Whether it’s because so many young people are just struggling for cash or they’re more aware of their role in the world, volunteering abroad is quickly becoming the norm. But with so many programs popping up everywhere, it’s a little daunting to figure out where to start.
It’s best to just sit down with a map and pick a place. Don’t worry too much about the location screaming “volunteer.” There are plenty of options in almost any part of the world, so go somewhere you’d really enjoy.
Now change every preconceived idea you have about volunteering and take stock of what you’re actually good at. It’s not helpful volunteering on a building project if you’ve never picked up a hammer, but it is if you’re a Habitat for Humanity veteran. Considering your strengths isn’t just important for your overall satisfaction, it’s more respectful to the people opening their homes to you.
Figure out how long you feel comfortable volunteering and find an option that works within that time frame. Some programs require a few months of commitment while others prefer only a few days. Give yourself some wiggle room for independent travel before or after because volunteering, though rewarding, can be demanding.
Unsure of what opportunities are even out there? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Organic farming in France: wwoof.net
- Washing dishes at a family owned restaurant in Turkey: workaway.info
- Protecting the rainforest in Ecuador: jatunsacha.org/jatun-sacha-biological-reserve
- Teaching English in Thailand : travel-to-teach.org
- Building homes in Costa Rica: habitat.org
- Working with Tibetan women refugees in India: tibetanwomen.org
Winter in Boston is a magical experience; from a stroll across the frosted Public Gardens to holiday shopping on Newbury Street, the festive season comes alive in Boston.
A perfect New England holiday season awaits in Central Massachusetts. West of Boston, the state offers plenty of small-town holiday charm and events.
Spain’s capital brims with historical sites, tapas and neighborhoods to explore. Home to world-class art museums, breathtaking architecture and a spectacular dining scene, Madrid is a feast for all senses. If you only have two days to explore the city, don’t worry. We spoke with Four Seasons Hotel Madrid’s concierge team to give you the best insight for your short trip to Madrid.
From the windy tip of Malin Head in County Donegal to the colorful harbor town of Kinsale in County Cork, Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way amazes at every turn. Feel the blast of fresh sea air with a lighthouse walk. Get up close to history, grab a fireside seat at a traditional music session, experience the world-famous Irish hospitality and explore some of Ireland's most exhilarating coastal scenery. It is a place that inspired dreamers and travelers, poets and painters with a landscape filled with stone walls, thatched cottages, deserted beaches and breathtaking views. Charming towns and villages, 1,500 miles of soaring cliffs, incredible landscapes and unique experiences await.
For travelers looking for a dessert escape this holiday season, Oasis at Death Valley awaits. Ancient waters bubble up from the ground to support an entire ecosystem at Oasis at Death Valley, a secluded resort tucked into the dramatic desert setting off Death Valley National Park.