“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
She came to Africa because she was curious about a place that has been so talked about. The 21-hour flight helped fuel her curiosity and as she landed in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city, she couldn’t help but get awed by the beauty of that paradise. She fell in love. Being in Kenya changed her perspective on the state of our world. That while the world thought them poor and sad, they were rolling on dust, making football out of plastic bags, swimming in the lake and loving each other like it was the last time. She found love in Africa, and more than that she found hope for humanity.
Toronda and Mama Sarah (Obama’s grandmother) in her home in Kogelo Village
She is Toronda Daniels. Born with an insatiable drive to travel the world, and not just to behold of its beauty but to make it a better place. She is the owner of Sonder Travels, a travel company dedicated to ensuring that travelers have the best experience while flying, cruising, hiking and voyaging.
Toronda is a social worker, the founder of Arising Youth International. AYI, as it is abbreviated, was born out of a dream to nurture leaders, learners and creators from a young age. AYI is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support services to youths globally. It utilizes partnerships with schools, churches, businesses and governmental organizations to create programs designed for promoting positive youth development. Its partners are innovative thinkers with ideas on how to effectively address chronic social issues to impact the future. In an effort to create social change, AYI focuses on three main areas; the arts, education and leadership development.
Toronda teaching life skills to the kids she works with in Huruma
Toronda has combined her love for people and that of travel. Her company, Sonder Travels, is the model travel company. It is not just a medium for taking you places, it is that of making you see the world in a different light. A company that makes you fall in love with the places you visit. Sonder is Toronda’s dream to change the lives of everyone she interacts with, to offer the best services one could ever dream of. She believes that traveling is great, but traveling together with others is life changing. That once you fall in love with traveling, you can never satisfy the wanderlust. She looks back at life and she can’t help but smile because most people might think that she has changed the lives of those around her but it is those around her who have changed her life.
”The world is in good hands if we take our time and invest in relationships. What is a better way to achieve that than to travel?” Toronda says.