Today we paid $100 for the privilege of taking our two big road trips this year. What does that mean?
We are privileged to be able to travel as often as we do. That doesn’t mean we don’t work hard to capitalize on our own personal situations, or sacrifice in other ways to create these opportunities—we most certainly do both. But it means we don’t face many of the artificial, socially-constructed limitations that others do; or if we have, we managed to overcome them.
With privilege comes both gratitude and responsibility. We’re incredibly grateful for the travel we can do. So we want to ensure that others have fewer barriers to traveling, with the hope that their travel experiences will be just as personally meaningful as ours are.
So for every big trip that we take, we set aside a modest sum—usually $50 per trip—to pay it forward. It’s an investment in someone else’s travel. We just build it directly into each trip budget. Fifty dollars won’t change someone’s world, but it’s a reasonable amount for us. And over time, it can really add up.
Right now, this money is being set aside for the daughter of our good friends, who functions as our adopted niece. While Natalie is still a toddler, our hope is that we can help fund a really big travel opportunity—like an entire gap year, if she wants.
So instead of buying her lots of presents from Uncle Scott & Aunt Jen, we deposit some money into her travel fund for each birthday and holiday, and also for each big trip we take. (And yes, we still get her some smaller gifts, too.)
For us, it’s a tangible reminder of both how fortunate we are to be able to travel, as well as the responsibility we have for helping others have a similar opportunity.