Travis Wade Miller put college on hold to serve 52 nonprofits across the United States on a 52 week journey.
That’s not a typo. With Troolu, he’s spending an entire year traveling and serving local communities. Their mission is to change the world through positive works and publicity.
Travis and I have gotten to know each other about a year before he started this incredible journey. And I can honestly say that he’s a genuine, great dude.
So I actually wasn’t that surprised when I heard about his ambitious endeavor.
To get an inside scoop for you about how this journey came together and what he’s learning, I reached out to Travis and interviewed him.
Check out this insightful read below and be sure to read my key highlights after the interview.
Brian: How did you get started on this 52 week journey?
Travis: I like meeting new people, going new places, and learning new things. I got connected with my partner Luke Faulconer of Troolu.com through a Facebook group called The Next Gen Summit.
I thought of an idea to serve a different nonprofit every week for a whole year, and Troolu’s mission aligned perfectly with that.
Brian: Is it true that you sold almost all of your personal belongings to do this? Tell us about that and how your friends and family felt.
Travis: Well, if I had personal belongings to sell, I would have! But yes, all of the savings I did have from the past few years of working have all gone into this journey. My friends and family thought it was a completely crazy idea, but I just set out running.
Brian: Why are you spending a year of your life pursuing this instead of taking it easy and enjoying college?
Travis: I went through a sort of “life crisis” during my most recent semester of college Spring 2016. I was doing an internship at Disney, and I met students from all over the world.
When I got back home to my small town in Fort Myers, Florida, it hit me that there is a lot more out there to experience, and I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to travel while I’m still young.
Brian: What’s been the single most memorable experience so far?
Travis: My trip has been filled with memorable experiences so far. Each week I get to experience a completely new city for the first time and work alongside some very amazing people.
The most inspirational moment I had was watching Spencer Wyckoff of Piggybackadventures.com carry his sister Carden the entire 79 mile section of the Appalachian Trail.
I joined the Wyckoff siblings on the final two days of their nine day hike. It was one of the most physically demanding experiences of my life just to carry myself up the mountain. Watching Spencer carry his sister on his back the whole way was truly inspirational.
Brian: What does a typical week look like?
Travis: A typical week looks like a whole lot of traveling! I have traveled over 20,000 miles in the past month and it seems like I never get a chance to take a break.
I usually spend two to three days in each city highlighting the nonprofit through a video episode on Troolu.com. Then, I spend the remaining days preparing and planning for the next city.
Brian: Now that you’re a road warrior, what’s something valuable you’ve learned about travel?
Travis: Something valuable that I’ve learned about travel is make the most of your spare time. While traveling I have read a different book every week, learned the Rubik’s Cube, and connected with some truly amazing people.
Brian: What’s your future look like after this year? Are you going back to school?
Travis: I haven’t fully decided if I want to go back to college after this journey. I might go back for a year and a half just to say I finished up my degree, but I think I will learn more during this 52 week journey than any four year degree program could have taught me.
Brian: Where can TYS readers go to learn more about you and your 52 week journey?
Travis: TYS readers can go to Troolu.com to learn more about my #52in52 journey and follow along on social media @traviswademiller1.
What immediately sticks out to me is his courage to embark on this journey. It takes a rare spirit to drop everything and get out of your comfort zone for an entire year.
I’ve seen social media posts of Travis getting a few hours of sleep at an airport and eating crackers for dinner, so the hustle is real. What he’s doing is certainly not easy.
I also want to highlight that he’s doing all this with what he has to work with right now. Travis isn’t rich, isn’t famous, and doesn’t have an established career.
He just made a decision to pursue a cause he believes in and committed to it. And he’s making a difference each week.
So I challenge you, and myself, to make a difference where we see a need.
You don’t need to wait until you have more resources. You don’t need to serve 52 nonprofits.
You just need to make a decision to get started and commit to it. Think of one way this week—start small—to use your time, money, or talents to make a difference for a cause you believe in.
For example, volunteer one Saturday at a senior center to give the senior citizens some company. You can play board games, cards, or just talk to them. I’m sure they will have interesting stories with all of their years of experience.
A classic example is to serve at a food shelter. They’re always looking for help. And you can interact face to face with real people in your community who have fallen on hard times. Spend a few hours on a Saturday and you’ll contribute to making a difference.
Or visit your local animal shelter and volunteer to help out with cleaning, organizing, and washing their facility. The staff will appreciate it big time and you’ll get to meet lovable dogs and cats after!
Get creative. Start taking small actions. You’ll be surprised with how much you can accomplish, and how much your service changes your perspective.