Facing Fear, Girlfriends Travel, Volunteering, and More Ramblings.


If you’re one of my Facebook friends you’d know that I’ll be travelling to the Dominican Republic with Fathom Cruise lines soon to learn more about impact travel.

I love to volunteer and participate in various activities to help others. When I was younger, my stepmom and I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity to help paint homes. My little body ached and my little arms hurt but I was proud to have helped multiple families. I’ve volunteered in soup kitchens, I’ve helped stock pantries, donated school supplies, and more.

I know a there is a lot of backlash out there about mission trips, and volunteering abroad but I personally feel that every little bit helps. No, I’m probably not going to save the entire world, but I might help at least one person, and that person might go on to help another and continue the cycle.

I’m really excited about teaming up with Fathom because I really want to learn more about impact travel and I’ve always wanted to visit the Dominican Republic. While there I’ll be helping community members with their English and working in the cacao fields.

I learned about the opportunity late Jan. from travel group I’m a part of. The rep stated Fathom was looking for bloggers to attend the trip and everything will be paid for except the travel to Miami. The rep told us to pitch and they’d be in contact if your blog was selected. Talking about FEAR. I screenshot the info then decided I wasn’t even going to try pitching because I saw the comments starting to pile up. People were replying to the post stating they pitched. It was a bunch of them, and some of the bloggers had a huge following, way more than me.

About a week later I was going through my phone and the image of the screenshot I took was the first thing that popped up (weird right). I thought to myself the worst they could say is no, so I went ahead and sent my pitch.

The very next day I received an email stating that I’m in. I was so excited I sat and watched all of the videos on their website about Impact Travel in the Dominican Republic. I learned a vital lesson, so what, face the fear and keep it moving, you never know, you might just get a free trip to the DR 😉 .

The original plan was for me and my boyfriend to travel there together after his graduation, but he ended up getting a position in California and would have to leave during the middle of the trip to start his job.

I was bummed, but the trip eventually ended up turning into a “girlfriends” getaway. I was telling my friend Mellissa about how bummed I was and asked if she had a passport and if she was interested. Guess what??? Lol, of course, she was. She’ll be blogging about the journey on her website “She Smiles Within.”

I’m going to try to do a blog post daily while there to share my experiences, but they did let us know the internet might be sketchy. I’ll definitely be posting everything on Instagram and Snapchat.

You can follow us at:

snapchat: randomericka
instagram: erickachatman
snapchat: lifestylencolor
instagram: shesmileswithin



  1. May 31, 2016 / 12:45 pm

    It was so nice to meet you and visit with you on our fathom cruise last week. What an awesome experience it was!

  2. May 20, 2016 / 8:48 pm

    We’re going to have a blast, make an impact and come back with memories that’ll leave a footprint on lives. I’m super excited!!!

  3. May 20, 2016 / 7:39 pm

    An awesome story. Thanks for sharing how moving through the fear can lead to so much more than imagined! Enjoy!

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