During 2015 I traveled around the Americas, trading professional-quality videos for a place to stay and transportation. This way, I did a four-month trip from New York to Managua, spending less money and meeting more people than I would have otherwise.
The fact that I saved a lot of money on food, transportation and accommodation was very practical. What I found the most special about a pixel trading way of traveling though, was the fact that I got to stay at people’s houses. This allowed me to take part in a week of their lives and get to know their daily routines. I stayed with a very diverse group of people, from a private college student in New York to a Mexican music producer to a coffee farmer from Nicaragua. The differences between the lives of the people that I met are hard to grasp. What struck me most was the difference in how many opportunities they had.
I knew about economic inequality before, but talking personally to a Mexican girl who couldn’t enter the United States to visit her family, just because of the place where she was born, hit me emotionally. It made me feel guilty about my own luxurious life. How could I spend so much time and money traveling around just because I wanted to see more of the world, while at the same time some people from Central America are risking their lives at a border-crossing in order to give their children a better shot at life? It reinforced my conviction that I should do everything I can to make the world a less unfair place.