Sue Novik doesn’t really take “vacations.” Yes, this year she’ll travel to seven different cities for the weekend — Boston, Seattle, Miami, all over. What she’s doing there leaves her feeling rested, recharged, and completely fulfilled. But she’s not just strolling down the Freedom Trail or tanning in South Beach. Instead, Novik travels for a purpose: raising money to fight rare cancers. Hers is just one of many avenues through which your personal travels can help you make a meaningful difference, even as you get to see the world.
When her fiancé, Brian Rozelle, died of bile duct cancer in 2015, he’d already been an active participant with the organization. So Novik decided to honor him by trying to help others around the country. “I wanted to take his spirit for travel and adventure, and go on as many rides as I could,” she says. She’s now among a large group of people who travel the country attending Cycle for Survival, a four-hour spinning event that raises money for cancer research. After attending four rides last year, she’s planning to hit seven in 2018.
“It gives you a strong sense of community,” she says, “of doing something bigger than yourself and making a difference wherever you go.” Making that difference is the spirit behind service tourism, the catch-all term for using your time away from work to donate your best efforts toward improving someone’s life, somewhere else.