2016 New Year’s Revolutions!

New Year’s Resolution and Message – 2016

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G’Day Folks – Wide, Far and In Between!

A very happy Christmas (or 25th of December) and a very merry New Year (those Gregorian calendar inclined).

I feel a little guilty to say that 2015 was yet another brilliant year for me as I know it is not always the case for others but I always feel too privileged with how lucky and significant my time and experiences feel on a daily/yearly basis.

This is a lovely opportunity for a touching point with you all to say hi, have a look at what I was up to in 2015, what I plan to do in 2016 and a bunch of ridiculous resolutions that I love to live :)

I’ve also come up with a few conclusions from 2015 to describe who I am, what I do, where and why I do it…

  • My job is to be a part of ending extreme poverty
  • I usually spend half my time in developing countries working on-the-ground in aid and development and the other half my time working in advocacy, campaigning and awareness-raising
  • I live wherever I need to be
  • I do what I love to do in the world to gain the richest possible experiences, learn more and be an active part of a better world
  • 2015 now takes me to 15 years of ‘nomadding’ and 80 countries with no signs of stopping soon

Continuous nomadThe world is a wonderful place and I feel very lucky to interact with it in the way I do :)

But my biggest point is to say a huge thank you to all as I continue to live on the hospitality, generosity and kindness of others and the world…

Big pres, Bangkok, ThailandAs for the stats that don’t matter this year I’ve been very lucky to have been, seen and done the following…

  • Been in over 20 countries including parts of the world I’ve never been before like South Sudan, the Balkans and Tajikistan
  • Seen the most desperate and challenging situation for humans I’ve ever seen before in South Sudan where I learnt a lot and saw amazingly good people doing good things
  • Done a mix of presentations, meeting politicians, events and general advocacy on the platform of Teaspoons of Change with 112 presentations to 8500 people including a 3-month stint of 108 presentations to 8000 people in SE Asia and Australia from Sept-Dec!

See below for my scorecard of 2015 New Year Resolutions and what gems I’m looking forward to in 2016! Then further below that a little breakdown of 2015 month by month and an expected breakdown of 2016 month by month…

Have a super 2016 and if you are in Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, the Middle East, Europe, Japan and beyond in 2016 I hope to see you!!! I’ve also won a scholarship to do a Master’s in Peace Studies in Tokyo, Japan for 20 months from September 2016 so come visit!

I’m so lucky to have wonderful, meaningful and high quality interactions and experiences with you so thank you! Lots of peace, love, simplicity and contentment to you all…

Cheers, d’Arcy.  xx


New Year’s Resolutions – 2016 and review of 2015!

The resolutions that (don’t) matter for 2016…

  • Sunrise on the 29th of the month, as usual
  • Find a fish-shaped cloud after not catching one in 2015
  • Go skinny-dipping (naked swimming) at least three times
  • 10 push ups a day (I continue to like this one, not that the results show!)
  • Sit once a day for at least a couple of minutes (I hope to someday call this meditating!)
  • Continue to not buy a single bottle of plastic bottled water
  • Memorise all the countries starting with N (10) and O (1 – Oman)
  • Say thank you to the world once a day
  • My favourite colour for 2015 will be green!
  • Meet someone from Niger now that I have Georgia and Armenia done
  • Write postcards to family and friend’s kids for birthdays – let me know if you want your kids to get a card from me!!!
  • Buy Nothing New Month once again in October

Continue to surround myself in good people doing good things!

 The resolution results for 2015…

Sunrise on the 29th of the month, as usual! Mostly
Hi 5 a random stranger on Tuesdays each week Once – too embarrassing
10 push ups a day (not specific to 5-6pm this time) Mostly
Meet someone from Georgia now that I have Armenia done Done and going in 2016!
Find a fish-shaped cloud after relative success with an elephant No luck, carry over
Sit once a week to breathe like a tree and meditate for 5-15minutes (I’m nervous about this one…) Kind of
Memorise all the countries starting with M (18 of them!) Yep, nailed it!
NO more Happy, simply homes! None!
With my first step outside each day take a big appreciative lung full of air and say thank you for another day I mostly forget but do find a time daily
Learn to crack an egg with one hand Yes, cool!
Do Buy Nothing New Month in October Loved it & will do again!
My favourite colour for 2015 will be pink! Was a bit much especially with the manlihood atmos of South Sudan!
Pop more monos (wheelies) on bicycles Not much…

