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How to be a volunteer and traveler at the same time?

How to be a volunteer and traveler at the same time?

May 20, 2016
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See the world and help! This is a premise that most adventurous people try to accomplish at least once in their lives. It is called Volunturism: volunteer and tourism, and it is when you have the chance to go on a trip and also do some solidarity acts.

Some consider that voluntarism is the best way to travel because it allows you to see the reality of the place you are visiting. And it also lets you have experiences that are so different than doing a normal vacation trip. Do you want to discover how you can be a volunteer and traveler at the same time?

 

Have the desire to travel

First you must love to travel and having the desire to explore the world. It doesn’t matter if you go near or far from home; just move and be amazed by every corner of the Earth.

 

Have the desire to help

If you are looking forward to do a volunteer trip, you must understand that most volunteer programs are not 5 star hotels. You must be prepared to face and live in the same conditions that the people that you want to help, this are not always what you are used to, so have an open mind about it.

 

Investigate

Once you decide you want to travel and help, you have to investigate the destination. Choose a continent, the country, the way you will get there, learn some important facts about the place. Investigate about volunteer programs that are available and especially the ones that call your attention the most.

 

Volunteer abroad

Now that you decided where you want to go, there are certain procedures you have to go through. First you must decide the duration and date of your trip, then you must apply and meet the requirements of the program, finally you must prepare to depart.  During the preparation time you can receive some training in the specific volunteer program you will be part of, and also learn some things that will be very handy for you like language, food and touristic places of your destiny.

 

No programs?

If you don’t want to participate in any volunteer program but still help, there are other ways of doing it.

- Teach your mother language overseas: This is probably the most popular way of traveling, earning money and volunteering at the same time. This way you can also learn the native language of your destination and have a great cultural exchange.

- Become a babysitter: Many families are in search of qualified people to help them watch their children, so this is a good opportunity to travel and work.


Challenge yourself

When you travel and immerse yourself in a different environment and culture you have to also get out of your comfort zone. So always be willing to participate in different activities that you normally wouldn’t do.  For example, dance, learn to cook the traditional food with locals, participate in farming projects and care projects.

 

Don’t be a tourist

Don’t get to a new place and behave like a normal tourist, following big groups, spending a lot of money in unnecessary things and taking 100000 selfies. During your trip, live with a host family, eat the local food, use the local transportation and try to truly experience the country you have chosen to visit and have a purpose for your traveling experience.

 

It's all worth it

By the time you’re done traveling and having a volunteering experience, you will realize you had one of the best experiences in your life. No matter what you chose to do, when you look back on this, you will realize that you gained so much more than you expected.

 

So what are you waiting for? Go…Travel the world, have great experiences, help and explore the Earth.

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