Why Volunteer Abroad - A Life Changing Experience!
You have been wanting to take a holiday and travel the world, but you also want to give back and volunteer, why not combine both and volunteer abroad?
"As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others." - Audrey Hepburn
Enjoy this time off from your daily life to experience a new culture, meet local and international people, have a good time helping others and make a difference! Volunteering abroad will give you a chance to be part of something greater than yourself and help empower people across the globe.
Here are the 6 reasons why volunteering abroad is the best way to make the most of your time abroad!
1 - Discover a new culture
Experience living in a different country for a while; maybe get the chance to learn a new language or try different food. And because you will probably be staying in the same place for longer than usual, you will be able to immerse yourself in the country’s culture. Since volunteering is usually not comparable to a full time job, it will still leave you plenty of time to do some sightseeing and explore the surroundings of the place you will stay.
As Colin, one of the volunteers at the Cambodia community project Helping Hands, said: “I would definitely recommend volunteering. It gives you an opportunity to see a new place and culture. It gives you a completely different experience than if you just travelled here, spent a week here and then just left. You really get to know the local place, local cafes, local restaurants, so that’s been great. Also by going out to the rural villages, you get to see an insight in to their lives at home, outside of the city, that tourists don’t get to see. You get to experience a whole different side you wouldn’t otherwise get”.
2 - Give back… but receive loads!
You will soon realise that giving back while volunteering abroad will bring you more than you thought. Whether it is the community you are helping, the animal species you are saving or environmental support to which you contribute, each of these actions will be filled with achievements and positive reward.
Stephen, one of our volunteers at the dog project in Peru said: “I loved and cherished every moment I spent there and actually seeing the appreciation in the dogs eyes with their wagging tails and wide smiles. For me, that's what makes everything worthwhile".
What is more rewarding than putting a smile on someone’s face? If you volunteer abroad, you will see smiles that will make you smile in return!
3 - Step out of your comfort zone
Adjust to a completely new way of life! Different customs, different food habits, living with different people. All the activities included in volunteering abroad will help you learn about yourself and grow as a person, and all these are part of what we can think of as challenges. However, overcoming obstacles can only be beneficial, especially as you are also helping others. Volunteering abroad can also give you a chance for a digital detox, unplug, refresh and enjoy!
4 - Travel the world
Not only will volunteering abroad allow you to go places you have been wanting to go forever, but it will also teach you the art of travelling by giving you a new and exciting perspective on your travel experience.
Melissa, a volunteer who came to help at our community project, Picaflor House, expressed: “The next step in our traveling is to feel like we are not just going places and taking, but that there is a component of mission, and we are giving back when we are visiting different parts of the world.”
5 - Meet like-minded people
While volunteering abroad you will have the chance to meet people who think in a similar way but come from far away. You will learn a lot from these new people, whether they are locals or internationals, because you all believe that giving back and helping others is something important. There will be a lot to absorb from their histories and experiences. Because you will probably be staying in the same place for a longer time than if you were just traveling, you will be able to get to know them better, which will allow you to expand you circle of friends all over the world!
6 - Develop new skills
Spontaneity, adaptability, flexibility, patience, becoming more adventurous...the list could go on forever, but because volunteering abroad cannot really go wrong, it will encourage you to accept all new experiences in the future and live your best life!
The only thing you are risking by volunteering abroad is giving a helping hand to whoever needs it while travelling to a new place! And remember, volunteering will not only help better the world, but will also help better yourself! Make your travels matter, and come volunteer abroad with one of our projects across the globe.