On top of this I will be doing my continued best to see a world with more equality, access and opportunity through promotion of Teaspoons of Change, Happy, simply, Polio Points / Making the Point – keep connected here:

http://teaspoonsofchange.wordpress.com/ & https://www.facebook.com/teaspoonsofchange


Tajik goats

2016 by date and place *note all should be written in pencil and subject to (frequent) change:

Date Place What!
8-15 Jan KL, Malaysia Youth empowerment programs with the JUMP! Foundation
16-22 Jan Bangkok, Thailand Teaspoons of Change presentations and youth conference plus a little JUMP!ing
23 Jan – 3 Feb Kathmandu, Nepal Visiting projects, hopefully a hike and prep for India
4-15 Feb Delhi, India Writing some global citizen curriculum with Global Poverty Project
16-23 Feb Sri Lanka Looking for projects to visit and mountains to hike!
24 Feb – 27 Mar Kyrgyzstan Behavioural change communications with UNICEF
28 Mar – 3 Apr Tbilisi, Georgia Quick visit and cultural immersion
4 Apr – end May UAE, Kuwait, Qatar Polio Points and Making the Point in collab with Gates Foundation for Middle East youth & schools
June, July, Aug Europe? UK? Afghanistan? South Sudan? Aotearoa? Wait and see and suggestions welcome but would love to do some polio work, advocacy, youth engagement and write a book… maybe?
Sep 2016 – 2017 Tokyo, Japan Won a Rotary Peace Fellowship scholarship to do a Master’s in Peace Studies for 20 months!

See where the crystal ball really sends me!!!

2015 Lunns

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Classrooms of the World

Recently I saw a blog on 7 amazing classrooms from around the world and went Wow! Then I added a photo of mine from a classroom I was presenting in this year in South Sudan. Then I thought about all of the different classrooms I been in around the world in the past 15 years and 80 countries with 1000’s of students…

In the past 15 years as an educator, presenter, volunteer, learner and sharer I have probably seen more classrooms of the world than few other people so diving back into my photo archives of the photos I actually have here are some classrooms from some of the world! Whilst I don’t really have any constant students of my own, I’ve been fortunate to interact, learn, share and engages with tens of thousands of students around the world. Here are just a few schools, classrooms and students from that lot!

In mosaic and slideshow:

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Teaspoons of Feedback

Always great to get some feedback from presentations and this is really powerful from the guys at Marist College Canberra and I feel is a snippet of the sentiment from most Teaspoons of Change presentations (can I say all?)…

Teaspoons of Change: better for people & planet

This post is going to be a little braggy but I have to be honest that is the reason I love giving presentations, especially to young people as I feel it has an impact. I don’t pretend that after one of my talks the entire audience will start to live in a tiny house having cold showers and spend every moment ending extreme poverty but I do know the lightbulbs go off for many and they start to ask questions and explore ideas that are new and different to them. I feel like I am just another stepping stone that is maybe taking them a little closer to being an active and effective global citizen (or at least I hope so!).

I was very fortunate to receive some feedback from a group of amazing guys from Marist College Canberra. These guys are already heavily vested in service for others and…

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What my 5 most important ‘things’ are in life

I was asked this wonderful question of ‘What are the 5 most important things in life?’ by a senior Rotarian at a Rotary Club presentation I gave recently. I was honoured to be asked such a question by this beautiful and humbled man with far more life experiences and years of wisdom over me. I can also see how his question came about with the privileged life I’ve had in the past 15 years, 80 countries and 1000’s of interactions with different people.

My answer to this at the time was a bit scratchy having to think on my feet and quickly but the first few things that came to mind were attributes like resilience, resourcefulness, simplicity and following your heart not your head.

In the week since that Q&A session I’ve made time to think more about my top 5 most important things in life.

Firstly in my list I don’t have any ‘things’, I’ve never been worried about losing all my stuff. That definition of things for me is stuff and stuff I can live without, replace or get as I need.

The following ideas are the things that I feel are most important to me to be happy, fulfilled and makes me excited to wake up every morning and not hate Mondays.

