Volunteer Vacations for the Cultural Traveler

Perhaps you have had a passion for traveling around the world, but have not had the funds to do so. Cultural travel does not have to be only for the people who have the money to travel. There are volunteer vacations for the cultural traveler. Ok, I can hear you saying, “yeah but I have to dig trenches, or wells somewhere in a country that is difficult to get to.”  If you are reading this, you are already a different kind of traveler. You’ll be surprised to know that you can go just about anywhere in the world and volunteer your services, or lend a helping hand in your area of expertise.

Yurt in Mongolia

Why not Volunteer in Mongolia?

You don’t even have to take your spouse or a friend along. You can go solo and see the world by engaging yourself in the rich experience of  a volunteer vacation. While the Peace Corps offers a long term committment of service, there are many smaller organizations and places in the world where cultural travel meets a total immersion into culture, language, song, dance, and community. There are different types of volunteer vacations, so it is good to know which type best meets your needs.  Jill Schensul writes:

Volunteer vacations: Do good, see new places and meet like-minded travelers. Not only is every sort of opportunity available — everywhere in the world — but you’ll find most programs draw single travelers. An estimated two-thirds of all Habitat for Humanity International volunteers sign up solo; the Global Volunteer Network estimated that 90 percent of its volunteers, who work with partner organizations in China, Ecuador, Ghana, Nepal, New Zealand, Romania, Russia, Thailand and Uganda, are solo; Global Volunteers, another far-reaching group, says 60 percent of its travelers are solo volunteers.

From Kathmandu to Tanzania, volunteer vacations can enrich not only the experience of the culture in which you are volunteering, but will also guarantee the cultural traveler a life changing experience that engages your heart in a rich connection of cultural understanding and real authentic relationships between cultural members. As a cultural volunteer myself, I can attest to the richness of being immersed in a working, learning environment where you experience living with a family, seeing the culture firsthand, and knowing the similarities that exist between all human beings no matter where you were born on the planet.Read more about trips for people who want to travel solo including volunteerism, here.


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