fathom Cruises: A Great Way to Have a Great Time Doing Really Good Stuff! it is going to be great way for families to both spend time together and do something truly worthwhile at the same time. Multi-generational travel with meaning!
Today I read an article in the Britain's Mirror wondering if (better "declaring" that) fathom is having difficulty selling its "voluntourism" experience. The problem with the article, and even with the concept that magically a new concept that is still developing is going to instantly succeed, is that it is presumes failure.
Ironically, that is exactly what fathom and voluntourism overall is designed to address: Finding ways to take what appears to be a desperate and downtrodden situation and make it succeed and thrive. It is not easy. It takes hard work, adjustments and an open mind. But it takes more than that. It takes inspiration, fortitude and an extremely positive attitude.
And let's face it, it is a great opportunity for me and my daughter to share something that is socially relevant and enriching. Two winters ago we went on a Celebrity cruise for a week. It was nice (I do like Celebrity cruises for families), but it was a typical, sort of lazy/empty, week in the Caribbean. My daughter got a tan, we had some good father-daughter time, but there was nothing memorable (other than naming our theoretical - and now very real - new dog). This year we will remember, and be significantly impacted by, this trip!
|fathom's Adonia Pool|
And that brings me to how it is that my daughter is coming along on this trip.
A few weeks ago I sat next to fathom's president, Tara Russell, at the Travel Weekly Awards Dinner in New York City continuing our discussions about fathom. And then it hit me:
I spent approximately $9,000 for each of my children to participate in the famous People to People Student Ambassador Program. That is an $18,000 investment for my children to engage in its mission, which is: "To enhance international understanding and friendship through educational, cultural, and humanitarian activities involving the exchange of ideas and experiences directly among peoples of different countries and diverse cultures."It sounded so good and, in the end, it was a huge waste of money and a terrible disappointment for my children. ("Dad, remember when you sent me on that horrible three week trip where they treated me like I was six and we did nothing?") The pre-trip orientation meetings were more like schlepping to some place an hour away to learn how to be away from home for the first time. And the trip was more about ticking off sites without really understanding them, while the social impact activities were, frankly, stupid. As my daughter said, "We picked up rocks from a field." (My son's experience two years earlier was pretty much the same.)
So my sixteen year old daughter, who is a far better writing than I, will be writing about her experience, her feelings and her perceptions of fathom's social impact programs and comparing them to her People to People Student Ambassador program. I will share her writings here so that you can have some first hand information from the perspective of a well traveled, independent, parent and of a mature teenager.
I am confident, even before I have my airline tickets, that you will be inspired by fathom and what we write and will say:
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