What You Need to Know Before Volunteering Abroad

Travel Overseas with Confidence

 

If you are interested in volunteering abroad let me just start off by saying thank you. Thank you for investing part of your life to giving back. Volunteering abroad is one of the best things you can do for not only others but yourself. You are able to get a glance into the lives of what you never knew existed. These are the memories you will always look back on and your great great grandchildren will remember you for.

 

About Me 

Volunteering abroad has opened my eyes to what I am really meant to do in this world. It has broadened my horizons in so many different ways. People message me on social media every day simply asking me how they can do it to. There is so much interest in traveling. Many want to do it but are to scared, can’t find a program they trust, or don’t know how to take that leap. I want to share my experience with you. There are so many people out there looking to travel abroad to help those born into unfortunate circumstances and make an impact. They just don’t know how to get started. How to make it work with a full time job. Just how to make it work at all.

 

You made it to step one. You found me and my page. I want to help others develop the confidence to solo travel. I have known that this is the life I want to live sense I was 11 years old. Why? I still don’t know the answer to that. I believe that you are born with a passion. There doesn’t always have to be a why. After debating for 5 years and waisting time I was finally able to take that leap out of my comfort zone … to a whole new world. A whole new culture. Ever sense I took that leap there was no turning back. I am determined to continue this childhood passion of mine. I am not only dedicating my life to making a impact but I am dedicated to helping other people who want to know more about volunteering abroad.

 

The Benefits of Volunteering Abroad

Volunteering gives you a new perspective on life. I’m sure that anyone who has volunteered abroad will tell you that it has changed them in a positive way. Before my first solo trip abroad I was so unsure about my life. I had no idea what career path I wanted to go down. I just choose what would make me the most money. That is what my life was based on. Money. I would accept these grueling night schedules just because I got that extra shift differential in my paycheck. It wasn’t until I came back from my first volunteer trip that my eyes were completely opened. It was like I was sleeping for years. My life would no longer be based on money. I wasn’t going to be scared of money anymore. Money wasn’t going to control me. I’m going to base my career path on a passion instead.

Once you see what is really out there in the world, not just on TV but with your own two eyes. It is like this switch in your brain gets turned on and all of a sudden you are able to see so many different perspectives. I don’t mean just perspectives of the wealthy and the poor or America vs any other country. I mean the woman who is throwing an un necessary scene at the check out line. That teeny bopper kid who is always getting into trouble. Experiencing other cultures helps you to better understand the WHY behind everything.

 

Make New Friendships. The people that I have met traveling abroad hold such a dear and special place in my heart. You will meet people from all over the world that have the same passion as you. They have all taken the same risks as you, have had the same fears, questions, the same excitements, the same goals. The friends you make volunteering abroad are like no other friendship. You are able to make easy connections through out the entire world.

 

 

“When I arrived in New Delhi India I figured out the airline had lost my luggage. I was so upset and worried what I would do for the next few days. The first volunteers I met greeted me with a huge smile and a hug. They were so nice and made sure I had everything I needed until my luggage arrived. We all instantly clicked. All of us were so excited to be there but had the same fears. I will never forget any of the people I met with IVHQ India.” – Cassie (IVHQ Volunteer)

 

A Sensitivity to New and Unfamiliar Cultures. Most of us grow up in one country our entire lives. We think that our culture is THE culture just because we don’t know of anything else. There is a big difference between traveling abroad and volunteering abroad. Volunteering abroad gives you a better sense of the local life in that country. You are working hand and hand with local villages, schools, hospitals. None of that is made up to be “touristy”. You develop a sensitivity to understanding and adapting to a culture that is completely unfamiliar.

 

 

You are stretched Socially, Physically and Mentally. Volunteering abroad solo will challenge you in various different directions. The other volunteers and staff workers are your lifeline. Being social and outgoing with a group of new people isn’t always easy for everyone. The social skills you begin to adapt can always impact you for the better. You are pushed out of any social comfort zones you had. This is why traveling solo is full of so many extra benefits. You say things you wouldn’t have said before, take the lead when you usually are not the leader. If you had your friends or family with you, there would be less risks taken and boundaries pushed.

Volunteering makes you happier. When you are helping others to create happiness you are improving your overall happiness as well. According to Social Science and Medicine relationships, a study done by researchers at London School of Economics examined people. The ones who volunteer vs people who don’t volunteer. They found the percentage of happier people were volunteers. The improvement in your overall psychological well-being is very beneficial. It is said to release depression, stress and anxiety. Creating a close connection with something; a child, a family, an animal or the other volunteers creates a security net in your mind.

 

Finding a Trustworthy Program

 

 

 

This is the part that scares most people away. How do I find a volunteer program that I know is safe and trustworthy to give my money to? Volunteering in many cases is the cheapest way to travel the world, but there are obvious fees to travel. The way to make sure you are not getting yourself into an untrustworthy company is to do your research. Have a look around their website. Do they have a set of core values? How many volunteers have traveled with them before? What do the reviews say? Good and bad. Have people posted youtube videos? Can you contact them? Try to find some current blog posts from other travelers.

It wasn’t very long ago I found myself doing my own research on which volunteer program was going to do the most for me. I came across a website called IVHQ. I did my research for weeks before I decided that they were the ones to join. IVHQ has some of the cheapest fees for an all inclusive program in the world. They have a mission not only to make a difference in over 40 different destinations all over the globe, but to make it possible for more people to be able to afford the experience.

I didn’t feel as much stress as I thought I would going through the starting process. I picked my program, picked my destination paid a reasonable registration fee and then got access to loads of more information. They provide you with a program guide that walks you through everything step by step. Requirements to enter the country, packing check list, what to expect, your volunteer schedule, places to visit, what’s included, what’s not included, how to stay safe and much more to prepare you.

It was really stressful for me getting passed that first registration. I had finally made the commitment and there wasn’t any going back from there. I was really nervous about taking the risk to trust IVHQ at first. Now a days we are subject to falling into many online scams. I am always on my toes when it comes to trusting people online. I worked for a bank call center for over a year. I had customers calling in daily that were victims of fraud from online purchases.

Sometimes you just need to take a few scary risks for amazing things to happen. I am so glad I finally decided after contemplating for so long to trust this program. I still encourage you to do your own research on a few programs before going with IVHQ. That is what the full experience is all about.

 

 

I’m sure after researching a few programs IVHQ will still be one of the top on your list. Here are a few reasons why …

  • 100,000 volunteers have traveled with IVHQ since 2007

  • Has a reputation for most affordable travel fees

  • Quality and reliable support services before, during and after travel.

  • Volunteer safety is the top priority

  • Orientations before and during travel for reassurance and valuable information

  • 24/7 in country support

  • 15 different programs to choose from

  • Promo codes available for discounted registration fee.

 

Please reach out to me if you have any questions on volunteer travel or if you want to receive a 10% discount promo code for IVHQ registration fee.

 

Email: admin@toptravelbags.com

 

 

 

 

 

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