If you had a chance to spread a message of peace, where would you go and what would you say?
My bicycle trip around the world was one of the most defining and revealing moments in my life. The people I met and the adventures I found myself in defined my character and prepared me for the rest of my life in a way I doubt many journeys possibly could. While my book can explain the cast of characters and the series of occurrences of my journey, the feeling of getting out there and immersing yourself within our beautiful world is something you have to experience for yourself. That is why I would like to send a few like-minded people on a similar trip as an Ambassador of Peace between America and the people they come into contact with.
WHO IS AN AMBASSADOR OF PEACE
An Ambassador of Peace is a resourceful and capable person who wishes to see the world as a citizen of the Earth and give back to its inhabitants a message of kindness and gratitude. An Ambassador’s designed scope of work is broad to say the least – I want Ambassadors to have their own ideas on how they wish to promote their message and foster that desire. The message of an Ambassador of Peace falls outside of the forms of religion or politics, and aims for a mutual cognizance and understanding between people who live in a fundamentally opposite way that the Western World.
WHY DO WE NEED AMBASSADORS OF PEACE?
As an unabashed advocate for peace, I believe that personal intervention is more effective than bombs. I want to use money from the sale of The World Up Close to pay for a person, or couple, to travel to another country by bicycle, meeting the rural people and telling them about America, the way that I did. People outside the 24-hour news cycle of the developed world hear about the US everyday, and a lot of the news is erroneous or negative – we are not all the same as our stereotypes. This small jest will not change the world, but that one on one contact with a stranger goes a long way to transforming those negative stereotypes.
I know from experience that a stranger showing up in a village on a bicycle creates a stir. People want to know who this person is. This does not happen to people who travel by bus or train since those passengers generally stay in cities. With a bicycle you push out to areas and people that other travelers do not.
HOW DO I BECOME AN AMBASSADOR OF PEACE?
Applicants must be American and interested in learning about the region they want to travel to. I want to send someone to a region that is foreign to most Americans and also a region where the appearance of an American traveler would be an uncommon experience. I don’t want to put anyone at risk by going to a war zone, although that is obviously where an Ambassador of Peace is needed most. There are safe Middle East countries, as well as safe African and Asian countries. I will pay for airfare plus a stipend that should cover most of the cost of traveling through the country. Knowing the language is not required but helpful. The applicant should represent the US and be interested in promoting peace. The applicant should also be willing to document and share their experience.
Bicycle touring has become more in vogue over the past several years because it’s one of the best ways to see the world. Most people travel in organized groups. As nice as these groups are, they don’t integrate with the local people as a single rider or couple would. If you or someone you know are a suitable candidate to become an Ambassador of Peace, you may apply in the fields below or email your candidacy here. Please include a short essay, video or other presentation explaining why you would be a great Ambassador of Peace along with contact information and Facebook/Twitter information.