Instead of celebrating the holidays last year, OhThePeopleYouMeet’s founder, Michaela, traveled to Cambodia to create a video on “How to be a Responsible Traveler”. This video is meant to inspire travelers to ask yourselves the tough questions before you go, do your research, understand your own intention in trying to help, to inspire you to travel and ultimately to make sustainable decisions.

Join Michaela as she digs into the recent political and economic hardships that are still affecting the people of the kingdom of Cambodia. Meet Hollywood celebrity, AnnaLynne McCord who is serving as President for a nonprofit organization called together1heart, an organization that are working to put an end to sex trafficking and slavery of women and children in Cambodia. While together1heart was only one part of our video, it very much became a key focus for something much greater. In December 2015, Michaela departed New York a skeptic, but after meeting some of the survivors at together1heart and the controversial Somaly Mam, I couldn’t help but acknowledge the very hard, real work they were doing to give women and girls a voice in such an impoverished area of the world. While there are always areas of grey, we hope that by bringing to light this very real problem, giving you the viewers an opportunity to hear for yourself and ask questions, we can focus on the real matter at hand, empowering women and girls to have a voice and to break this vicious cycle through financial independence and sustainable careers.

The struggles the people of Cambodia face sadly go beyond human trafficking. The stark poverty, lack of education, medical services and jobs is staggering. However we met inspiring people and companies working to support the people of this developing nation. The Phare Circus, Shinta Mani Foundation, together1heart and the organizations that Concert vet, are just a few of the groups making a long-term, positive impact in Cambodia. See first hand how clean water, education and job training in agriculture or hotels are helping to empower the local community.

It’s up to each of you, the individual travelers, to do your research and take responsibility for the impact you will have in the destinations that you visit. We hope you walk away inspired to travel to one of the most beautiful countries in the world and empowered to help conquer the root cause.

Special thanks to: Aqua Expeditions, Mythic Bridge, The Lash Loft, together1heart, Peter Ruprecht Studios, and Qatar Airways.

Originally published at