Dylan Raines

Hi! I'm Dylan, and here is my story...

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be an explorer. One of my earliest memories is of riding my training-wheeled bicycle around the small town in Kansas where I spent childhood. I remember gazing at the horizon, wondering with awe about what it would be like to simply go see what lay beyond what my eyes could capture.

After graduating high school in 2005, I began learning about the rampant problems of poverty. I learned about the billions of people who lack clean water and safe sanitation; violence and modern-day slavery; homelessness and sickness. It seemed evident to me that we have the capability for eliminating these problems and I wondered why we have not yet done so.

One morning in 2009 during a period of deep depression, I made a decision to devote my life to the service of others. I simply wanted to travel, connect with people from all walks of life, listen with compassion and love others with all I was capable of doing to help those in need of a friend, a meal or anything else. I also wanted to gain a deeper understanding of our world and why it is the way that it is; why the problems we have exist and why we as human beings live the way that we do. I needed to truly listen to the perspectives of others in order to widen my own perspective of life. That afternoon I packed my car with the necessities and began driving to major cities across the United States to walk the streets, meet people and ask if they needed a meal or anything.

I drove the country and what I discovered was that more than food or money, people needed and wanted someone who would spend time with them listening and showing them they had value and dignity simply for being a living, breathing person. This sparked a revelation that I believe disconnection and division are at the root of so many issues in the world today. And also that what I believe to be the fundamental way forward: reconnection of the human family.

In 2010 due to the progression of a rare eye-disease I decided to stop driving and instead, start using my own two feet to travel and get places I needed to be. In 2012 I flew to Los Angeles with little money and even less of a plan, but I was filled with a mission to simple live present, connect with people and discover ways of serving those I would meet with compassion and love in my heart for all people. That adventure would last nearly 3 months as I covered thousands of miles up and down the western coast of the United States. It was during that exploration that I had the idea for Humanitarian Explorer. a network of travelers who share that sense of adventure, trust and the desire to serve others.

I believe relationships are what truly enable and empower us to live out our dreams and make positive progress towards changing the world for the better.

Thank you for being part of this journey.
Dylan Raines
Founder, Humanitarian Explorer

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