Have you ever wanted to quit your job and travel around the world? Find out how Kathryn Pisco did it and how her life and work changed as a result.
In this episode, I talk with Kathryn Pisco of Unearth the World about the “career break” that helped her discover passion & purpose AND inspired her to launch a business to revolutionize the voluntourism industry.
Kathryn’s Website: www.unearththeworld.com
“Part of what made me change and evolve so much… is constantly being pushed out of my comfort zone and the realization that you have to just react and do the best that you can in any given situation.” ~Kathryn Pisco
Kathryn’s Resources when in doubt or crises of faith:
- Engage in regular Meditation, Mindfulness & Yoga practices
- Take a step back and look at the bigger picture
- Turn toward your supportive community
Links & Resources Mentioned in this episode:
Wanderful – a community of adventurous, independent and globally minded women travelers around the world.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – Combining magic, mysticism, wisdom and wonder into an inspiring tale of self-discovery, The Alchemist has become a modern classic, selling millions of copies around the world and transforming the lives of countless readers across generations.
Dabble – Dabble lets you discover, teach, and host one-time affordable classes. Pursue your interests & meet new people without a big commitment.
Resources to help you make subtle, powerful shifts in your life & work:
Kathryn Pisco, Unearth the World
Unearth the World was created in 2012 when we – Mike and Kathryn, a married couple from Chicago, – decided to give up our corporate jobs to travel the world and volunteer for a year. We decided to take a trip of a lifetime in an attempt to unearth and discover the world. We were passionate about travel and focused on giving back. We wanted to see and experience international cultures from a local’s perspective instead of a tourist’s perspective. We embarked on our 250 day, 20-country journey with excitement and planned 5 separate volunteer projects along the way.
The trip exceeded even our highest expectations but we learned a lot about the volunteer world. Some of our volunteer projects were unbelievably rewarding and truly life changing. We formed lasting relationships with locals, tasted delicious regional cuisine, took part in special cultural traditions, and truly felt like we were contributing towards making a real impact. We were not tourist or event travelers – we lived like locals.
Other projects brought frustration and confusion. We realized with sadness that many volunteer placement companies are more interested in making money and placing volunteers than doing good. We could not believe how expensive volunteering often was and that we really had no idea where our money was going. We didn’t mind contributing towards the local communities in which we were serving but often found that very little (if any) of our money was going towards the non-profits we were working with. Some of the projects were not community driven as they were created by Westerners who felt like they could “help” solve problems instead of coming from the local community. And, half of the time, we received no guidance or support when at the volunteer project.
During our travel around the world, we vowed to try to do something to improve the volunteer travel lopsided industry when we returned home. We had a vision of creating a volunteer placement company that was able to promote unique and life changing volunteer travel experiences. We wanted to create change, partner with community driven projects, and focus on sustainability so that – one day – our partners would be empowered to succeed without the help of volunteers. To do this, we formed Unearth the World by engaging in partnerships with two of the programs that we just volunteered with so that we could begin to pair willing volunteers with these deserving international non-profits. We promised ourselves that we would do everything possible to help volunteers experience a meaningful and fun project while also understand where their money was going.
In the coming years, we hope to increase our partnerships and expand our offerings. But in the meantime, we will count our mission a success if we can help just one person Unearth the World.