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Why Volunteer? – 4 Reasons

In Travel Tips by Kaspars Misins14 Comments

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At the beginning of 2014 volunteering was something unknown for us. But then, after 5 months of being on the road, during our first time long term trip abroad, when thinking about where to go next and how to do it for less money, an idea to try volunteering came to my mind. Some days later it was decided – we will try to volunteer using Workaway.info for two or three weeks in Malaysia.

These two or three weeks in our first place on Langkawi island in Malaysia – volunteering on a yacht – turned into almost three months. But next “few weeks” in France – volunteering in the castle – into almost two months. And we volunteered again and again. In Italy. Then in France and Spain, and in Malaysia again.

But, why to volunteer, you will ask? And I will answer.

1. Volunteer to Experience Local People’s Lifestyle

Working and living together with local people gives you that exclusive chance to see a local culture from a completely different perspective. Because you are no longer only a tourist passing by, you are living like a local. You will live like a local. You will eat like a local. You will spend your time like a local.

Who knows all the best places around if not a person living there. Ask your host about everything you are interested in!

2. Volunteer to Learn New Skills

You want to try work in a hotel? Or in a farm? But maybe your dream is to try and live on a boat for some time? Search for places you are most interested in and apply! Go for your dreams!

It’s always good to have some skills or practical experience to offer, when applying for a volunteer job. But from our experience in many situations such qualities as quick learning and self-sufficiency will be more than enough.

3. Volunteer to Meet Like-Minded People

In some places these people will be your hosts. In another places, especially the ones were they have been inviting volunteers for some time already, there usually are more than 1-2 volunteers at a time. But while working in a hostel or hotel you will meet new people every day.

Travelers. Adventurers. People with unique and interesting life stories.

4. Volunteer to Travel Cheaper

Accommodation costs. Skip them. Food costs. Skip them. What’s left? Transportation costs for getting from a place A to a place B. And some personal costs for some personal things. That’s it!

But that means, you can now TRAVEL MORE FOR LESS MONEY. Isn’t that fantastic?

happy girl - volunteer

Have you ever tried volunteering? What was your experience?

Kaspars Misins

Author: Kaspars Misins

Kaspars is a long term traveler and a travel blogger from Latvia. He loves going on long walks, reading non fiction books and spending time outdoors. Together with his girlfriend Una they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since 2013. On We Are From Latvia they share their experience and things learned along the way.

Comments

  1. Avatar

    I haven’t tried volunteering abroad yet, but I’m planning to try it this summer as I make my way across Europe. It’s such a great way to not only travel for less money but to also immerse yourself a little more in the culture of that country!

    1. Kaspars Misiņš Author

      Exactly! :) I suggest you to apply some months in advance. And if you are using Workaway or something similar, find also some “backup” host, just in case, you don’t like the first place or something changes.

  2. Avatar

    i haven’t tried volunteering yet, but it definitely looks like something I would enjoy. Truly seeing how the locals live would be fantastic.

    1. Kaspars Misiņš Author

      You can try and volunteer somewhere close to your home as well ;)

  3. Avatar

    Soo soo true… People don’t realize just how much you can gert out of volunteering… I wrote a similar post awhile back, (trying to dig up the link at the moment), and since have been hopping around from volunteer position to volunteer position… I know spend 3 months a year working, about 3 months travelling around and the rest volunteering… My biggest advice to anyone is to volunteer at least once long term… the benefits are remarkable…

    Found the link:

    http://stepupdivein.com/travel-longer/volunteer/why-volunteer-abroad/

  4. Avatar

    Sounds like some great experiences! Some of my most memorable travel experiences have occurred when I’m volunteering. It’s such a great way to really dive into a country and make fast and lasting connections with the people you’re working with. I’ve volunteered in Haiti, Costa Rica, and Peru with Volunteers for Peace, and I recently volunteered at Vietnam Friendship Village in Hanoi! I’ve loved every experience! I’ve never heard of Workaway, I’ll have to check it out! I’m always looking for great volunteer opportunities. :)

    1. Kaspars Misiņš Author

      That was great experience :) But how you look for volunteering opportunities? How you find them?

  5. Avatar

    So true! I remember when I went to Costa Rica for a month, I found a volunteer opportunity in a permaculture farm, and I remember some of my friends saying, you only have a month in a country and you are going to spend a week volunteering? If only they knew how much I got from that experience, not only skills related to organic farming but about their culture, their language, their food, politics, gorgeous and unknown places. It is one of the things I cherish the most about my time in Costa Rica.

  6. Avatar

    I LOVE volunteering abroad! The tricky part is finding organizations that don’t charge you a ton. So far, I’ve worked with exotic rescue animals in Ecuador, pandas in China, and taught English and art in Argentina, Nicaragua, and Taiwan. I’m hoping that my next volunteer experience will be in Tanzania.

    1. Kaspars Misiņš Author

      What are the companies you have worked with so far? I have used only Workaway, which charges only once, when you register, and still that’s just some 20 euros.

  7. Pingback: Prepare for your first time volunteering - We Are From Latvia

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