Traveling is one of the more exciting things in life. Most people dream of travelling. They want to explore cultures different from theirs, and they want to experience things that are different from what they’ve been accustomed to.
To take that up a notch, volunteering while travelling is one of the best opportunities to do something unique and different from most vacations. Instead of simply splurging money and soaking in swimming pools, volunteering allows you to give back to the communities you visit while immersing yourself in their cultures and traditions. In this article, we’ll be listing down five ways to volunteer while travelling.
Schools and the Youth
Foreigners are often viewed differently by the locals, but often they’re widely treated with respect and authority. Teaching locals about whatever skills they’re passionate about. Dancing, Music, Writing, Sports, or anything else will always be an inspiration for them, especially the kids.
Even if you don’t have a specific skill in mind or if you don’t have any teaching certification or qualifications, volunteer organizations are usually open to anyone willing to learn and help out. Soon enough, you’ll realize that it’s not the skills or the certification that’s important, but it’s you spending time with them and being there to listen to them and interact with them is more than enough.
The beach is a fun way to spend your holidays. Put a twist on that experience by volunteering for clean-up drives on beaches. Our excellent spots for sunbathing, swimming, surfing, and other activities have been polluted with garbage, and we have to find ways to give back to mother nature.
The Hong Kong Cleanup Challenge is one of several organized beach clean-ups. They hold the record number for participants in a clean-up drive where they collected over 8 million kilograms of trash. There are other organized beach clean-up groups in places like the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and even New York. You can even opt for the simple approach of doing it yourself on beaches you’ve never been to before. Who knows, soon enough, you might find yourself influencing others to do the same and make it a habit.
Farm vacations are great ways to learn about the different approaches and lifestyles of people when cultivating their food. For people that prefer the easy-going not-so-high-end vacation, these are perfect.
When staying at farms, you’ll be exposed to the general essential farm work on the land and with the animals. Hosts are generally down to earth and simple people because of their lifestyles. If taking a step from the urban lifestyle is your primary goal and relaxing is second, this might be the perfect volunteer travel.
Elderly Home Visits
Visiting a foreign country, they might not speak your language. However, the universal language of love and compassion is something that everyone understands. Taking a trip and spending time in elderly homes are great ways to brighten up their days. If you’re visiting hospices and nursing homes, the staff can help you out.
You can also take it a step further and ask to assist them for the day with simple chores that help you go around and get to know these people better, even if it’s only for a day or two.
Soup Kitchens and Homeless Shelters
Shelters for the homeless or soup kitchens are standard, and most cities are bound to have at least one. These are great ways to lend a helping hand for preparing or distributing food, and you’re bound to meet people from different backgrounds.
Taking the time to distribute this food to the homeless and talking to them is also a unique first-hand experience. Take note, however, that there might be age restrictions for volunteers in some cases.
Volunteering while traveling is a fun and great way to enjoy life differently. No matter what volunteering you’ve decided to do, whether or not you’re organizing it yourself or with a company, always make sure to do your research and contact the local authority to ensure that you aren’t doing anything harmful.