Did you know that less than 40% of Americans have a passport? Have you ever wondered what percentage of this number includes underserved communities?
Meet Tracey Friley, award-winning travel writer and philanthropist, founder of The Passport Party Project and named one of National Geographic’s 2013 Traveler’s of the Year. I had the honor of first meeting Tracey in person at BlogHer 2012 in New York City. Tracey gave a presentation called Travelanthropy and I was fascinated by her talk. Her words and mission in life touched me deeply and we’ve kept in touch ever since.
Tracey caught the travel bug early and has been fortunate to have traveled to many wonderful parts of the world. Yet Tracey realized that many people in this country especially underserved communities do not have passports and have no means of international travel.
Inspired by her own passion for travel and making a difference in people’s lives, Tracey decided to act upon her disenchantment for the way the world works and find a way to help underserved girls travel. In the summer of 2011, Tracey gathered a group of local kids in the San Francisco Bay Area and spent the day with them talking about travel. By the end of the day, she had given the kids money for their first passports. Little did she know, this was the start of something bigger: The Passport Party Project.