THISWORLDEXISTS charity education this world exists adventure travel

“I can change the world.”

It's a bold statement isn't it.

Think about it for a little bit and it becomes a little more digestible. Continuing to chew, perspective adds to the bolus of mind-blowing thought.

What do you need to do to change the world?

Put simply and modestly, we all have the power to change OUR world and it is necessary to start here before we can have a more profound impact on other people. Let alone doing so on a larger scale for whole communities or entire countries.

In saying that, we don’t need to solve global poverty to change the world………although it would be nice.

In theory, it is simple to change your world. Just have the courage to do the things you want do with your life. Take control of your vices, feed your passions and foster quality relationships.

That’s easy, right?

We can empower others to have the power to arrive at decisions right for them by not passing judgement on their choices or providing uncommissioned advice.

That in itself will change the world as a more harmonious, accepting and ultimately, more confident society will begin to take shape.

Imagine the human potential that could be unlocked if this was attained?

The idea of THISWORLDEXISTS was parked for almost 7 years because of my inability to make that decision and take that plunge. Years filled with trying to make other people happy with the decisions that I made in my life.

And, therein lies a problem.

Have you ever felt like this before? It’s horrible.

Don't get me wrong; this isn't to say that I wasn't happy with my life or thankful for all the amazing things that happened to me during those years. An insatiable desire to have a crack at pursuing my dreams continued to nip away at the imaginary heels of my mind until the plunge was made. Through fear or bravery, I am still yet to decide.

Nevertheless, my dreams were different to the norm.

So what? I thought. We only get one crack at life, right? May as well have a go.


Let’s wind the clock back a bit here and fill in the background.

Born into a middle class family in Australia, rarely, if ever, did I go with out. Put through good schools and despite not really trying much I was one of those people that pulled good grades out of their ass when it came down to assessment tasks. Lucky in extracurricular activities too, picking up most things quickly. Life seemed pretty straightforward.

That was until my mum's cancer started to really take hold.

Nine gallant and inspiring years later, the cancer finally won.

I was 20 years old and not surprisingly was galvanised by this experience.

It changed my life.

She was an incredible lady to say the least. This was reinforced to me at her funeral when over 1000 people came to pay their respects and helped celebrate her remarkable life

Anyone lucky enough to have known her would agree that she changed the world for her pupils, their families and entire school communities.

Proudly committing herself to her passions, she worked tirelessly to achieve them and this subsequently granted her the ability to have such a substantial impact on the lives of others.

My mum was a teacher and a bloody good one.

After her passing, two pathways presented themselves.

Get down in the dumps and do the whole 'Why me?'  thing or do something positive to honour her extraordinary life.

Pouring my heart and soul into a cancer charity that I started in her honour was the perfect vehicle for positivity. Not wanting anyone to have to go through what our family (and thousands of others) went through, the charity donated $150,000 over 4 years to help find a cure for this devastating illness.

I was hooked.

After taking a trip to Rwanda to build a school in the impoverished community of Ntenyomy direction changed.

$25,000 built 5 classrooms and equated to an additional 300 students being afforded an education each year (there was a morning school and an afternoon school because demand for education was so high).

Doors, previously inconceivable would not only be within eye-sight, but be opened for future graduates of the Ntenyo school.

I am hoping that this doesn’t come across defeatist, because it most definitely wasn’t part of the decision. But after my trip to Rwanda, I realised that a comparatively small injection of money into a local impoverished community had such a profound and immediate impact on lives of those in need. Apart from the cash injection of $25,000 into the local economy (which was huge), the cumulative and sustainable, generational improvements would become exponential as their poverty cycle begins to back pedal in the Ntenyo community.

Year after year, gaining more momentum.

The cancer charity started in my Mum’s honour may have never helped contribute to any significant breakthroughs in cancer research, let alone find the cure I (and the whole worlddesired so deeply.

Anyone that knows me can attest to the fact that I love travel and not just the standard tourism circuit of Europe, but the real deal, get your hands dirty, off the beaten path and see some really unique stuff sort of travel.

The real world. It fascinates me.

Maybe THISWORLDEXISTS joined the mile-high club and was conceived on the flight on the way back from Rwanda. The actually date I couldn’t tell you but the idea fizzed and bubbled inside me for many years, not brave enough to take the plunge in fear of turning my back on the 'normal’ societal ideals of the full time job, the marriage, the house with a backyard and a Golden Retriever.

Anyway. It was my world that needed to change first.

Pursuing this dream equated to taking considerable risk by turning my back on an established and comfortable life in Australia. But it also meant combining two of my deepest passions that would become the backbone of THISWORLDEXISTS and would undoubtedly continue to fester until the idea was brought to life.

Passion propelled me forward and my commitment to my goal sealed my fate.

It was to change the world and with risk of sounding egotistical, I feel I already have.

Waking each day to a deep sense of excitement for what this day will bring and feeling alive in the word's truest sense.

THISWORLDEXISTS has allowed me to live my dream and have completely changed my world.

Passion fuelled work hours fly by, often finding myself in front of the computer for over 14 hours a day turning the THISWORLDEXISTS idea in to a socially responsible reality. Funding myself by following in my Mum's footsteps as a School Teacher, I am forever eager to return home and open the laptop to answer emails, plan THISWORLDEXISTS trips or upcoming projects.

Dream chasing.

There have been 50 Adventure Ambassadors to join the THISWORLDEXISTS team that helped us to inspire more people to pursue an active and adventurous lifestyle. All of whom are dictating life on their terms and chasing exactly what they desire in their vital time on this planet.

I hope that you have been inspired by THISWORLDEXISTS in some way or another as we hope to promote a can-do attitude to encourage others to actively seek adventure whilst also aiming to inspire global consciousness and social responsibility.

An education is seen as a birth right in many countries.

The reality is sad as the liberty many of us so often take for granted misses a few. Well, 80 million children worldwide that are currently missing out on an education is a little more than a few.

2016 will be a huge year for THISWORLDEXISTS as the idea has developed into a living, breathing reality. A social media platform has changed shape into a fully fledged socially responsible not-for-profit organisation that has formed project partners in disadvantaged communities and is now funding these projects to help give students an opportunity to better their tomorrows.

If you missed a spot on our first trip to Nepal, sign up to our mailing list or check the adventures page frequently for when trips come open up.

We have just recently released a full range of THISWORLDEXISTS hats that contribute directly to our education projects.

Obviously direct donations are welcomed. Like many, my experience with other charities held questions over the integrity of organisational investment from donations. THISWORLDEXISTS ensures that 100% of all donations go directly to the project in which we are currently supporting.

You can also help our mission in ways that do not cost money. Helping us to maximise the reach of our social media content by liking, commenting or even sharing our content on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to your personal networks helps us to build our community that will in turn help make more profound changes in our world

You can even help by talking about us to your friends in the offline world!

Lastly, saying goodbye to that Ntenyo community after the month helping to build their school was genuinely difficult. The relationships formed during this time were heart-warming and the sincere and overwhelming appreciation of the entire community will be with me forever.

It is moments and achievements like this that I am hoping to introduce people to via THISWORLDEXISTS.

At the end of the day, it has changed my life. Will you be brave enough for us to change yours?

Thanks for reading, please leave some comments below.

Ryan Gray