#1 – Simplicity

#2 – Resilience

#3 – Learning

#4 – Community

#5 – Giving

Number 1 – Simplicity
HS SA (77)I love simplicity. I get so much from life and the world when I have just enough. My favourite quote that I created and share is that ‘we can all have everything we want in the world as long as we don’t want everything’. Simplicity not only adds richness to my life in being more with less but also enriches my connection with people and the planet since my favourite things are walking, meeting people, serving others and reflecting. I also think a lot of mindfulness, humility, contentment, gratitude and peace come with simplicity and gives me a huge sense of freedom where my stuff doesn’t own me and where I’m not a part of the work and spend cycle. Additionally (I could write a whole blog and book on this) it is much better for the environment. I have been fortunate to learn from so many people around the world who live with less (often not by choice) but has given me a very clear perspective in life of what I need not what I want.

Number 2 – Resilience

163_0687aI think resilience is a wonderful trait to have. It makes happiness, contentment and gratitude so much more attainable when I look through the lens of just enough is plenty and anything is a bonus. Again I have the fortune to have seen, learnt and lived with some of the most resilient people in the world (who shouldn’t have to be). Resilience also make me appreciate what I have and not what I ‘should’ have. Resilience also gives me pleasure in my physical pursuits when climbing mountains, riding my bike and facing mental physical barriers. I feel very lucky to be so strong mentally from having a high sense of resilience. I can’t complain about many of my personal situations when I know there are others who endure so much more and that they do it with a live-in-the-moment and tomorrow-is-another-day attitude.

Number 3 – Learning


This is my favourite kind of education. Being outside on an adventure discovering the world together!

I feel I am always happy, excited, intrigued and fulfilled while learning. I love learning. My passion for new places and new people is to interact and learn more all of the time. I value experiences that give me the opportunity to learn, gain new perspectives and grow as a human and particularly as an active and effective global citizen. Learning is like a source of lifeblood to keep me humble, interested and intrigued. As an educator I love not only continuing to learn from my audiences but to be a source of learning for others in the sharing I do. Learning makes me feel young, it fuels my passions and it forces me to continually change. I also love unconventional and alternative education. I always say my education started the day I left university and started travelling and interacting with the world. I admire not so much the people who know a lot but who want to know a lot, I can see it in their eagerness to listen and learn. I’ve been so fortunate to have learn from all kinds of people and places in the world and I am a direct product of my experiences.

Number 4 – Community
I believe we all need a sense of place and purpose. While I don’t know what my job is nor where I live I do feel a part of the global community and the overwhelming feeling that people are essentially good and we love to interact, learn and help others. I am almost always a visitor everywhere I go but I can connect with community in so many ways. Community adds a lot of fun to life for us to build shared experiences and memories to rehash with each other or others well into the future. I think of family as community, and I think of community as family. I aspire to be as connected and caring about anyone else in the world as would my own family as it is ultimately only birth that separates or joins us together. house warming happy group shotTwo big highlights of community in my past was building the two Happy, simply tiny homes. The reason I build two tiny homes was to create community and that powerful experience of learning, sharing and growing together. In many of the world’s ‘poorest’ places I have seen the ‘richest’ communities and some of the world’s ‘poorest’ communities in the world’s ‘richest’ places. Communities are often difficult, hard work and frustrating but I’d rather be an active participant than a complaining bystander.

Number 5 – Giving

While I was giving some kind of education to these kids in the highlands of Guatemala they were educating me in a lot of life lessons and perspectives

While I was giving some kind of education to these kids in the highlands of Guatemala they were educating me in lots of life lessons and perspectives

I know firsthand the satisfaction of not only giving to others but receiving giving from others and their satisfaction. I find giving a gift and when we give we ultimately receive. Giving gives us a wonderful sense of purpose and fulfilment, I feel an abundance of joy and purpose when I’ve played a role in the fulfilment of another. For me giving is the essential component for being an educator and to see others benefit from your time, energy, expertise and effort. I don’t give so I can feel good about myself, I give so I feel good about someone else. I’ve learn the most from those who give even when they have no ‘things’ to give. As a significant receiver of giving I have a wonderful source of experiences from people from every kind of culture, country, race, religion, economic status and I feel giving, hospitality, kindness and generosity is universal. We love to give we just sometimes forget how good it is if we don’t make it a habit.

