Has a song had a profound effect on your life? Let’s start a coalition so even the broke can go. That was enough motivation for Brooklyn-born Summers to get his first passport. He then found a $350 roundtrip ticket to Barcelona and celebrated his birthday there with 10 friends.
Back in 2008, Summers heard the song “Paris Tokyo Remix” by Lupe Fiasco, Pharrell Williams, Q-Tip and Sarah Green. One of the lyrics is, “Fly to Paris, and end up in Tokyo … Let’s start a coalition so even the broke can go.” That was enough motivation for Brooklyn-born Summers to get his first passport. He then found a $350 roundtrip ticket to Barcelona and celebrated his birthday there with 10 friends.
Passport Life is part of a movement to help under-resourced people get passports, travel, and participate in global culture. Last year, Summers got access to a private charter through another organization and filled it with a handful of cool young people, including his friends who started streetetiquette.com, singers Jesse Boykins III and Mara Hruby, and a Passport Life fellow, Bryan Blue. Blue is a Dallas-based art director and designer from Inglewood, California, who had never been out of the country.
Passport Life, formerly Passport Project, doesn’t help people sign up for their passport — that can be done online on travel.state.gov. Instead, Passport Life exists to inspire people to travel more.
Next week, Summers is taking another fellow, this time a collegiate Poet Laureate from Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, on his first international trip to South Africa. Summers saw the young man perform at a Lower East Side cafe.
Summers hopes these trips-of-a-lifetime will be more frequent in the near future. “I think I proved the model last year, and this year we’re refining it so that we can scale this a lot more,” he says. While the organization’s current focus is getting American youth to travel beyond borders, Summers wants people everywhere to be more worldly. Next year, he hopes to have a Passport Life trip for a South African fellow to venture beyond his country’s lines. Read more…