Travel is transforming. The new generation of adventure-minded travelers is no longer drifting through unique destinations just for having fun. They want to take their traveling experience beyond this: spending holidays that foster impactful travel.
If you’re one of them, there are endless opportunities for doing good as you travel. Whether you’re heading towards bringing social change in a deprived community or feel like combating homelessness in a village, let’s not forget that volunteerism comes with great responsibilities.
Will the adventure be worthwhile for the residents of Ghana (or any other region you want to give back to)? How will you proceed further with your next adventure? Are you ready to eliminate food inequality across different regions?
Not sure how to answer these questions?
Before digging deeper, you should know what it takes to fuel up your passion for giving back while traveling. The following is a good checklist to increase your level of awareness in the world of volunteerism.
1. Seek Out the Schools
Every country in the world has its share of run-down schools that are always in need of volunteers. If you start teaching out of a passion to help out, the whole education could eventually benefit. There’s really no better way to give back to a country.
2. Apply To Non-Profits
Non-profit organizations are usually always in need of fund, helpers, and traveling volunteers. You can usually find them through community and cultural events.
You can achieve quite a bit of good with such organizations. They would also help you expand your network and enhance your knowledge of your host country’s culture. This will give you a lot more experience to take back before you call the international removals service and when it’s time to pack up and return to your own country.
3. Use Your Connections
If you think you don’t have a volunteering network, think again! You’re studying in a school within your host country. This school would probably have a store of connections with volunteer and charity organizations. In fact, your school may be in need of volunteer work itself.
If you’re still stuck, ask people in the know. That includes your new friends, your teachers, and even your adviser. You may even end up getting a program together to help your fellow foreign students become volunteers. If this happens, all of you would become more a part of the community than before.
4. Remain Flexible
If there isn’t an ongoing project you can join, you may need to start something new on your own. When doing this, make sure you have the time for what you have in mind. Does your student visa allow you some extra months of stay after your semester is up? You want to help out, but not by breaking the law!
If you’re only in the country for a short time, don’t hesitate before you start asking about volunteer projects. Even a few weeks of waiting could eat away a large chunk of your time there. If possible, you may email or call someone from your host country and get knowledge about a project you can join from day one.
5. Learn the Language
Easier said than done, right? Immersing yourself in a country or region’s culture is actually the easiest way to pick up their language or dialect. Plus, knowing the language better will help you make yourself more useful as a traveler who is there for the less-privileged people.
Even if you’re not fluent in the native language, there may be several programs willing to let you in. In fact, if you speak a major language like English, many native organizations will have no trouble fitting you in somewhere.
6. Check International Organizations
International ventures like the Salvation Army or the Red Cross have several branches all over the world. If you’re a volunteer in one of these back home, it would be a cinch to simply join in upon your arrival in your host country! All you should do is call or email ahead and let them book something for you.
Even if you have never volunteered before, these international charities can help you get started! Beginning some volunteer work in a foreign country would be hard, but it would get easier as you go on. Then, you can simply continue the good work when you return.
Very excited to share this guest post by Wendy Dessler –
Wendy is a super-connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.