Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Story Behind TheGreenBackpack...


The GreenBackpack was born out of a desire to create an underlying purpose to the world travel that I am planning.

This trip could simply be a romp throughout the world, drunken night after drunken night at hostel after hostel meeting new people, exploring new places, and creating new adventures....or, I can encompass these elements of travel [in sober moderation, of course], and direct my wanderlust so that my travels can be used as a vehicle to increase my own knowledge and value in an area that I have long been interested: sustainability.

Sustainability has become a buzz word in recent times, and it can be easy to think of "sustainability" simply as "environmentalism", or "eco-friendly". However, to me, sustainability encompasses so much more than "going green".....

Put the word "sustainable" in front of any of the following words, and you cast a renewed focus onto another aspect of the sustainability movement: capitalism, charitable work, entrepreneurship, environment, education, economy, philosophy, philanthropy, social responsibility, social ventures, even....wait for it....spirituality.

So, while this journey is about me diving into these things that interest me, and inviting you to come along and learn with me......it is also an outward expression of the journey I am taking within to explore myself:

What passions do I want to follow? What do I want to
experience? Will I retreat into the wild? Will I come back? Who will I be when I come back?

Therefore the blog is a travelog, a spiritual diary, a research paper, and hopefully a forum where those of us who find ourselves asking these same questions can discuss and debate and collaborate and connect and explore together.

Here's the rough plan for 2009 thus far....of course, this is subject to change each day as the road is constantly changing and has already started to unfold and reveal its treasures and challenges before me:
  1. Depart Honolulu April 20th, 2009 to Melbourne, Australia to celebrate my brother's 30th birthday and spend about a month with Mum, Dad and Sis. Road trips and re-connecting with family / friends.
  2. June / July - road trip up to Sydney. Hope to spend a month training chi-kung and some kung-fu with my teachers who live there.
  3. July / August - road trip up to QLD to visit family and friends. Explore the surrounding countryside, specifically want to learn more about aquaponics while in Australia. , camp on beaches that stretch to the horizon both ways, and do some WWOOFing.
  4. August / September - travel through the Red Center to visit Ayers Rock. Sleep under the southern sky in the Australian outback. I wonder if I could work on a cattle ranch and learn to drove cattle on horseback?
  5. September / October - meet my uncle in the Phillipines to explore my Filipino ancestry. Visit a friend's Eco-Resort that is under construction.
  6. Oct / Nov - am looking into ways I can teach English in rural Japan for short stint, no longer than 2 months. I want to live on a small Japanese farm and experience the lifestyle.
  7. Dec - spend Christmas season with family friends in Bali.
The rough plan for 2010? Travel through SE Asia to rural Thailand to teach English for a month, visit Bangledesh and learn more about Grameen Bank's microfinance projects, study meditation and yoga in India, then make my way to Europe which I have been longing to explore for quite some time.

It will be very interesting to see how European society is adapting to the changing world, and how a cap-and-trade economy has affected small business, especially since the Obama administration has listed implementing carbon cap-and-trade initiatives into the US Economy as a priority.

The final leg of my journey back to Hawaii will be through North and South America, on motorcycle, WWOOFing and Couchsurfing my way across the continent.

Along the way, I will seek out and explore people and projects that are making a positive difference in the world...which is the simple truth driving the entire sustainability movement:
"How do we love all the children of all species for all time?"
-William McDonough, author of "Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the way we Make Things

Come along for the ride!


Matthew K Lynch


  1. Hi Matthew,

    Sounds like a great project, certainly worthwhile - I'll read your blog with interest!

    I run an accommodation sharing website, www.crashpadder.com which may be helpful if you're looking for cheap accommodation?

  2. thanks for reading! ...ur site looks like it could be a valuable asset for any traveller....i am signing up as i type....


  3. Watched your video. In a way, I kinda share the same story too. Its all good though. Shoots!