I’m Chari Chin-Young Caston, budget travel strategist. Growing up in New York and being raised by an island mother (*** bullet, bullet, big ups to Jamaica), budgeting was necessary, especially with 11 sisters. After my father died, my mother became a single mother who had to make ends meet. I watched my mom raise her teacher’s salary to put food on the table while making sure we had a family vacation. She was a superhero in my eyes. She taught me that budgeting is the key to getting everything you want in life.
After graduating from Georgia Southern University with a BS in Counseling and Psychology, I fell in love with travel. I remember having a deep desire to travel but feeling defeated because I didn’t think I could afford it. However, in college, I didn’t let the price stop me from achieving my goal of traveling the world. With $200 in my ramen noodle account in my closet, I created my first budget travel strategy and raised, earned, and saved $10,000 for my first overseas trip to Paris. I knew I could conquer the world by traveling with proper technique.
My high school sweetheart, now husband, reignited the travel bug in me. He had this crazy idea of backpacking the world knowing we were struggling college grads. I had no idea where to start. But I just knew it was possible. Then bam, the birth of my non-profit organization, World Peace Connection was born. Our goal was to travel the world with a purpose. That’s why we launched, Connection for World Peacea social enterprise that connects changemakers to a deeper part of themselves and the community around them.
Our goal was to provide self-development workshops to the community through storytelling techniques drawn from stories told around the world. As we travel, we interview locals and travellers, asking them the question: “What inspires you the most in life?” “. Thanks to a budget strategy, we were able to travel to more than 50 cities around the world and interview more than 500 people.