Thursday, March 18, 2010

GUEST BLOG by Travel Writer Turned Global Activist Charyn Pfeuffer

Note: Several years ago, we had the distinct pleasure of meeting Charyn Pfeuffer, a prolific travel writer from Seattle, Washington. Charyn came to do a story on the resort where I work. While she was here, Charyn met our skater and subsequently did a story that included him. That meeting turned into a great friendship. Now, Charyn is taking on something so incredible that we knew we needed to be part of it: The Global Citizen Project. When Charyn asked her friends to help, our entire family jumped on board without hesitation, asking our family, friends and our skater's fans to support her in this venture. My daughter, the designer of JerWear, really took this to heart. I asked Charyn to tell everyone about how GCP got started and where it is now.For those of you who do fund-raising, it is an uplifting story of the power of the Internet when the cause is well conceived and it is powered by love. Enjoy:

If you think travel writers are spoiled, you're partly right. We travel the world for free, see all the best sights, stay at the swankiest hotels and attend the most exciting events. Hotels and tourism boards across the globe woo and pamper us, vying for a mention in one of our published musings. By any seasoned traveler’s standards, I could easily be considered a jetsetter: I clock more than 150 flights a year and am well-versed in thread counts, massage treatments, and haute cuisine. But crisscrossing the globe many times in search of stories to tell has left me wanting something deeper, so I decided to give up that kind of life, to give back with what I’m calling The Global Citizen Project.

Starting this June, I will swap my BlackBerry for a backpack to volunteer with 12 projects in 12 countries over 12 months. So far, I’ve planned projects like childhood educational development in Honduras, sea turtle conservation in Mexico, permaculture and renewable energy in Portugal, working at a children’s hospital in Ecuador, teaching in a pilot program in rural Costa Rica and wildlife/flora conservation in Nicaragua.

This year marks the 12-year anniversary of my career as a freelance food, travel and lifestyle journalist. During this time, I’ve authored, co-authored or ghostwritten a dozen books and contributed to more than 80 publications, including, Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, Sunset, San Francisco Chronicle, National Geographic Traveler, Islands, and Seattle Times. 2010 also marks the 20th anniversary of my mother’s death to lung cancer. Exactly two weeks before her passing, she disclosed a very short list of end-of-life regrets, including: “I never went to Europe.” Her words have inspired me to live a life of travel – fully, spontaneously and with purpose. (It is also the reason why I took my student loan check sophomore year of college and high-tailed it to Europe for a semester – it was a total What Would Christine Pfeuffer Do? decision.)

I launched The Global Citizen Project on, an online funding platform for creative endeavors, and raised more than $20,000 in 90 days to cover airfare, volunteer program fees, accommodations and daily living expenses where applicable. JerWear was one of more than 220 people and organizations who helped contribute to the fundraising success, donating 10% of JerWear sales during the Olympics. Not only did JerWear make a generous donation from its sales, the women in Jeremy Abbott’s world – mama Allison, grandma Sydney, and Olympicsis Gwen – not to mention a far-reaching network of their wonderful friends, really stepped up to the plate to help spread the word via word-of-mouth, email, Facebook and Twitter outreach. I cannot thank this crew enough for their thoughtfulness, generosity and enthusiasm, especially during the Olympics. If you need cheerleaders in your world, my vote is for the tireless, never-say-no Team Abbott/Scott & Friends to make things happen.

More than two dozen media outlets have featured The Global Citizen Project, and the project’s progress has been chronicled since its inception on my blog, The Global Citizen Project ( Feel free to stop by for a virtual volunteer experience as I plan to take readers on an interactive year of travel show-and-tell. Thank you again to everyone who chipped in to help make The Global Citizen Project possible and who've helped support Jeremy with their purchase of JerWear.

Charyn Pfeuffer

JerWear is at now supporting boys in figure skating.


  1. This is a really great project. Thanks for sharing it with us, Allison! I wish Charyn success and I'm glad that she'll be telling her stories online.

    Stories are so powerful. Nearly as powerful as connecting with people who care.

    Ice Mom

  2. Thank you, Allison for sharing the story of TGCP and even bigger thanks for all of your love, enthusiasm and support.
    Nice to meet you, Ice Mom. Yes! I will be sharing every step of the adventure on my blog, I agree, stories are powerful and I am very much looking forward to telling a different kind of story over the next year...