One of the biggest questions we’ve received while preparing to travel the world and move to India has been: why in the world India? Whether asked from well-meaning family members or shocked strangers it remains one of the biggest questions and we attempt to gracefully answer it each time. If you:

1. have a heart for those that are the poorest among the poor

2. know there is more to life than the 9 to 5 cubicle life

or

3. love bright colors and chaos

then you may have a better understanding on why we choose India.

We Are Rich; We Are Obligated To Serve the Poor

Dustin and I are commanded to serve the poor as Jesus did when he was here on earth. Many have used the quote “live simply so others may simply live.” According to the Global Rich list we are in the top 1% of the richest people on the planet and that’s making little compared to others in the U.S. The website goes on further to say “three billion people live on less than $2 per day while 1.3 billion get by on less than $1 per day.” How can we fill the ever increasing gap between the poorest of the poor and the richest? Dustin and I feel the answer for us is to move to live among those struggling financially and share the wealth.

The Belmont Apartments

Where we lived in Chicago

By sitting here in the U.S. watching documentaries about starving children and the AIDS epidemic we feel we aren’t doing enough within our huge, heated and cooled apartment while eating Chipotle. We desire to see India with our own eyes and share our wealth and attempt to understand what it’s like (even a little bit) to go without.

Here we are constantly hit with the temptation to “want more” and the line between wanting and needing has become blurred. On a recent meeting with our small group we were asked how many pairs of shoes, pants, shirts, etc. we owned. After sharing with the group we all looked around and our hearts were heavy as we remembered some in other countries don’t even own one pair of shoes.

So, we’re moving to India to find… well, we don’t know exactly. We will be enlightened and moved to action to serve others, that is for sure. As Jesus said it is difficult for the rich to get into heaven; let it not be us.

One Becomes Wiser Through Exploring Other Cultures

An African Baby Being Held

Tiffany had a baby named after her during her time in Africa.

Ethnocentrism is the belief that one’s own culture is superior to all others. Americans readily accept the belief that America is better than other countries and that somehow God has blessed us to live “comfortably” in the midst of all the suffering around us. Dustin and I have choosen to live our lives against this mass belief of ethnocentrism and embrace the beauty of other nations and cultures. We believe that the best learning happens outside of the classroom and on the real field – the world. We hope to share the lessons we learn with others and hope to inspire others to step out of the “American Dream” and live as Jesus called us – with humility.

Dustin posing with children in Haiti

Dustin had his goatee braided in Haiti.

India holds some of the biggest religions and varying cultures. With many people groups, historical sites, technological advances, and languages we hope to immerse ourselves into another world and learn from it. India also recognizes English as a national language and most individuals speak it fluently or know some. This will benefit us and save us time from learning a language although we plan on studying Hindi once there to better understand and relate to the people.

Adventure Makes Life Fun

Dustin and I love to go on adventures. When we began courting we didn’t have a lot of money (none, really) and a ton of time on our hands. We would listen to The Format, roll down the windows and drive around looking for adventures to be had in our small town. On many days we found ourselves exploring diners and packing picnics at the park. As we grew in our relationship and fell into the responsibilities of every day grown up life we realized there was plenty of money to have adventures but little time since we were both working full time jobs.

Dustin and Tiffany walking with a bike

One of out engagement pictures. In a field, on an adventure.

Our desire, through our trip to India, is to rekindle the innate longing for adventure in everyone’s hearts and prove to our generation that life doesn’t have to consist of a 9 to 5 existence in office cubicles. We expect to experience more than a handful of tales to tell as we travel and we honor the opportunity by sharing them in detail with our audience and inspiring others to embrace life’s adventures.

India is a land of adventure and exciting happenings. From Bollywood to the deserts of Rajasthan we are excited to explore and engage in the culture and live life a little differently while there.

Jonathan Pound

Dustin and Jon in a canoe with a tent.

Camping in Canada, Dustin and Jon had no desire to disassemble the tent to move it.

Jon showing his hope tattoo

Jon’s only tattoo above the port. It simply says “Hope” in Hindi.

This would probably be best said by Dustin but I will take it upon myself to share in hopes that I cover more details. Jonathan was/is a great friend to us and passed away about a year ago after battling a brutal cancer at the age of 23. Dustin accompanied Jon on many countless adventures and their friendship was a special one. Whether spending time backpacking or filming their movie “The Fine Line” based off Jack Ass, the guys became as close as brothers and it was very difficult to see Jon suffer and join Jesus in March of 2011. Jon had hoped and dreamed of India. Later we learned he had desired to visit and serve others there. We desire to honor Jon’s memory and make him proud by not wasting the life we’ve been blessed with.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” -Gandhi

Conclusion

As you can see there are a ton of factors of us going to India and we will continue to share them as we prepare for this journey. We feel called to India. We are not sure what will happen or change within us once we step off the plane but we are ready for anything and can’t wait.

It’s difficult for me to talk about my faith. Coming from a Christian family sometimes I feel referring to the Bible and talking about my faith is a stumbling block for many on their way to finding Truth. Through my time preparing for this trip I’ve learnt that others benefit from “realness” and if you share about your faith and heart desires in a non-judgemental way others will respect that and you. Throughout this blog we will speak about our faith and our “calling” to India but we promise not to push or saturate the content to a point of disdain or confusion for those who do not share our beliefs.