Volunteer your Way around the World

Among the many creative ways to travel for free, or pretty damn close, we cover Volunteering quite a bit in How To Travel For Free.

Shelley and Keith volunteer at an orphanage in India – October 2010

As the book points out, this one of a kind cultural immersion is a great way to insure against “consumerist travel,” as well as providing the typical end discovery that you have received far more from the volunteer experience than you gave. There is no better way to become immersed in a community than to serve it – and in this way the “volunteer explore” travel concept can’t be beat.

I (Shelley) write a bit for Gap Daemon, a UK-based website geared at people taking a gap year. Recently one of my articles there outlined many aspects to volunteering your way around the world, including tips such as:

  • Incorporate Volunteering into Existing Travel Plans
  • Volunteer for Longer, Rather Than Shorter, Periods of Time
  • Plan Your Volunteer Route for Maximum Effectiveness
  • Follow Your Passion

Shelley volunteers at Care for Dogs shelter in Chiang Mai, Thailand – November 2010

Many non-profit organisations rely on volunteers to carry out their daily missions; if you plan it right, you can work your way around the world very cheaply by doing volunteer service gigs. David Clemmons, founder of VolunTourism, adds another perspective – the value that is created when people of different cultures become role models for each other. The influx of foreign voluntourists into isolated villages and impoverished communities provides a direct contact with alternative cultural traditions, especially for girls.

Seeing a woman from another country bending over a shovel, digging a canal or irrigation ditch, may influence the adult women and their daughters in ways that we are not currently aware,” says Clemmons.

Don’t overlook the possibility of volunteering for free or cheap travel – not to mention the incredible experiences it will bring. Click here to read the entire article at Gap Daemon.

Travel Well!

Shelley and Keith

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About Shelley Seale

I'm Shelley, a journeyer and learner of the world, freelance journalist and author, yoga chick and dog lover. I pound the keyboard from home barefoot every day, and while my boss is demanding she also occasionally lets me have the early afternoon cocktail. I think not going into an office or collecting corporate paychecks are very good ideas, though not always profitable. I have written for National Geographic, USA Today, The Guardian, Texas Monthly and CNN, among others. Neither the New York Times nor Johnny Depp have answered my letters yet. I love yoga, indie movies, wine, and books, though not necessarily in that order. I believe in karma. Mean people suck. If I could have any dream job I would like to be a superhero. I have performed a catch on the flying trapeze, boarded down a live volcano and was once robbed by a monkey in Nepal. But, I don't know how to whistle. My mantra is "travel with a purpose."
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2 Responses to Volunteer your Way around the World

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Volunteer your Way around the World | How To Travel For Free (or pretty damn near it!) -- Topsy.com

  2. Gagan says:

    Dear All ,

    We have Volunteer & Gap Year Opportunity in INDIA .

    Those who want to join our Projects for social causes, can visit our web : http://www.heeals.org/volunteer

    or mail us at : communications@heeals.org

    Explore INDIA as a Volunteer .
    with best wishes from India
    Gagan

    Like

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