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Monday, January 20, 2014


January 20, 2014

It's the first of the year (again!) and I'm ready to get the passport party started!  I'm super psyched about what's in store this year for The Passport Party Project's first Phase 2 group of deserving girls.  #10girlsatatime

On January 14, 2014, The Passport Party Project awarded two roundtrip airline tickets to Melissa Chaney and her tween daughter in an online sweepstakes compliments of JetBlue.   And to keep the party rolling, I have been flooding my social media channels with The Passport Party Project's #TravelRocks campaign that showcases world travelers who believe in the power of the passport. 

Traveler love from Lily of
via @TraceyFriley on Instagram
#TravelRocks is posting daily through February 15, advocating for youth travel, global citizenship, giving back & the power of the passport.  #doYOUbelieve?

An eventful six months

I originally thought I would get a little breaky-break after the Passport to Belize trip was over in July 2013, but instead, I was off to Costa Rica less than two months later as a finalist in The GProject, a crowd-sourcing contest for causes put on by G Adventures and the Planeterra Foundation.

The entire GProject experience not only helped me put Phase 2 in perspective and on paper, but took me to beautiful Costa Rica for the very first time. #puravida It was an unforgettable experience and enhanced by the Passport Party Project online ambassadors that rallied to vote and got me in front of the judges and then ultimately to Costa Rica to pitch.
LEFT TO RIGHT: 2013 GProject Winner, Lee-Ann Gibbs
GProject Finalist Rita Rayman / GProject Finalist Tracey Friley
GProject Finalist Jodie McQueen   
In October 2013, National Geographic Traveler magazine announced - first online and then in its November 2013 issue - that I was one of its 2013 Travelers of the Year for my work with The Passport Party Project. That was just bonkers. I'm extremely honored. And besides my mother's holiday visit, it was a great way to close out 2013.

2014 started off for me in Baja Mexico where I got the news while on vacation that I won a $2,000 gift card in the American Express #PassionProject. Do you believe it?! Happy New Year to The Passport Party Project!

And coming up really soon, on February 6, 2014, I will be on a panel at a National Geographic Live event in Washington, D.C. celebrating all of its 2013 Travelers of the Year. I've been pinching myself daily. I am very grateful and excited to be able to talk about The Passport Party Project with National Geographic Traveler. #sonice 


But now? Now, I'm ready to get back to work. Phase 1 was a success: 100 underserved American girls now have their very first passports and 6 of those girls were able to travel to Belize to get their very first passport stamps and volunteer at a local orphanage courtesy of Expedia. Global citizens are in the making. Phase 1 was a learning experience for the girls and for me as well, and now I'm ready to start Phase 2 -- 10 girls at a time. #partytime



1. Raise the money for 10 passports and 10 passport photos. Thank you to everyone who has been contributing to fostering international travel dreams by donating and to the American Express #PassionProject for taking the pressure off.

2. 1+ year partnership with a committed brand &/or sponsor willing to donate 10 international trips to 10 underserved American girls.

3. Produce global awareness training module. 

4. Set criteria and recruit 10 underserved girls nationwide for a Fall program start.

5. Continue online fundraising. 

6. Secure a fiscal agent and professional grant writer. #501c3 

7. Contract with a fund raiser on contingency

8. Enter select online sweepstakes. [Win.]

9. Continue building a team of do-ers. 

Wow. I've got work to do. If you can help, please, shoot me an email. Bye for now...