“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off the journey.” -Pat Conroy
Are you too old for a vacation? Much more a volunteer vacation? Hold your answers first and let me share to you the benefits of voluntourism. Voluntourism is a new way of traveling that is becoming popular all over the world. According to Google dictionary, it is a form of tourism which travelers participate in voluntary work, typically for a charity. The word originated from the 1990s combining two English words, volunteer and tourism.
Who are the individuals who can participate in this kind of adventure? It could be anyone. Anyone who has the heart to help and make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate. By anyone, it could be from the younger generation to the baby boomers.
One is never too old to go on a volunteer vacation. Let’s drill down the reasons why and get excited to the huge opportunity to explore the world.
It’s not about the age but the ability to connect
Making connections with the community and the places you visit is not a physically draining activity. Traveling may require you to be physically fit, but you wouldn’t be required to break fitness records. There really is a volunteer vacation for everyone, if you take the time to look. What’s important is your intention to immerse yourself with the people, understand their values and cultures, getting a deeper sense of living by seeing the beauty within. Volunteering isn’t a one-way traffic, not only are you helping the poor communities or contributing to important conservation efforts, but the experience will be beneficial to you too. Most travelers become better persons after visiting developing countries. They have certain realizations and look at things in a different perspective.
Working with the local people will offer you an awareness into the country and culture that would be a challenge to experience if you are just an ordinary tourist. You get to see the most authentic ways of life in the community you’re visiting – dine where the locals eat, buy where the ‘locals’ shop, and so on, rather than moving between tourist destinations that are often congested and costly. You can still visit these places on the evenings or weekends, or on the side, during most volunteer programs, if you’d like.
There are many beautiful places you haven’t seen yet
Traveling to developing countries may sound scary and too dangerous. Well, it’s possible. However, we can’t just generalize everything. It’s normal to be ambivalent but with the proper planning, research, coordination, and common sense, you’d just be alright. In fact, leaving our comfort zones and taking an adventure of a lifetime is a liberating thing to do. Go outside and see the world. There are many different places around the globe waiting for you to be explored and experienced.
You’re never too old to learn
Volunteer vacations can be a higher level of educational tour. You will learn a lot of things that you might not be able to know if you aren’t traveling. If you think you’re too old to acquire new learnings, you are wrong. Boomers are some of the most curious individuals on earth. Your curiosity about things can lead you to discovering new things. You can learn valuable skills that could help you in your chosen career. You can utilize volunteer vacations as an opportunity to develop existing skills. For instance, if you are a teacher you can make a positive impact to a certain community by teaching English. For doctors and nurses, they can assist in medical projects or missions. The learning doesn’t end.
Interested in doing something more with your travel this year? You’re in the right place. We’re here to help you. Be part of the growing community of MediPackers. The MediPacker organization was realized with a mission to build a community of backpackers who provide intelligent healthcare to everyone around the globe. Medipacker assistant system can leverage your discoveries where no one else can do. You alone can make a difference for many people. There are thousands of Medipackers like you out there so the difference can be huge. Helping others and making a difference has never been this fulfilling.