*In honor of what this week means, I’ve written this post. We’re headed into a week of celebration, family, and gratitude. I want us all to remember our “why,” our purpose.
I hope everyone enjoys their holiday and safe travels to those who are traveling.
Have you served your destination today? Support the community you’re visiting through volunteer opportunities and so much more. You may be limited for time, but it’s evident that a trip to a new destination is always a beautiful experience. Interestingly, giving back while on your vacation makes the experience much more fulfilling.
Rather than just casually visiting your dream city or town and enjoying the scenery and natural resources present, you can choose to positively affect the community and its people while at it. By so doing, you nicely combine your love for travel with the goal to assist and support other places. What can be more reaching?
Taking on such a huge opportunity is exciting, but can also be intimidating. It’s no easy feat as the learning curve is steep. You’ll be dealing with different personalities from all over the world. However, with a few tips at your fingertips, you’ll be good to go. Here are 4 ways you can beautifully impact your dream destination through volunteer work and more.
Embrace the culture
Your first step to making an impact in any destination is to embrace the community’s culture. Naturally, locals appreciate it when visitors can really just blend in and embrace the environment. They tend to easily warm up to a visitor genuinely interested in their way of life.
Culture shock is inevitable, however. It affects others at different rates and times. So when you find yourself in a new place, with time, familiarity, and thorough research, you can overcome it.
Still, get in there. Start with the basics, curb your inner excesses, and embrace where you are. Pay attention to the rules, traditions, and processes going on around you, and try to follow along. Eat their special delicacies, try to learn the language, or you could ask for help from a local or tour guide.
Note: Don’t try to know more than the local people. Always be a student and absorb what is happening around you.
Engage in social workshops
Communities organize social workshops to help grow their localities. These do not only apply to only local communities but also major cities too. Most communities develop and engage in programs that anyone, regardless of where they come from could work with. These programs stretch across humanitarian resources making sure that people give voluntarily and not by force. Some of their programs could include teaching at a local school, assisting small business owners, or conserving nature.
While traveling in your destination, you can get involved in one of such workshops. A lot of people tend to feel extremely happy giving their all generously through social workshops. It gives a sense of gratitude. Looking for memories? Indulge yourself then. You’d be surprised what you and the local community will gain from the experience.
Support the locals
The locals are one of the easiest means through which you can add spice to an environment. This attests to the fact that they are the first point of contact, therefore they play an important role in impacting your stay and vice versa. Do you want to make an impact? Get acquainted with them, patronize their local businesses, initiate conversations with them.
Rather than storm a fancy, exotic restaurant, patronize the local eateries. Indulge the mailman, the delivery guy, hand out tips to the steward. Buy artworks from that upcoming artist. The sole purpose is to enjoy your stay while also leaving footprints in that community. Don’t get lost in the superficial aspects of your travels.
Seek voluntary work
Planning ahead can provide you with the best opportunity to partner and assist a local organization. You have a set of skills. Thus, you can volunteer abroad and support a community with those skills. While most organizations have a minimum period of one-week to volunteer, you can make arrangements that will work best for you and them. Plan months in advance and work with leading platforms like GivingWay that connects prospective volunteers with local organizations.
Just do it. There are countless places looking for future volunteers like you. This is the chance to see how the community operates and what it means to be a member. I will never regret my own volunteer experience.
Looking for volunteer opportunities? Choose one of these 8 destinations!