What’s the best thing about volunteering?
Some would say it’s the knowledge they’re making a difference. Others say it’s the feeling of being more connected to others and engaging with the community.
Now, if you’ve been toying with the idea of volunteering, we say go for it. It’s even better if you volunteer abroad. And if you’re the type who likes to look for signs, this is it.
Just the fact that you’re reading this is your first sign. Consider it as the universe pointing you in the right direction. If you’re not convinced, here are 7 more that will have you packing your bags in no time.
1. You’ve Been Itching to Broaden Your Horizons
Sure, almost everyone your age has big plans to become a more well-rounded person…someday. But if lately, that’s all you ever think and talk about, there’s a good chance your someday should be now.
One of the best ways to do that is by traveling on your own. Think about it. In your previous travels, you’re probably always with your friends or family.
And while that gives you a chance to talk and interact with the locals, it can’t compare to delving into the local culture when you’re traveling solo. Combine that with volunteering and you get a unique opportunity to become a better person overall.
2. You’re Ready for Change
If your 9 to 5 routine has you feeling down most of the time, it might be time to disengage and get a new perspective on your life. Becoming a volunteer abroad is a good way to see if you’re still on the right path.
You see, most people often have clear plans for how their careers are supposed to go. When life throws a wrench in those plans, they either find a way to succeed or beat themselves up for not doing things right.
If you find yourself falling into the latter category, a change of pace, scenery, and routine would do you a world of good. Plus, being away from family, friends, and everything that seems familiar can really bring into focus the things that matter most.
Now, it doesn’t mean you have to abandon your career plans entirely. Post-trip, you might just find that you’re better equipped to handle the pressures of your regular life, thanks to the new experiences you’ve gained as a volunteer.
3. You’re Tired of Traveling Aimlessly
Country hopping is fun. But if you want to add more meaning to your traveling, you should consider volunteering.
Of course, before you sign up for a volunteer program, make sure it’s backed by a reputable organization, who’s genuine about helping communities. The last thing you want to do is be stuck in a dead end volunteer project with dispassionate leaders.
You want to make sure you get the most out of your volunteer trip. And not just in terms of exploring the country where you’re staying. You want to be confident that you’re a part of something that makes a positive difference in the lives of people you’re helping.
4. You Need Experience to Back Your Vision
There’s no denying that volunteer work will look good on your resume. It might even help you land the job you want. But that shouldn’t be your only sign to become a volunteer abroad.
You want to volunteer because you want to learn new skills or put the skills you already have to good use. If you gain new skills through your volunteer experience and it helped you advance in your career, that’s just a bonus.
Don’t forget that volunteering isn’t about you. It’s about the communities you are helping. If you don’t have the skills or unwilling to learn new ones, it’s better for you to just donate money.
5. You Want to Do More
If you’ve always volunteered in your community and feel that you’re ready to bring your experience with you overseas, you don’t even need a sign to go for it.
Of course, it’s possible for anyone to join a voluntourism program even if he or she doesn’t have a lot of experience. As long as that person knows how to work independently but still work great in a group and willing to work without expecting anything in return, he or she will do fine.
But if you want more preparation, you can try dedicating a few hours of your time to an institution closer to home. For example, a homeless shelter, local school, or animal rescue site, are good opportunities to gain some volunteering skills. The important thing is to get a feel for the job and understand your strengths and weaknesses as a volunteer.
6. You Already Have a Checklist
Have you been researching volunteer programs in your spare time? Do you have a good idea regarding the costs, requirements, and reviews of specific volunteer abroad opportunities?
If you already have a checklist, there’s really nothing stopping you from applying and just doing it. Just make sure you know the ins and outs of the volunteer program you’re thinking of joining. From there, you’re ready to make another list – your packing list!
7. You’re Thinking About Your Next One
If this isn’t your first time joining an overseas volunteer program and you’re already thinking about other opportunities even before you end your program, congratulations. You’ve officially caught the volunteer traveling bug.
And that’s always a good thing. It’s probably your destiny to become a lifelong volunteer. If this sounds like you, then you really don’t need signs.
What you need is to find others like you, and add more members to the global family of volunteers.
Want to Become a Volunteer Abroad?
We invite you to check out our story. If you share the same passion and commitment to giving back to society, don’t forget to take a look at our projects.
For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.