23 Jan 3 Reasons Why Volunteering Abroad Is Cheap And Meaningful Way to Travel Abroad For New International Travellers
Deciding to go traveling is a big step for anybody, especially so if you are going solo, and even more so if it’s your first time.
Even for the most adventurous of us, it can be a very disarming experience to get off a plane in a totally new environment, not knowing anybody and having to find your own way.
This makes it vital to plan sufficiently for any big trip. If it’s your first time, it’s also a good idea to find ways to take away some of the initial stress. Volunteering is perfect for this.
Volunteering can be an incredible way to spend your time when traveling. By giving your time and energy to a cause of your choice, you can make a difference to something that matters.
It also exposes you to exotic parts of the world that you may never have considered visiting previously. You will have the chance to meet a wide range of interesting people, from other travelers to local people. It can also save you a lot of money over staying in hotels and going on expensive tours, whilst giving you a far more authentic experience of a place.
Here are 3 of the things that make volunteering abroad the perfect way for first timers to travel.
- Soft Landing
Arriving in any new place can be a daunting prospect. It is often overwhelming to suddenly find yourself in a completely alien place, surrounded by alien sights, sounds, and smells. You may not be able to communicate with people and it might be hard to navigate.
Volunteering with a good organization can take away the stress from this initial adjustment period and act like a decompression chamber between home and your new surroundings. This is particularly important for inexperienced first-time travelers, but is also useful for more seasoned travelers.
With an organization like uVolunteer, you will be picked up at the airport by staff members and taken to your accommodation. You will also receive a few days of orientation time, allowing you to have guided tours of the hotspots of the local area like markets and sights.
Even after your orientation period, once you’ve started volunteer work, you will still have a support network of staff and other volunteers in place to assist you with anything you might need.
This kind of support is invaluable to new travelers and can help anybody build their confidence at their own pace.
- Home Away From Home
Another excellent benefit of choosing to volunteer as a first-time traveler is that you will be provided with many home comforts as part of the package.
Whilst you won’t be living in 5-star luxury (what’s exciting about that anyway?!) you will have everything you need, like food and accommodation.
With all of your basic needs be taken care of well in advance, you can focus all of your attention on the most important things like making friends, exploring the area, and working towards your chosen cause.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of having a place to call home when you are traveling for the first time, especially if you are going it alone. If you have a bad day or are missing home, having somewhere familiar and welcoming to return to at the end of the day can mean a lot. It can be the difference between feeling out of place and having a genuinely fulfilling, enjoyable time.
Knowing you have a secure base means you can choose when to go out and seek a bit more adventure.
- Built-In Travel Buddies
One of the best things about any kind of traveling is the people you meet and the friendships you build.
It’s very important to maintain a social life when traveling abroad. Being around good people who you get along with means you can share your amazing experiences with others.
It also really helps keep your mind off things and people you might be missing from back home, which is especially important if you’re a first-time traveler who is unused to being away for extended periods of time.
Working as a volunteer is the perfect way to ensure you are around a lot of great people and guarantee yourself the opportunity to make friends.
Not only will you be able to meet and learn about local people, but you will also be living alongside and working with other volunteers.
Volunteering takes a special kind of person. You need to be compassionate, adventurous, and always up for something a bit different. When you bring a group of people like this together from all over the world, friendships inevitably blossom.
You will have ample opportunities to work, hang-out, and travel with other volunteers, making your whole trip that much more enjoyable.
Nicoleta is the resident content blogger for uVolunteer. Nicoleta is an avid linguist, speaks fluent English, Chinese, French, Spanish and native Romanian. She spent a decade working in China in the education sector and working with major international development institutions and currently lives in Vancouver, Canada. She is passionate about volunteering, sustainable travel and has a soft spot for ethnic food.