You know that really warm feeling you get about yourself when you do something nice for someone else? What about that feeling of gluttony and selfishness you get when you’re in a foreign country sipping your 5th cocktail of the night, served by someone who earns less in a month than what you’re likely to spend before you go to bed?
Well, you can maximise the former and minimise (though not entirely eradicate) the latter. Try a spot of Voluntourim.
Lately I’ve been asked by several people about things they can do while traveling for an extended surprise. Much to my surprise, some people they will get bored or sick of traveling and want to have something to fall back on.
While I can’t imagine ever getting bored with traveling non-stop I do understand the desire to change it up while out on the road.
Why not look at volunteering? There are opportunities all over the world and you can easily manage to help for a while during your travels.
One problem with searching for volunteer opportunities from abroad is that “volunteerism” has become quite popular and many people are exploiting volunteer’s desires to help by charging high prices for volunteer trips. Some of them might be legitimate, but I don’t understand paying a couple of thousand dollars to go somewhere for a week and work hard.
Luckily, Serve Your World has built a good list of free volunteer opportunities. But keep in mind that your costs are typically not covered so you’ll have to pay for your airfare and travel arrangements but often the organization has some sort of housing for you and sometimes provides meals as well. You might also want to check out Volunteerism.
Looking to make a little more of a dent in the world? Why not check out the Peace Corps? You’ll have to be more dedicated, as the minimum commitment is 2 years.
Becoming quite popular recently is WWOOF’ing. And it’s not just fun to say either. WWOOF stands for WorldWide Opportunities on Organic Farms. When volunteering on a WWOOF farm you’ll work and live on an organic farm, helping do any number of tasks and receive free meals and a place to stay. There are an abundance of farms in the organization so you should definitely check out the website to see all of the opportunities to help sustainable agriculture. Note: some of the organizations charge a small fee to gain access to the website and this fee goes to supporting the network.
These aren’t the only opportunities around, but three of the more popular options. If you are interested in learning more please check out the appropriate links above. It’d also be worth your time to look into various NGO’s (non governmental organizations) in the area you’ll be in.
Have you volunteered abroad or are you looking into it? We’d appreciate hearing about it in the comments below!