Is it the right time to volunteer abroad?
Some travel restrictions are lifted now that COVID-19 vaccinations are out and the number of cases has dropped. If you’ve been a traveler or have a passion for traveling, then the travel bug is probably gnawing at you! This past year, it’s been nearly impossible to go to any other country.
One of the best ways to kick off a new season of travel is to volunteer abroad. Some of the best times in life to volunteer abroad are after or before significant life changes. As a volunteer abroad, you’ll get to experience so much. Although you’re there to help communities, you’ll quickly learn that it’s a transformative experience for you, too.
But when’s the right time to volunteer abroad? Here are six life stages perfectly timed for you to take the leap.
1. Before College
Bridging the gap between high school and college is a perfect time to take a volunteer trip abroad. Graduated high school students have reached a level of independence at this time.
Plus, if you don’t exactly know if you want to go to college, volunteering abroad can give you time to think about your decision. You’ll likely meet plenty of other volunteers who have experienced life and can help guide you through that decision.
2. Between Jobs
Another great time to volunteer abroad is between jobs. Once you enter the career scene, you’ll likely be switching jobs quite often. By the time you’re 35 years old, you’ll have already worked about five jobs. The transition between jobs isn’t always the best, and you might have some time of unemployment.
Use that time to be a change for the world and volunteer abroad. You’ll be able to put some of your career skills to work, too, and you can even gain new skills abroad.
3. After a Breakup
Navigating a breakup is a challenging time in anyone’s life. You feel so many different emotions, and it might be hard to focus on anything except the breakup. However, volunteering abroad can give you a fresh perspective and can fill that hole in your heart.
When you volunteer abroad, you can pour love into other communities and into the work you’re doing. You’ll create new bonds with the people you meet and create lasting memories while gaining a new perspective on life.
4. After Transitioning out of the Military
If you were or are currently in the military, a great way to transition out is to volunteer abroad. Going from full military life to civilian life involves taking care of finances, finding a new home, getting back to family life, and searching for a career.
Use the time of transition to reroot yourself with civilian life. Through volunteering abroad, you can meet new people who can support you in this stage of your life, and you can get a better idea of your personal path.
5. With Your New Spouse
If you’re getting married or have recently been married, take the leap and volunteer abroad with your new spouse! Maybe if you both have a passion for helping others, you could skip the traditional honeymoon and volunteer in a new country together. You’ll get to experience a time of fulfillment with each other, and you’ll create a lasting bond from the start.
Volunteering is a great way to build your relationship, and you’ll have wonderful memories together.
6. When Your Kids Move Out or When You Retire
When should I go abroad if I’m an older adult? If that’s you, you should volunteer abroad either after your kids leave the nest or when you retire. You’ll have plenty of time to plan and travel to volunteer. Use the life skills you’ve learned throughout the years to enrich someone else’s life.
Volunteering abroad will boost your well-being, and it will give you something to focus on after a busy life. As an adult, you’ll still learn new things about yourself if you volunteer!
Should I Volunteer Abroad? Yes!
Take every opportunity you have to volunteer abroad. Life is too short not to pour into other communities or see the world from new perspectives.
Author - Ginger Abbot
Ginger Abbot is a learning and education writer with a personal passion for study abroad and international travel. She also serves as Editor-in-Chief of Classrooms.com, where you can read more of her work.