It is not uncommon to have the desire to travel the world and make a difference, but knowing how is another story. Luckily, there are quite a few opportunities for you out there and with a little guidance you can easily decide on the opportunity best suited to your talents and abilities. Here are a few volunteer travel opportunities that will help you gain an insider perspective to the culture you are visiting.
When heading to a new culture or country, many people take the opportunity to spend a few weeks at a language school to get their feet wet during their travels. A myriad of schools throughout Latin America offer opportunities to volunteer with the local community. Things such as homestays, English classes, construction projects, and mentoring lower income children are common projects that schools are involved in. Many of these projects do require at least 3 weeks commitment.
Many people find joy in teaching abroad and in India there are a variety of opportunities to spread your craft. Various NGOs work in the region and provide uneducated girls with the opportunity to learn Hindi, Math, and English. Most schools do ask that you can dedicate a month of your time to be involved more intimately with the students and community.
If you’re looking for a more homegrown, local foodie perspective, there are organic and experimental farms around the world looking for people like you to work on their farms as a way to “pay” for your stay on their properties. Not only do you gain the opportunity to learn new farming techniques but you can also gain a better understanding of the food culture of the country you are visiting. Commitments vary depending on the farm you choose.
Enhance your travels and make a difference. There are many more opportunities out there and if you’re looking to do some travel volunteering, start your search now, become educated, and think about where you would like to make a difference.
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Erica Kuschel is half of the duo at the adventure travel site, OverYonderlust.com. Erica traded her ‘normal’ existence in Austin, Texas for a life of new experiences around the world. Erica, who is a photographer by trade, likes to view the world through her lens.Erica started Over Yonderlust in March of 2010, showcasing couple travel while maintaining a strong focus on photography, humor, videos, and writing with a trusted voice. She has been seen in publications such as The Huffington Post, The Chicago Tribune, BBC, and The National Geographic Channel’s online blog. Erica has been a finalist two years running for the Bloggies (in both travel and photography categories) and taking home Hostelbookers Most Epic Photography Blog Award in November of 2012.Follow Erica on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Google Plus.
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