Volunteer Abroad - Vietnam, Volunteer Abroad Programs

On My Way to Vietnam

by Codie Fraley, Greenheart Travel Volunteer in Vietnam

Wednesday May 8th, 2013 (Flight from Detroit to Seoul)

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Codie Fraley

I woke up at 3:00 AM this morning. I took a quick shower to freshen up and I woke my friend Terrill up. He would be driving me to the Tampa International Airport, 2 hours north of where I live (Fort Myers, Fl). I was honestly nervous about how things would go. Did I have all of the necessary documents? Would my carry-on bag fit? Would I know where to go?

To my surprise the process was easier than I thought. While waiting in the terminal I saw a lady with a carry-on so big I could take a nap in it. Then it started to hit me.

I don’t think I completely understood the magnitude of what I’m doing until I awaited departing on my first flight. I raised $3,000 to go half way around the world to help children with special needs in Vietnam. If that is not the most selfless thing I can think of then I don’t know what is. My girlfriend Chandler, my family, and my friends are all so proud of me. I never realized how proud I made them until now. I just finished my first year of college with A’s in every single course while managing to raise money for Vietnam. Knowing how proud they are of inspires me to work even harder in all that I do. I just want to reach my full potential as a human being while making the largest impact possible on the lives around me. That is all I want. And I still don’t think I fully understand the magnitude of what I’m doing in Vietnam. I still don’t think I understand how great of a person I can become.

A year ago I never would have imagined being where I am now. I had no idea I could achieve all A’s my freshman year of college. I had no idea I would be in love with someone like Chandler. Someone who inspires and motivates me every day to be a better person. I never would have imagined traveling half way around the world. It’s always just kind of been a fantasy. “Oh, one day I’ll go to Africa. I’ll go to Asia, and Australia.” But now the fantasy is becoming real. Or at least a part of it is.

I’m just so grateful for everything in my life right now. I don’t believe I have ever felt so appreciative. I have been awarded many opportunities that have contributed to the person I am today. I know Vietnam will transform me in ways that I can’t even imagine.

I’m excited to meet the other volunteers. My Greenheart Travel program manager (Jennifer) emailed me this morning that there would be 21 other volunteers when I arrive! That’s incredible. I was only expecting 5 or 10 at the maximum. I’m wondering what I will learn from my fellow volunteers. Or what I will learn from the children I’m helping. Aren, my friend from college once said that he is essentially a bag of tools. He has gathered tools throughout the years. The tools are the people he’s met. Aren said that every time you meet someone it’s a special opportunity because you get to take away something from them. You get to take away a “tool” and add it to your bag of tools.

It’s all about perspective. Keep your thoughts and outlook positive. Welcome the experience to come.


About Greenheart Travel

CCI Greenheart Travel is personally invested in providing cultural immersion programs that change lives, advance careers and create leaders. We achieve this by partnering with organizations and governments overseas that empower their local communities through experiential learning and practical development. We provide others with the same positive travel experiences in which we ourselves engage. Through travel and cultural exchange, we help individuals reach their full potential, leading to a more tolerant, peaceful and environmentally sustainable world.


4 thoughts on “On My Way to Vietnam

  1. Awesome! Will you have a blog to follow? I would love to volunteer abroad but for now I’m applying to teach esl in South Korea. I’m also from Florida. Miami to be exact. Hope you have an awesome time in Vietnam.


    Posted by Kary | May 14, 2013, 10:51 am
    • Yes, just this blog though, there will be 4 in total, I’m working on my 4th now. Thank you very much, I wish you the best of luck as well

      Posted by Codie Fraley | May 17, 2013, 8:46 am
  2. hey!!! hope you have fun in vietnam. thats my home country. I believe that you will have alot of precious memories over there :).

    Posted by Tien Nguyen | May 14, 2013, 10:17 am


  1. Pingback: Three Days In at My Volunteer Project in Vietnam | - May 17, 2013

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