Travel can change your life and some acquaintances on the other side of the world can deepen to real friendships and lead to something very beautiful!
These are the main parts of our story! A trip to Africa back in 2012 – a first of many more trips to come; a true passion for trips out of my comfort zone and a question to the “right” person during a volunteer project in Northern Kenya.
“How to get to lake Turkana?”
I asked the local volunteer in a permaculture project, while we were digging under the African sun. “I’ll take you there! This is my corner of the world!”.
And so, without any preparation, Joseph offered to accompany me and my friends to explore the lake Turkana region, making me confirm what I have always known and believed. The best, most meaningful and most exciting way to travel to distant and “different” places is with the help of a local.
I’m Eleni and I live in Greece. I decided to start Routes for good, because I believe that travelling has the magical power to make the world a better place. Ι first travelled to sub-Saharan Africa 10 years ago and I dare say that trip changed my life. Since then, it is my intention to travel to sub-Saharan African countries at least once in a year either for volunteering or for tourism, however always in an effort to live a responsible, authentic and genuine experience as a member of the community I visit.
These journeys made me realize that the benefits of tourist activity often do not reach local people and the local communities that we visit. That’s because tourism industry, especially in developing countries, is not designed to favour, involve and support locals and local businesses. At the same time, I was lucky enough to meet unique and talented people, such as Joseph in Kenya and Fabrice in Madagascar, with whom we share a common vision for a fairer, more responsible and authentic way of travelling.
That is how Routes for good started, with the objective to connect travellers with local tour guides, offering a unique travel experience with a positive impact on both sides.
I welcome you to Routes for good and I hope that you will give us a chance to take you on a journey to a better world!
I was born at the foot of Ndoto mountain in Samburu country in northern Kenya one night with full moon. My mother didn’t know the exact date of my birth and so, many years later, a coincidence led to the conclusion that I was born on April 3rd.
I come from a humble family of seven members. I grew up as a nomad shepherd. I’ve spent my life as a little boy tending the flocks, moving from place to place in search of food and water for the animals. One day though, my mother decided it would be best for us to give up our nomadic life, since she couldn’t offer us what she was dreaming of.
My mother is the center and the backbone of my life. She is a mother of character and with a mind of steel, who decided to send me to school although I was barefooted and had no school uniform. I was only wearing a piece of cloth around my waist. In order to earn our living and pay the fees, she was carrying and selling water in Baragoi using a donkey.
As I was getting older, I began noticing the forces that influence the nomadic community, the outdated traditional practices, the exploitative and non-authentic tourism, the impact of climate change and the progressive occurrence of droughts.
I have a vision of a sustainable and productive pastoralist community and of a world healed from all the bad things that is currently going through.
I invite you to see Northern Kenya’s inherent beauty and wealth, the culture, generosity and authenticity of its people. Follow my roots… My Routes that are without doubt for good.