#8 Volunteer travelling - a new way to explore & give back
Of late I've been thinking of better ways to travel and ditch the conventional method of going to a place, check-out the known or somewhat unknown areas, clicking photos, and returning home. I've been thinking if there is a way we can merge social causes with travel, and one of the ways that comes to my mind is Volunteer travel – a beautiful blend of exploration and giving back that enriches your journey like never before.
So, what exactly is volunteer travel? It's an incredible opportunity to contribute your time, skills, and passion to meaningful projects while travelling. It allows you to connect with local communities, understand their challenges, and actively participate in projects that bring about positive change. The possibilities are endless, from teaching children in rural villages to protecting wildlife habitats.
I had heard about this concept 5-6 years ago for the first time and though it sounded fascinating, I guess I was busy generally exploring the world like a novice to be able to take on this idea. But I'm more open & mature to understand the need for such type of travel opportunities which is another unique way to connect with local culture and at the same time give back to the community.
Volunteer travel takes you off the beaten path, providing an immersive experience that traditional tourism often can't replicate. By working closely with local communities, you gain a deep understanding of their customs, traditions, and way of life. Imagine sharing meals, stories, and laughter with locals who become your friends and mentors.
Every act of volunteerism, no matter how small, has the power to create a ripple effect. Whether you're involved in community projects, environmental initiatives, or educational programs, you leave a lasting impact and empower others to do the same.
It is also a great way to engage your kids in community service while travelling. The learnings & experience that they will gain in different projects with you by their side will forge some core memories for them to look back on & cherish for a lifetime. It can also be a great way to teach your kids the importance of giving back to society. The connections they make on this volunteer journey will be priceless, opening doors to new opportunities and collaborations for them.
If you are inclined, you can plan your whole trip to volunteer or part of a trip. Say a day or two dedicated to volunteering in & around the place you are travelling to, and then you can continue your journey.
There are so many places in India where you can go for volunteer travelling such as Spiti Ecosphere, Himachal Pradesh, WWOOF India, Uttarakhand, Fertile Ground, Assam, Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra, Chiplun, Maharashtra and many more. Based on your liking, you can choose how and what projects you want to associate yourself with.
And if you think it will be all about community service, let's not forget the incredible memories you'll make along the way. From witnessing breathtaking landscapes to engaging in cultural celebrations, your volunteer travel experience will be sprinkled with unforgettable moments. The memories created will remain etched in your heart forever, reminding you of the beauty of giving back.
I am seriously considering this idea & I urge you to consider volunteer travel as a fresh way to explore the world. It's a chance to make a positive impact while indulging your wanderlust.
Remember, travelling is not just about where you go, but also the mark you leave behind. Let's explore the world together and make it a better place, one step at a time.
Happy travels with a purpose!