Traveling is said to be one of the most enriching experiences that a person can treat themselves to. That said traveling can be an enriching experience to both the traveler, and the places that they visit. Sustainable tourism is the idea that a traveler can visit a place and only make a positive impact on the environment or community within a place and a great way to put this practice into action is to volunteer abroad. Here are a few reasons why volunteering abroad can be one of the most fulfilling things you can do.
Learn New Skills: If you’ve never worked on a farm, or built houses, or worked with children, volunteering can be a great way to do so. Volunteering allows for you to become skilled in tasks you never would have imagined applying yourself in, and expanding your skill set.
Experience a Different Culture: By volunteering and working with the community wherever you travel, you truly immerse yourself in the culture. This means that you can really have an authentic experience where you learn what it’s like to walk in another person’s shoes.
Help Out Those in Need: This should go without saying, but a little altruistic action is good for everyone involved. By helping people who don’t have the same privilege to travel as you do, you’re not only helping them, but gaining great perspective on other people’s lives.
Make New Friends: When volunteering abroad, it’s possible that you’ll be a part of a program that has likeminded volunteers like yourself from all over the world. This experience of being in a new place all together can allow you to forge friendships that may not have happened otherwise. Also, with all of the local people you’ll meet, you’re likely to make friends with them too!
Develop Leadership Skills: Volunteering is all about taking cues from the local workers and applying that to the task at hand. By learning and taking cues from others, you also learn valuable lessons about what it means to be a leader.
You Could Learn a Foreign Language: Some people say the absolute best way to learn a language is to be completely immersed in it. When you’re living in a rural community building houses, it’s a great time to focus on your language skills so that you can communicate with the locals.
Give Back and Keep on Giving: When you volunteer you join the movement to build a better world. Having the capacity to travel and volunteer is a privilege to say the least, so it’s important to share the wealth of knowledge and skills that you can offer to others, as well as time and understanding. Improving our global community and giving back to the world is a great life skill that can be applied to your daily life once you’re back home. When you start with volunteering abroad, it’s easy to continue doing a small altruistic deed every day.
Will Norquay is part of the team at Stayz. He’s a great travel and photography lover. He likes to discover new places around Australia.