After a refreshing vacation, we usually return home invigorated and ready to take on the world again. Experiencing different cultures gives us that sense of humanity that cannot be replaced. Sometimes though, these ‘cultures’ need more than a few tourists dropping by and taking photos of them-they need help. This is where volunteer travel comes in.
Many travellers chose to contribute their time and energy to some cases and in return are able to get the satisfaction that only comes with helping other people. Do you have what it takes to embark on such a journey?
When it comes to volunteer travel, a strong will may not be enough. True, the determination to sincerely help others is a good place to start but if you are to make a real difference, you must be realistic. You must understand that you will spend a few weeks or even months in a place that you have to become familiar with in order to be able to bring a small change for the better.
Aside from being realistic, you have to have the right expectations. While volunteers offer a lot they don’t seem to get much. So get ready for a lifetime adventure that will bring you spiritual growth and personal fulfilment.
Depending on the kind of volunteering project you take on, you will be expected to really exert physical and mental effort. Volunteers are usually treated like one of the members of staff and work just as long and aren’t given any special privileges.
Desire is another must-have when considering volunteering abroad. If you are doing it half-heartedly it will come out sooner or later. More importantly, you will not be able to really enjoy your experience if you aren’t doing it for the right reasons.
Volunteer travel not only benefits the recipients of your skills but does a lot of good for you personally. Many who have experienced such journeys return home as different people, more thankful for their blessings and with a better understanding of the world. These qualities are indeed worth having in life.
There are many options to choose from when it comes to the kind of volunteer service you engage in but all have one thing in common- they allow you to experience a destination in a way a regular tourist will never be able to.