kids?

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Yeah. Still

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in Kelly. And hello, Ariel.

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Just when Kelly noted how elect

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the her experience was,

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a friend of mine had served in a piece for, you know, long ago, but she was still me letters from Ghana, West Africa.

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And there was just that as you noted that elect

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positivity,

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like, the people were so warm. And she was just so impressed and, you know, I just felt how positive her experience was in her letters.

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So I just think you know, it's great. Like, did you share

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your experience?

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I'm sorry. I missed the beginning of your conversation.

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But, like, for me, I can never imagine myself doing something like that, but I just think like an adventure

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receiving, you know, the piece core,

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her ladders, you know, serving in the piece car.

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So I'm just curious how you shared.

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So you cut out just a bed at the end there.

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Sorry.

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So you know how you shared your experience? You know,

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was it un social media or ...you know how did you dash? I I catch the beginning. I'm sorry.

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Oh, no. No. And that's okay. I actually, Didn't really cover that too much. So I have a blog that I that I run, and it's the ...it's it's more a career in my vlog, but has, like, little bit of travel we've been there, but I did write a blog post all about my experience on my website. It's about sick ink dot com.

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So if you just search Rwanda, you'll be able to find the post, but it's a it's a pretty long lengthy post, but I basically touch on every aspect of my variants there. And then, you know, while I was actually on, I was posting to my Instagram and my stories just to, you know, bring people along my journey and the things that we were doing.

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So, yeah, I I did all of that. And and to your point,

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I I'm not surprised that you're run with saying that about Ghana too, because I just feel like these these developing countries in particular. This is the defining

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thing for me was that

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these developing countries don't have access A lot of the times to the technology that we do, you know, in the Western world and in America. And so I found that almost like, I was almost like, jealous a little bit of the way they were living because I feel like car

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are jitter or our countries, so great on technology and the fact that that these countries, like, like Rwanda, like ghana, like, they don't have access to that. Like,

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they have more

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just have a sense of, like, community, like, there was people always outside, like, play ...like, all the kids were playing outside, like, you didn't see any kids on their phones or like, who do a Tv, obviously, like, any of that, And I just found like people are just so much more warm and welcoming and like wanting to talk to you, and I actually wrote in my blog post that, like, while we were walking to a community hub where we were teaching, like, English and computer skills,

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there was one day where this, like, two year old little girl, like, just ran up to the ran up jar volunteer group and gave us a

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and her mother was, like, you know, by the house looking at us, and she was just smiling. And And I just thought, you know, if this was ...if this happened in America, like, we ...you know, that mom would be yelling at that child. Like, get away from them. You don't know who they are, You know? And I just felt like there was just this

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trusting nature, just a strong sense of community along the rwanda there. That it just, like, made you ...just ...so, like,

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happy.

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I can't. I just can't explain it, but that's just a sense of

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what I

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encountered there. So I it sounds similarly to what your friend did.

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What would she encountered you in Ghana on?

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That's amazing. And Lily, thank you so much for that question and Ariel. Thank you so much for bringing that up and it something interesting that I am kind of hearing in

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in these answers as Kelly is the sense of trust, like,

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you know, it seems that once you go and you experience something, you build that chest a little bit more. And if you don't ...if you've never been there, you maybe don't have that truck

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and it

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I just thought that was really interesting. It seems like there is a common commonality and, you know, Ariel as he talked about his experience at a host and just kind of naturally,

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as he understood,

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would people hear do this and then he asked himself would I do something like to other people, and he kind of was able to build that trust as well. Yeah.

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Great point.

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Well, I wanna be respected your time. Thank you, everybody so much for joining us for asking all your wonderful questions. I have a fun section.

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It's called three travel takes and it is just supposed to be quick, one word or maybe one sentence answers for you.

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So I am going to put you on the oh god. Okay.

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And it's supposed to come, you know, from the heart and napa your her so ...I'll

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get started. Where was the first place you traveled outside of your known?

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Gosh.

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I mean, Rwanda, I would say, I mean, I feel like that's the easy answer, but that was very out of my known comment zone.

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Absolutely.

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Where have you traveled that was different from what you expected?

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Easy answer,.

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This one, I I don't know if you can answer the one on, but it it's possible

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I I loved ...I absolutely love hearing the a different side of this story. So thank you so much, for of ever for being.

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What is the best thing that you've brought back from a trip? Whether it was an idea, an object, a relationship, or recipe,

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I think relationships

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like ...so

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this what ...this happened in May of twenty nineteen. We went to we went on, like,

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...to a couple cities in Italy, and

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we were in Rome eating dinner and our car later was taking forever

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for us to pay our bill, and we were kinda just sitting there. We started talking to the couple next to us who happened to be from New Zealand. And

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they were, like, an older couple, but we we sat there for three hours and just talked to them about, like, American politics and just America New Zealand

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in general and like, the differences and similarities between our countries and I'm still friends with them, like, still talk to them via Instagram and they're on my email list, and I just feel like

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traveling gives you an opportunity to meet people that you never

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would normally need in a given day. So that's something I've always appreciated about traveling.

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I love it. I I have a a couple of experiences like that in my back ...you know, I could get on my hand that I we've just struck up conversations,

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and I value those so much. Mean.

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Thank you so much for all of this.

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I I had no idea of, you know, I was so thrilled to learn more about venture to impact the fact that it really

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focuses on all kinds of poverty, not just material poverty.

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Actually,

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adding to the community and not just doing it as kinda of like a feel good sort of

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check of the box if, you know, so to speak. And then also, the fact that, you know, how you were able to fund this trip I had no idea that that was maybe something that could be feasible for others. So thank you. Again, if people wanted to find out more about you lipstick and ink, your other work, where can they find you? Sure. Yeah. So my website is the lipstick and ink dot com. So that's how being my blog and and all the things that links all my social media so you can find me there.

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I'm on Instagram, linkedin, Facebook.

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All the social media sites let's like unique,

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all the socials

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social.

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Well, thank you. Again, Thank you, everybody for being here. Thank you for your wonderful questions.

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Thank you for tuning and writing your worldview view with us here. On Fireside. I'm your host, Megan, you can learn more about wider worldview view and grab links to our previous episodes over at w w w dot killer color curiosity dot com,

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or follow us on so social media at color dot and dot curiosity.

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We'll see you back here next week out Tuesday at seven forty five Eastern on Fireside, we'll be talking to know that home of curious art historian, exploring art,

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how are differs around the world, it's unique place and travel and other fun topics.

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See you then. Thank you again. Have a great Tuesday night.

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Thanks, Megan.

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Thank you.

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Are

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