As the sun sets on my Middle East trip, I want to take a moment to proudly mentioned that today is TGOW’s two months anniversary. Over these two months, we’ve started a fascinating series of podcasts, created multiple fitness and travel videos, written a library of blogposts (which will be uploaded to my website shortly), built some strong connections both in Asia and the Middle East, and we are also getting invited to speak at events.
Growth and expansion is not a problem for TGOW, but we want to grow and expand in a way that benefits humanity, especially in terms of widening the lense of freedom and opportunity for individuals with disabilities. I believe one of our core goals as human beings should be to make lives better for as many people as we can. For me, I see my contribution in providing information to open access to travel, providing fitness opportunities, and establishing a line of products to enable wheelchair users to live as independently and freely as possible.
To help me achieve my mission, I’ve set some concrete goals for where I want to take TGOW in the next month, six months, one year, and as far into the future as five years. As we grow and progress to become a more established company, I hope to have a 10 year, 20 year plan or perhaps a even more forward looking plan. I think, by now, many of us have realized that having specific plans and focusing on those specific goals daily within that plan is very important to achieving the desired big picture. I am excited about the future of TGOW because I wholeheartedly believe in all the good we are going to do. And I am glad you are all here to follow and guide me through this journey.
I know I’ve been saying a lot of “I”, I”, I”, but I cannot do this alone. As we develop and grow, I need a business partner who has skills I do not have, I need friends and family to help me get the word out so more people know about the great services we will be providing and the great information we are already providing, I need people like you who believe in my mission to volunteer your time and share your skills in outreach, marketing, product development, product production, etc and more. There is a lot of work to be done yet to get TGOW running so that we can function at maximum capacity to do the most good for the greatest number of people. This is all to say, I need you. This can be in the form of feedback on my website and social media pages or it can be figuring out a way to become business partners or it can be volunteering/interning at TGOW. Further down the line, as we become more economically established, it may even mean becoming one of our first pioneering employees. The role you want to play is all up to you because the dream cannot become a reality without hard work and many hours of actions.
America has given me a lot over the years. I was an orphan without a family, without friends, without any formal education, and a body full of medical problems when I arrived in Oregon. Today I have an amazing family, some fabulous friends, an education from some of the best universities in the world, and healthy as could be. I also have all the professional skills and connections I need to pursue my American Dream. I am grateful to this beautiful country. And I am ready to do my part in making it even better.
As I was traveling around the Middle East, many people asked me with their dreamy eyes what America is like and how they, too, wanted to visit, and perhaps, live in America someday. I asked one Lebanese guy why he wanted to come to America. He said, because “it’s a good country”. Yes, I agree, America is a good country. We believe in human rights. We believe in treating everyone equally regardless of their color or disability. We believe in human decency and integrity. We believe in equality and fairness not pity and padronism. We believe that every person should have the opportunity to realize their dreams. We believe that everyone’s voice matter no matter if you’re rich or poor, abled-bodied or disabled, black or white or any shade in between, gay or straight, tall or short, small or big, male or female. And I want to be part of this “good” America that Lebanese guy is talking about. I want to be that good America so many people around the world admire and desire to be a part of. And I am going to start by making Traipsin’ Global on Wheels mission become a daily reality! But the journey is hard work and I need all of you here supporting, rooting, collaborating, and perhaps even partnering up with me.
Happy two months anniversary TGOW and cheers to making dreams fly!