Defining the power of meaningful travel is not as straight forward as one may think. The term usually means a variety of options to many different people, however ultimately, it’s to do with something that is generally over and beyond your usual routine during an overseas travel adventure.
Many ideas come to mind in pursuit of meaningful travel and it’s not always the common suggestion that is the first choice, which is to volunteer abroad. Naturally, the volunteer abroad programs are a big winner for many travellers and rightfully so, because it’s a gratifying experience in life which I had the privilege to do first hand during a trip to Laos in the year of 2017 when I was teaching English as a foreign language.
There are a lot more avenues in giving back to the community that volunteer programs when you feel the need to travel the world and give assistance to those who need a helping hand. In this article, we will discuss several options available to the traveller, so you too can have the power of meaningful travel and contribute back to the world in any way you can.
If you are considering volunteering abroad, check out this great book from amazon that gives an essential guide volunteering in another country.
The Power of meaningful travel – Get Inspired to Help Others
Go on Volunteer Vacations
To volunteer overseas is an achievement that every traveller should experience at least once in their lifetime. I say a minimum of once because the international volunteer programs do not come cheap and it is a program that you need to fork out a great deal of money to achieve the selfless adventure. On top of the program price, you also need to include, flights, visas and insurance, it all mounts up.
Voluntary work can be a hard challenge, you don’t stay in flush accommodation, amenities are nothing fancy, the food is decent but it’s not home cooking and getting efficient WIFI could be a challenge for those who must have it. A good WIFI connection can depend on the organisation you volunteer with.
The experience, however, will be more than worthwhile after you get past the minor negatives involved. You’ll meet wonderful people (fellow volunteers) who you’ll remember for years to come, the satisfaction of completing your daily challenges will be self-rewarding and you’ll visit real villages that have strong values and culture. It those memories of the locals in their everyday habitat that you’ll remember most during your time volunteering abroad.
There are many reputable volunteer organizations around the world you can choose for this opportunity and you can consider volunteering in South Africa, Laos, Nepal, Peru and even exotic Fiji. In fact, there are several countries available in all parts of the world for you to select from. Types of voluntary work to choose from include, teaching English, Construction, Wildlife Care and Environmental.
Best Volunteer Programs World-wide
Partake in Adventure Vacations for a specific charity
Perhaps you want to push the limit and go on a hike through theHimalayas in Nepal or take on the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea. You can attempt these adventure holidays and do it for a good cause by setting up a foundation with a charity and raising funds through a reputable organisation.
Adventure travel is often used by a group of people or individuals who love the challenge of completing difficult obstacles, setting up YouTube channels, a website, finding an appropriate charity to partner up with and promote their cause through a variety of methods. A popular type of charities to partner up with include Cancer Council, domestic violence organisations, or children’s health charities to name a few organisations.
Have a year off with gap year travel
For those of you that don’t know what Gap year travel is, it’s a term commonly used by young Australians, who wish to take a year off studies upon graduating from high school before going into university or the work force. So, if you were to finish year-12 in 2018, you would travel for 2019, before enrolling into university for 2020.
Whether you like the concept or not, it’s an option for young adults who want an epic adventure around the globe before getting into the grind of the real world, which entails, jobs, bills and other responsibilities that come with adult life.
Maybe the travel experience is not what you would call “meaningful” as it is generally a backpacking adventure through Europe type of trip where the only contributions you are giving to visiting countries is through the economy. Although, that’s not to say that volunteering work is not an option, because many young people do elect to do it for a couple of weeks during their time abroad. Remember if you’re planning on having a year off for an adventure around the world, be sure to purchase travel insurance for any long-term travel plans.
Gap Year Ideas to consider
Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL Jobs)
Get paid to travel and contribute to the world by teaching English as a Foreign Language, also known as TEFL.
If you have the patience of being in a classroom for countless hours and teaching English to those who don’t come close to speaking your language, this could be the ideal work vacation for you and while I have never been involved in TEFL previously, the average income is around $3000-per-month, which is quite adequate.
To begin the process of partaking in TEFL jobs you don’t need a degree in teaching, although in some countries it is a requirement, usually, it only requires you to do a TEFL course, get security checks and be interviewed as you would a real job for your choice of employment abroad. You can check out the i to i website for further details on how to prepare for TEFL travel.
ECO travels – Look after the environment
Ecotourism is becoming more popular in the travel and tourism industry. You can play your part in the pursuit of meaningful travel, by electing to choose an adventure through a trusted tour company that is environmentally friendly and sustains the well-being of those who live in the land.
This is not my own words but of those at International Ecotourism Society “ecotourism is ecologically sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing natural areas that foster environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation.”
There are many travel companies worldwide who get involved in ecotourism and if this is the new-age way of travelling for you, which I think is fantastic, then you can find ideal ways to contribute and help the globe environmentally. To find the right ECO travel adventure, you can begin by looking at the internet and selecting the right tour, hotels or adventure that is appropriate for you and the environment. You may be surprised at what is out there.
Go fund or donate to a good cause
You can’t afford to travel!!! Well, that is unfortunate, to begin with, however, if you are still looking at giving back to the community, you can donate as much or as little money to funding sites that work with reputable organisations around the world.
Perhaps you feel the need to donate because you have a family member or close friend who is volunteering abroad, and you want to assist in their good cause. You may know someone who is partaking in adventure travel to raise funds to stop Animal Cruelty, again you can help by donating whatever you can give, or by spreading the good word through your social media channels.
You do not have to board a plane to feel the power of meaningful travel, not at all. Most of the time travel is an expensive exercise that is not always affordable and while we would love a better work-life balance, that is not always sustainable.
The next time you are looking at a new type of adventure, why don’t you consider ways of giving back to the world and go volunteer in faraway destination, teach English abroad in places like South Korea or China, or partake in a ecotourism exercise that is sustainable travel for not only yourself, but for the locals who live in the land. You’ll get the Fair Dinkum Traveller tick of approval and I know that is what you are all striving for.