I give a shit about the Great (shrinking) Barrier Reef because I’ve chased a turtle around it.
I give a shit about melting glaciers because I’ve climbed on one in New Zealand.
I give a shit about the persisting tension in Kosovo because I’ve played PlayStation and shared countless cups of tea with college students in Pristina.
I give a shit about hurricanes hammering Honduras because I’ve played baseball there.
I give a shit about garment workers in Bangladesh because I’ve taught them how to throw a Frisbee and been to an amusement park with them.
I give a shit about those displaced by the Three Gorges Dam in China because I’ve eaten in their restaurant.
I give a shit about scavengers at Phnom Penh’s city dump because I’ve smelled what they smell every day.
I give a shit about teens who live in Africa’s slums because I talked about Ruben Studdard with them.
I give a shit about Kenyans having access to clean drinking water because I’ve witnessed kids fetching water in streams next to cow patties.
I give a shit about flooding in Bangladesh because I’ve had dinner in the flooded homes.
I give a shit about Ireland’s economy because I’ve had a pint with graduates who can’t find work.
I give a shit about HIV-treatment in Uganda because I’ve met a fella who dropped out of college to get a job because his dad died and he has to support his brothers and sisters.
I give a shit about the lobster divers of Nicaragua because I spent the better part of an afternoon stranded in the rain with a few of them.
I give a shit about sharks being de-finned because I’ve had my day made by the slightest glimpse of a shark in the open ocean.
I give a shit about all of these things and all of these places because I have traveled there. I give a shit about all of the places I haven’t been and all the people I haven’t met because I know if I went there and met them I would give a shit about them even more.
I give a shit because I’m a traveler.
And I’m not alone.
Every Tuesday I give away $10. This Tuesday I’m giving $20 (I missed last Tuesday) to Passports with Purpose, a group of travelers who give a shit by doing cool things. Last year they built a school in rural Cambodia and this year they are building a village in India. Yes, that’s right, a village! Join me in donating. Every $10 donation enters you to win prizes from an iPad, to plane tickets, to Norwegian cruises.