Volunteering overseas can be an amazing experience, no matter where you go or what you do. One of the big questions you’ll want to ask yourself is whether you want to travel as part of a group or on your own.
There is a lot to be said for traveling solo and volunteering, so here are some of the main benefits along with tips to making the experience a success.
Why Traveling Solo when Volunteering?
There are many reasons why traveling alone can be a great option. For a start, you have complete freedom to go where you want, when you want. After you have finished your volunteering program, you might want to go traveling, and if you are alone you can do whatever you want.
It also helps you to get immersed in the culture, which is one of the many benefits of volunteering. You are not tempted to spend all your time with people from the same background as you, and you are forced to join in more with the culture where you are living.
You will also make new friends, both with local people and with other solo travelers, so you will never really be entirely alone.
You’re also forced out of your comfort zone. You have to go out of your way to socialize, and no one makes plans for you. This can lead to some of the most rewarding experiences.
How to Make the Most of Volunteering Alone
Make sure it’s really something you want to do on your own. There are other options when you decide how to volunteer abroad, such as volunteering as a couple or in a group, so be sure that you are making the right decision.
If you know that you want to go alone, start looking for the perfect project. Make sure you are doing something that you find interesting because you don’t want to get stuck on a project that you don’t enjoy. Do your research and find out everything that is involved.
It can be miserable if you are doing something you don’t enjoy while you are also all on your own, and a good volunteering organization can provide you with all the details before you make your decision.
Find out if any other volunteers will be involved. Most volunteering involves a group element.
Will you be living with other volunteers who you’ll meet when you arrive? How many? Is this something that you want to do?
Do lots of research. Look at the various organizations offering volunteering programs, the different countries you could go, the destinations within those countries, and more. Find out what previous volunteers have done, and speak to solo volunteers to get an idea of what it involves.
Plan Your Solo Travels
Plan your travels as well. If you want to combine solo travel with your volunteering, plan ahead. You don’t need to plan every little detail, but plan enough to get you started and have a basic route in
mind. There may be some things you need to arrange early on, such as access to attractions that only allow a limited number of visitors each day.
Finally, stay in touch. Take your phone with you and get a local SIM card so you can speak to people back home. You don’t have to call every day, but make sure you can contact other people and they can contact you.
Discover the Joys of Volunteering Solo
Volunteering alone can be a wonderful and life-changing experience as long as you plan it properly. Keep these tips in mind and start looking into the possibility of volunteering on a program yourself, and then enjoy a wonderful experience that you’ll remember for a lifetime. – Travel Feeder