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This week was highlighted by the launch of ‘Project Lombok’. I had the idea after watching the rise of the ‘workshop’. It seemed that everyone and anyone was booking out workshops, retreats and travel trips. I myself ran a workshop last March but at the time the trend hadn’t quite kicked off and there weren’t many being independently run. Maybe there was but I hadn’t seen to many.

This meant to me that I could run a trip in a place I was familiar with for up to 10 people and it would generate anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000 depending on the fee per participant. They take a lot of work to plan, organize and execute but that is a substantial sum. However, I wasn’t doing this maths to help me earn more money. I was seeing an opportunity. What if that money could go directly to a cause in the exact place the trip was held and the participants were visiting.

I was really quite against all of the overpriced workshops I was seeing around and still am seeing. For example, you have people paying $2000 to travel in the Philippines for a week or so when in reality it would cost less than $300 if you did it yourself. I know group trips aren’t the same as budget backpacking but that is just too much for me. I also saw a lot of bloggers teaching blogging who in my opinion are not really in the position to do so, not having proved themselves in the blogging world with traffic, strategy, and expertise.

Around about the same time I met Duncan from Classroom of Hope who is building Pop-Up Schools throughout Lombok. I decided that this was the perfect combination and had the idea of ‘Project Lombok’. 10 participants would pay $1500 each for an 8-day guided tour of Lombok. 100% of the money would go to building 2 schools on Lombok and I would find a way to get the transport, accommodation, and activities covered or pay for them myself. On the 8th day of the trip, we would open the school that has been built by Pelita Foundation under the oversight of Classroom of Hope. It seemed like everyone would be a winner from the situation and off I set with the planning.

It took me through January to stitch everything together to a nice campaign and when I launched on Instagram and to my email subscribers I had almost 100 applications to be on the trip within 24 hours. I’m about to select the 10 applicants for the trip and then we will begin organizing the logistics and get to work!