Yia Yia's Travels: In Memory of Martha Helen Maganias

My mother's passport photograph when she was 19 years old.

In honor of my mother I am creating a non-profit organization that will help young adults of Park County, Montana afford to travel around the world. All donations and funds raised will be distributed every year on June 25, to celebrate my mother's birthday. We have just received our 501c3 status and are able to accept tax deductible donations.

My mother's travels were her favorite experiences and my family and I are lucky to share many of those memories with her. When she couldn't travel anymore she would look at her passports, see the various stamps from different trips, and reminisce about her experiences.

My mother gave me, my family and the people she loved many gifts. One of which is the love of travel. Travel teaches you to push your fears aside, it fosters independence, compassion, trust, self reliance, courage and gratitude; it makes you a better person. I have had the good fortune to be able to travel around the world, meet wonderful new friends, and see many beautiful things and places.  I want to help others be able to do the same.

When my daughter, Keegan Nashan, saved her money and spent two years traveling in South & Central America, many of her friends asked me how she was able to do it. Those conversations made me realize that I would like to help other young adults in our beautiful town to travel, explore the world, meet new people, and learn things about themselves that only travel can teach. Yia Yia's Travels is an organization that helps make saving, budgeting and planning for a trip a less daunting experience.

Today is the third anniversary of my mother's death. I am eternally grateful for all of the lessons she taught me. My mother was the most generous person I have known, she was happiest helping people be happy. I wish I had thought of this organization while she was still alive so she could be a part of it.