Five Reasons Why You Should Volunteer for Your Next Vacation

Hey Friends! We're the WanderingClass, Polina & Corey. Read more about us here. We're so happy that you're here to share in the journey of how we travel with purpose and how you too can make a difference in this world.. one community at a time. We hope you take a moment to subscribe to us below, on Facebook, and follow on Instagram (just click on the links)! 

So here we go...

When I (Polina) found myself in Taipei, Taiwan, a country so rich in history and culture (completely unplanned due to a Typhoon in the Philippines, more on that to come) I realized I was everything in through a camera lens, in the busiest, and most touristy spots. I had to take a photo with my DSLR, my GoPro, and sometimes even my iPhone. It felt as if I wasn’t immersing myself, rather just capturing snapshots of the surroundings.

We’ve all done this right?

Sights are great, don’t get me wrong, but I felt a bit empty… I wasn't satisfied with the way I traveled, I wanted to sit with a local and hear their story, I was selfish for something more.

...this urge for something more fulfilling led me to find volunteer vacations with

 

Let us explore five reasons why we.. and why YOU should consider volunteering abroad for your next vacation. 

Eat Pure, Local, & Homemade Food

There is nothing that we look forward to more than our next meal. Maybe not nothing but It’s up there in priorities and what we look forward to… every few hours. Each culture is so rich and so much of that richness comes from the cuisine; the preparation, the local ingredients, and the time.  You can taste the effort and appreciation that’s put into creating authentic, homemade dishes. We were fed 3 complete, homemade meals, per day on our volunteer trip, and there was NO way that anyone was going hungry!

Handmade tortillas in Guatemala

Handmade tortillas in Guatemala

Immerse Yourself in the Culture

While spending your time doing various volunteer projects, you are surrounded by local kids and adults. Majority of volunteer vacations take place in rural areas that need the most attention from volunteer groups.  These people are not as exposed to our culture, maybe they dream of meeting a foreigner, so at times they are shy to ask but they are so curious to engage with you. So say hello, wave, and ask them.. because they are just as curious to talk to you as you are to learn about them.

This brings us back to Ghana; the children (3-7 year olds) were SO intrigued by us.. they would not stop holding our hand, giving us high fives, and asking us to talk to them, sometimes they would swarm us and fight for our attention! It’s quite rewarding to be looked at as a representation of your own culture.

Take a few moments to check out this video to see exactly what we're talking about:

Give Back Your Time

What better feeling than to spend your extremely valuable vacation time within a village, community or even animals in another country! Your time is valuable, and so is your hard earned vacation, we understand.. That’s why volunteering WHILE on vacation is the purest and most rewarding way you can travel. From our experience with volunteering with Globe Aware, we worked just the right amount of time for us to have leisure time to spend within the community, roam the streets giving high fives to the kids, and exploring historical sites.

"Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love."

- Lao Tzu

Leave a Footprint in a Community

Every program is different and you will likely not know what kind of projects you will be involved in until you arrive. Community needs change day by day therefore you have to be open minded and ready for any project. Who knows, maybe you’ll help build a well, plant vegetables, walk elephants, or build wheelchairs… regardless, you will leave a personal footprint on the community that you serve.

Painting murals for kids to learn simple words; airplane, tree, elephant.. 

Painting murals for kids to learn simple words; airplane, tree, elephant.. 

See the Country's Surroundings and Sites

Each program allows one day where you and the group get a chance to explore the country’s famous sites. Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Macchu Picchu in Peru, and many more! This is your true tourist day, and the balance between work and play! 

Facts and Tips about Volunteering with GlobeAware

Have Fun. Help People.
— GlobeAware
  • There is a donation requirement, but you can raise it! We both raised the donation yearly by asking friends, family, employers, and holding fundraiser events.
  • All you pay for is the flight, considering you raised your donation requirement. Room, board, food, and tours are covered. 
  • Read too many horror headlines about travel?! You are never left alone in a new place, the group organizers pay close attention to each volunteer to ensure their comfort, safety, and experience is a positive one. 
  • Tax Deductible Vacation!? Yes.. Your flight and any donations you make, are tax deductible. 
  • Typical vacations are one week long, Saturday to Saturday.
  • visit www.globeaware.org for a full overview of available vacations!

We hope we have inspired you to perhaps consider or even take the leap to volunteer during your next vacation!

Want to join in the fun? Polina will be traveling to Peru over Thanksgiving of 2016, send me an email at wanderingclass@gmail.com and I'll send you more info!