Whenever I get back from traveling in a developing country, I always feel like I need to give money to someone. Travel perforates the veil of privilege like nothing else, and that can do three things:
- It can make you feel really lucky.
- It can make you feel extremely compassionate toward those less fortunate.
- It can make you feel incredibly guilty.
These three elements have a tendency to combine and morph into a strong desire to help in one way or another. But this desire is often blind. What should I do? Should I give to the local Kiwanis Club? Should I like this Invisible Children video? Should I tweet at Barack Obama?
There are obviously some things that work — contacting politicians and news outlets, giving to certain charities — and some things that don’t work — liking Facebook videos, giving to certain charities. But it’s hard to know which is which. Here’s a starter guide for some of the things you can do to be both a traveler and a giver.