I traveled to Europe during the summer of 2013, my first “vacation” since 2005. To me a vacation is 7 days or longer, for pleasure. I went back home in 2007 but that was for my grandmother’s funeral. In 2009, I took a quick jaunt to Toronto to spend some time with my brother while my daughter was away at camp. So this was a pretty good deal.

Now, this wasn’t my first time across the pond, actually it was my third. Definitely the most interesting, though. So anyhoo, off we go, meeting up with my brother and my mom in London. I’m going to spare you the details of that trip – for now – BUT this one was definitely eye opening. On my return, I took to Facebook to share some of my insights.

That post took on a life of its own with friends adding their (solicited) 2 cents. I shut the post down because I could see it becoming an actual thing, that could potentially generate revenue. But I didn’t want to “just” make money.

I’ve traveled all my life. Literally. I also know that a person’s opinions are shaped by experiences – theirs and the ones of those around them. Six hours after I made that FB post, as I was picking up my daughter from the airport, I noticed people waiting for their loved ones. It then became clear those loved ones were returning from a mission trip. Most were teens, who, despite the looks of exhaustion on their faces, looked like they came from homes with disposable income. I also remembered all the emails I’ve received about community service trips to Costa Rica, Haiti, India, etc and how those trips to do good in other countries cost upwards of $2,500 NOT including passports, visas and vaccinations. I also remembered how my kid and her peers expressed interest, but it just wasn’t going to make it in the budget.

Couple that with having missed out on boarding school visits and then trying to facilitate college visits. Or a local trip to the Aquarium. Those were considered luxury excursions. Thing is, I know I wasn’t the first and wouldn’t be the last one with that issue. But why couldn’t I do something about it? Ha! I can and I will!

So now we have the what and the cause. What this project needed was a name! So I took to my trusty sounding board – a group of friends I’ve had for close to 14 years, some longer. I explained the concept and we brainstormed – in under 30 minutes CBT was born. It took 20 minutes for the logo and another 3 hours to find the “Chicks” and get things set up. This was July 20, 2013. Then July 2016, the nudge came to get it together and get going again.

And so, the journey really begins…

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