Choosing between a holiday trip and a volunteer vacation can get really tricky, given that not many know the differences between the two.
Everybody loves vacationing – it’s the best way to ditch the monotony and the cacophony of the daily urban lives. But, have you ever thought about how will it be, if your vacation fruitfully adds something to someone else’s life?
“Voluntourism” – perhaps it’s a new word for you, but add it to your vocabulary because it’s an experience that’ll change your perceptions about a holiday; for good. More and more people around the globe (especially, the millennials) are planning to spend their vacations in a way that they can give something back to the society. And, volunteering vacations have their benefits too.
But what exactly are these differences that set apart the two forms of traveling? Let’s have a look at some of them;
An Enriching Journey
While on a holiday you explore the places, but a volunteer trip will give you a chance to know the people closely – about their daily lives, and their culture and heritage.
Not only that, it also enables you to know about your skills, and stretch yourself to a different extent where you become flexible enough to fit into that particular society.
A volunteer trip isn’t just an outward journey, but an inward journey as well.
Experience The Authenticity
As a tourist, it’s natural to miss out various things while visiting a country abroad. As a volunteer, you get to see the ‘real’ way of life in the community you’re visiting. Eat where the locals eat, shop where the locals shop and so on, rather than moving between tourist-traps that are often overcrowded and overpriced.
Nonetheless, a volunteer trip will provide you enough time and opportunity to explore the forts and museums and beaches and pubs!
There is no doubt about it that a volunteer holiday will leave you with a much more well-rounded view of the country you’re visiting.
Make New Bonds That You Cherish Forever
It’s bliss to touch the lives of others in a country where people barely know you. You can use your skills and make a difference to their lives in the best way possible.
As tourists, people are mostly engrossed with themselves, but volunteer trip gives you the chance to step out of your comfort zone, and get into conversation with people who probably doesn’t even properly speak the language you understand.
A volunteer trip will help you make stronger emotional bonds.
Long-Lasting and Meaningful Friendships
Holidays are mostly planned with friends and family – with people you’ve known forever; or solo. A volunteer trip is a great way to make new friends, especially if you are travelling solo.
The uniqueness of the experiences can help you foster lasting and meaningful friendships with fellow volunteers from a multitude of ethnic backgrounds and it’s an opportunity to learn about different cultures from all over the world.
And if you are volunteering with your spouse or parents, then even better – they also get to bond with your friends!
A holiday to a foreign destination might seem heavy to your pocket, as the tourist-packages mostly come with a minimum of a 3-star accommodation. Add the cost of transportation, by private vehicles, to it and you have a nice fat check vacating your bank account.
Sharing accommodation with other volunteers is much cheaper, and it’s more fun when you travel in public transport. And if you are lucky enough, you might get someone who would agree to fund your volunteer trip!
So, the next time when you’ll feel like escaping from the daily chores, try to look for volunteering options in your favorite destination. Breathe in freshness, and put a smile on someone else’s face.
(Written by Guest Author: Dronacharya Dave)