This post is brought to you by Frost Bank, all opinions are my own.
My mother always taught me the importance of giving back.
We often spent our weekends volunteering at Houston food banks, consignment shops, and soup kitchens.
We were even involved in a mother-daughter philanthropic organization that changed my view of the world.
My mother always stressed the importance of giving back – whether it be in money or most importantly, time.
I’ve carried these valuable lessons with me around the world, so I was ecstatic when Frost Bank and CultureMap asked me to share what generosity means to me. Frost Bank has been in Texas for more than 150 years and they created the #OptForOptimism campaign to inspire more good in our everyday lives. Y’all know I’m an eternal optimist, so that’s a campaign that I can happily get on board with!
If I’m being honest, generosity and optimism fuel my life. If I look hard enough, I can always find ways to help others and be grateful for the ways that others have helped me. I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today if it wasn’t for the pure kindness of loved ones and even strangers at times.
Frost conducted a study that proved the link between optimism and better financial health. The study proved that optimists experience significantly less financial stress and they’re much more likely to have better financial health. I know this to be true from personal experience!
Throughout my journey as a full-time traveler and blogger, optimism has been my greatest source of strength. I saved up a year’s worth of money while working in corporate human resources before quitting my job to travel the world. It sounds like a fairytale, but it took a lot of sacrifice and discipline. Once I quit my job, I was faced with the reality of not knowing when I would receive my next pay-check. Even now as a full-time blogger, an income is never guaranteed. My faith has carried me through these times of financial instability and uncertainty.
There’s no doubt that an optimistic mindset makes all the difference, in the best of times and the worst of times. Take the Frost quiz to see how optimism affects your financial health by clicking HERE!
Thanks to CultureMap’s Charity Guide, I was able to find a local charity that is near and dear to my heart. The Freedom Place provides a safe haven for human trafficking victims. It’s a long-term facility that provides a potential path to freedom through mental, physical, emotional, and educational health counseling. I’m passionate about empowering women to be their absolute best selves, so I was extremely touched to learn about the life-changing work that Freedom Place is doing.
Now, ya’ll know that I travel full-time which can make it difficult to consistently volunteer in one place. I do my best to give back to local communities when I’m on the road but I’ve been in search of an organization that I can commit to in the long term. Not too long ago, I shared this caption on Instagram:
“The owner inside began talking to me and we got lost in conversation for several hours. She told me that she runs this store half the year & travels to work with human trafficking victims the other half. We began talking in-depth about human trafficking (an area I’ve been interested in working/helping out in- Houston is one of the largest hubs in the US) and I couldn’t help but feel a sense of guilt. Some of the stories had me shook. That I’m able to frolic through the world like it’s a playground while others are suffering gravely. How lucky am I to be able to traipse the world safely, or even leave in the first place. This isn’t something I ever share on here, but I often think of all the girls (or people in general) around the world who don’t have a single ounce of freedom. The girls who dream of making their own decisions, leaving their hometown, let alone seeing the world. It’s a lot of the reason I was bold enough to quit my job – my privilege. I’d be doing a disservice to those who’d never have this opportunity if I stayed to bask in comfort. Now, how can I help? That’s something I’ll be exploring more next year. For now, I’m counting my blessings, trying to empower others to get out there, and working for the means to give back in some serious ways. The reality behind this moment, photo, and this day sat on my heart for a long while. I couldn’t help but feel that I was meant to walk into this store, meet this woman, and have this conversation.”
Fast forward to today and I may not have a grand plan to solve this problem, but I do know that I must contribute where I can at this point in time. I’ve taken the time to donate to this organization and I’ll be searching for more ways that I can use my platform to help this cause once my travels slow down.
With that being said, I want to encourage you to research an organization that is near and dear to your heart using CultureMap’s Charity Guide. Discover ways that you can give back your time or skills in a meaningful way! Practice gratitude and find ways to spread that optimism like wildfire. Every bit helps!
Hey, I'm Ciara. I’m a global citizen and lover of travel. Want to know more?
Things you need to know before visiting Tulum
25 TIPS TO STAY SAFE AS A SOLO FEMALE
Things you need to know before visiting Tulum
Sign up to stay current on all my latest tips, tricks, photos, and lists.