It’s refreshing to come across a little tongue in cheek travel humor. Especially when it’s from someone with wicked wit and a good heart.
You know that friend who pops up on social media with something interesting to say, posting photos that tell mini-stories and quips that make you laugh (oh, let’s be honest) chuckle out loud?
Kurt Dehut is that friend.
We met as young kids, and for a short time, our two families (five boys and a girl, each, funnily enough) actually lived on the same rural road in Oregon. Now, Kurt’s based beyond the state line in southern California (and soon moving to Tennessee!), but judging by his Facebook feed, he loves packing his bags and spending time across other borders, too.
Kurt is an advocate for orphans around the world.
“This is the album cover for a new boy band: The Mighty Orphan Power Rangers.” (Mariupol / Ukranie) -Kurt, Facebook…via Instagram…
Kurt was one of the first kids I remember meeting who had an adoption story to share: his own.
Twenty some odd years later, he still shares with his friends about his love for his adopted family. Case in point: the Mothers Day “card” he posted on Facebook this past spring. Oh my word.
In his efforts to share what’s on his heart, he doesn’t make long, drawn out, labored appeals, either. He just carries on with normal, good-humored, super-hero life, and invites friends and family to join him along the way. You know, like this:
Back to travel.
And still having a good heart.
This winter, Kurt found himself with a span of open time before starting a new job in Nashville and stretched a volunteer trip to a Ukrainian orphanage into a six week mini world tour, posting pictures along the way for friends who cared to follow along.
My computer screen is usually plastered in pictures from all around earth. Friends and fellow travelers post scenes from nearly every continent, nearly every day, but Kurt’s sense of humor knocked his photos to the top of my favorites list with captions jabbing at typical snaps.
At the very outset, he sliced through pretense:
WAT is the Travelbrag?
The prevalence of social media today has provided us many ways to subtlety brag.
There’s the humblebrag.
Ex: I’m terrible at driving my Lamborghini. [Guilty as charged, Kurt.]
There’s the grumblebrag.
Ex: I hate it when I walk down the street and get checked out by guys and they catcall and honk at me. Gross.
There’s the couplebrag.
Ex: I have the sweetest, nicest, and best husband anyone could ever ask for. Thank you [insert name here], for being the best husband anyone could ever ask for!!!
And lastly, there’s the travelbrag.
This is done with a picture and a simple caption, such as, “Paris is awesome.”
When you travel, you want to share your pictures on social media. Even with the most innocent intention to just share your travel experience, there’s always an underlying tone of bragging. “I’m here and you’re looking at it from a screen.”
With full disclosure of social media intent, Kurt shamelessly carried on in his adventure of goodwill and honest narcissism, tagging #travelbrag and cornering the market on #selfiepano in between time spent giving of his compassion and care, exercising advocacy on behalf of parent-less kids.
I enjoyed the hop-around views over the past few weeks, and I asked Kurt if I could share them here with you: Turkey, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Spain, France, and Great Britain, and another orphanage stop-off in Kenya.
So now, home.
I’m sure Kurt’s bound to pop up again, though, and when he does, you may want to keep track of him, for a little better view of the world:
Sometimes I think there’s too much snark and too few compassionate people in this life…but every now and then, things like this pop up and remind me that perhaps neither is completely true.
Use your life for good, friends. Snark, pictures, and all. Spread cheer, spread truth, and put the money in your wallet and the hours in your day (and the pictures on your phone!) to positive work.
I’ll leave you with a selection of Kurt’s recommended nonprofits and organizations doing good things for kids of many cultures…
If you’re looking for a place to give this year, perhaps consider these? And if you are inspired by stories of travel and of adoption and of humorous selifies, please spread the word…
[Note: Mission Lazarus, the first on the list, is where Kurt finds himself heading in the new year to work as Director of Logistics. I just started hunting around on their site, and they offer beautiful artisan leather products made by graduates of Mission Lazarus’ vocational school in Honduras. I thought I’d pass on the tip. You know, last minute Christmas gifts and all…]
Mission Lazarus: children’s homes in Haiti and Honduras.
Mi Casa Children’s Home: building a children’s home in Tecate, Mexico. Opening July 2014. (www.casabuilders.org)
Palmer Home for Children: a network of children’s homes in Mississippi.
City of Angels Children’s Home: a children’s home in Tijuana, Mexico.
Sacred Selections: provides financial assistance and hosts fundraiser for families wanting to adopt.