While traveling Rob makes a conscious effort to do what is right for the people around him. By interacting with locals around the world he has learned that giving back is often much more difficult than it seems and can cause more harm than good. He encourages all travelers to get involved with the communities that they visit but to make sure that the help they give is actually needed. Rather than coming up with what you think the locals need the best way to help them is to ask them what they need help with.
Today most of Rob’s efforts are focused on American soil because he realized that his homeland is indeed the source of most of our major environmental issues around the world. He firmly believes that if America can shape up it’s act that the world will follow suit. Americans use 24% of the world’s resources and only make up 5% of the world’s population.
Rob believes that the quality of a person’s life can be measured by the positive impact he or she has had on the world. Rather than using money and material possessions as a measure of success he gauges his life worth by how much health and happiness that he spreads.
Here is some of Rob’s work abroad from his earlier years in giving back.
Along with friends Rob built this rainwater collection system at an orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya. The morning after it was built Rob was happy to see 300 Liters of water had collected from just a small amount of rain during the night. The system was set up to hold 1,800 liters and before he left the tanks managed to collect 900 liters during the dry season.
While Trekking Rincca Island in Komodo National Park Rob spent time in a small village where he was offered a house to spend the night and was told he was the first white man to ever sleep in their village. When he returned to the main island he sent school supplies and a soccer ball for the children in the village.
In Kisumu, Kenya Rob met Antony and learned that he lived on the streets while they were hanging out. Antony taught Rob about the life of the children and young adults on the streets of Kenya. Rent in Kisumu is a mere ten dollars per month for a simple apartment so one night Rob slept on the streets with Antony rather than spending $10 on a hostel. It was a great learning experience and by giving up comforts for just one night Antony was able to have 30 nights of comfort.