When I am living simplicity, being resilient, learning, feeling a sense of community and giving to others it’s a pinch-the-skin kind of day. I can honestly say this has been my daily life for the past 15 years and I don’t plan to change that any day soon.

So in a much longer winded answer to the question of my Rotary friend these are the 5 most important ‘things’ in my life and why.

A few other things I like and are important to me are: adventure, discovery, vulnerability, nature, sport, advocacy, sharing, humour, humility, generosity, celebrations, stories, travel and culture…

If you are curious to some of the sources of my 5 things that aren’t just my experiences and conversations with people then check out a few of these links:

Throw yourself into life situations that provide quality experiences and learning :)

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Interview for Teaspoons of Change Australian Presentation Tour

This gallery contains 29 photos.

Originally posted on Teaspoons of Change: better for people & planet:
This is an interview from longtime friend and co-inspirationalist, Jeremy Piccone from Tasmania, who was keen to know more about some of the thoughts, visions and detailed components of…

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The Global Goals for Me, You & The World

This gallery contains 10 photos.

Originally posted on Teaspoons of Change: better for people & planet:
? What do the Global Goals mean to me, to you and to the world? I love them and I don’t love a couple of them but I’m going to…

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Central Asia Still Central To My Heart

Whist I should be talking about the incredible and diverse place that is Central Asia I’ve chosen instead to talk about me (as I do) and the impact this region had on me in the past and again today. If you aren’t into my self indulgence check the photos here at least…

I often get asked the best place or my favourite country that I have been to in now 80 countries around the world that I’ve been fortunate to experience. I usually give the same and slightly boring answer of nowhere or everywhere since I have received universal friendly hospitality, generosity and kindness of every kind of person, culture and place.

However there is one place that sits very close to my heart and central to who I am today and that is Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia. I went to Kyrgyzstan basically by accident in 2001 as a young 23 year old keen to hike up some mountains and maybe share some ideas on teaching by volunteering at a university. What I came away with 14 years ago from that experience was an education in life, an acute sense of social justice and a passion for volunteering, equality and living happily, simply.

I have always wanted to get back to the place that threw a sharp left turn in my life path and this time as a humanitarian who sometimes hikes up mountains not the mountain hiker who sometimes did some humanitarian work.

A lot has changed in Kyrgyzstan in the 14 years since I was last there. The teachers are now earning over $40/month, there are western supermarkets on most corners and there is more confidence in who the Kyrgyz are and what they want which was still an unknown in the very new country as it was in 2001 just 10 years after achieving independence.

My recent trip was hugely gratifying to be in Kyrgyzstan and thank and appreciate it for the dramatic effect it had on me as a new, mostly useless but willing, volunteer at the university many years ago. It is not only Kyrgyzstan that has changed in those 14 years but myself as well. I felt like I was meeting with an old mentor who taught me so much about life and for me to tell it how important it was in my daily experience still today.

For those more interested in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan than me, which you should be, both Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are incredibly welcoming with beautiful mountains and people that puts hospitality and human connection above all.

For this trip I travelled overland from Bishkek to Dushanbe via buses, cars, truck and walking as much as possible. I saw 5000m+ peaks all around, gorgeous gorges, serene valleys and dramatic stoic mountains. To match the scenery were wonderful homestays, kindness at every turn, intrigue and laughter from inquisitive and engaging people.

Tajikistan (10)Just one simple highlight in a continuous month of experiences of Central Asia life was hiking in the mountains with a fellow western traveller and coming across a small low stone hut on the only relative flat spot below 4000m+ peaks in every direction. Here we were beckoned into the home, sat at the warmest part of the hut and given hot tea with the most delicious dairy products of drinking yogurt (kefir) and what seemed to be a cream textured and tasting pancake. In the hut we smiled, laughed and communicated as best we could with our common language being that we were all humans. All of this was in an atmosphere of think dung-fire smoke and hospitality that I’m sure hasn’t changed in that culture in the past 10,000 years.

It was lovely to be back in a place that unknowingly meant so much to me as a 23 year old and consolidated so much in me as a humanitarian again today.

Central Asia isn’t central to most people’s lives outside of the region but anyone who takes the time and effort to visit will come away with a lot of perspective, learning and celebration of people, nature and culture – certainly my favourite ‘things’ in the world.

Kyrgyzstan (8)

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