Should you volunteer abroad?


Most travelers consider volunteering at some point. We see a need and we know that we have the time, energy, or money to be able to lend a hand and be a part of creating change. Helping people feels good. Working on environmental issues and seeing results is exciting. We don’t just want to talk about problems, we want to do something about them.

Most … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | October 30, 2014
Category: Ethical Travel, Ethics, Volunteering Abroad

The next destination, part I

There is a common trait among us travelers regarding the seasons: With the onset of spring, thoughts turn to traveling. It’s in our DNA. This can pose a conundrum for us, since another trait of the inveterate traveler is difficulty with deciding where to go next with limited resources (and they are always limited).This can provoke a lot of angst and indecision for us. For the next few posts, I’ll be examining the different ways … Read more »

Volunteering in Bangladesh at Rishilpi

When travelling for extended periods of time, it is easy to reach a point of tiredness, when everything seems a bit jaded. The joy of zipping from one place to the other across the travel maps becomes increasingly less exciting, and we may be craving for something more, something “different”. When this happened to me, I decided to dedicate … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | August 16, 2012
Category: Asia, Destinations, Volunteering Abroad

Vagabonding Field Report: slowing down in Salta la linda, Argentina

Cost/day: £20

What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen lately?

Cerro San Bernardo, SaltaCowboys, everywhere – or gauchos as they are called here. It isn’t a daily occurrence, but every now and then a whole bunch will sweep into town and ride around, dressed up to the nines complete with fancy hats and tassels. They look spectacular.

Describe a typical day:

My boyfriend and I have been … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | July 28, 2012
Category: South America, Vagabonding Field Reports, Volunteering Abroad

Volunteering Abroad

The past few posts in the “summer work abroad” series have dealt with teaching ESL and work-stays as avenues to make a buck abroad in the summer months (or any month, really).

This third entry will be a bit different. In the rare case that you don’t need to make cash while spending a month or a season abroad, volunteering can be a helpful way … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | June 1, 2012
Category: General, Notes from the collective travel mind, Volunteering Abroad

9 reasons to learn a language abroad

There has been a lot of talk on Vagablogging lately about the merits of slow travel and taking time to understand local culture when traveling. This was my goal when I came to Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, to volunteer at an after-school program for a month, and I quickly discovered an even better, unexpected outlet for cultural immersion – Spanish school.

There are dozens of Spanish schools throughout Guatemala – and hundreds in Latin America overall … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (6)  | March 7, 2012
Category: Central America, General, Languages and Culture, Volunteering Abroad

More travelers, less tourists…

If you haven’t read last week’s post on the “Rise of the Tourist“, I suggest you give it a quick once-over before reading on.   Short on time?  No problem.  I’ll sum up the broader points:  Tourism is big business and in 2012 there is expected to be 1 billion global travelers.  This trend will continue so long as there is economic progress in previously economically depressed nations, and, so long as there … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (5)  | March 5, 2012
Category: General, Travel News, Volunteering Abroad

Volunteering for backpackers: Finding free, flexible opportunities

If you’ve searched for volunteer abroad opportunities, you’ve undoubtedly learned that volunteering doesn’t often come free. You’ve likely come across many, many organizations that charge fees, often upward of $1,500 per week, to cover accommodation, food and support of a coordinator for the volunteer experience.

Sections like, “Why should I pay to volunteer?,” are featured so prominently on these organizations’ websites that it’s obvious they get these questions often – and for good reason: … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (12)  | February 15, 2012
Category: General, Volunteering Abroad

Martin Buber and experience v. participation

Cairo, Egypt

Cairo, Egypt


“Spirit,” wrote the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, “is not in the I but between I and you.” He wrote this in a 1923 essay translated into English as I and Thou. Here’s another line from the essay: “Egos appear by setting themselves apart from other egos. Persons appear by entering into … Read more »

4 tips for volunteering your way around the world

Note: Today I’m featuring a guest post from Sarah Von Bargen, who writes about travel (and many other things) at the excellent lifestyle blog Yes and Yes. Keep an eye on her Radio Yes podcast, where she and I will chat about long-term travel in an upcoming episode. Here, Sarah shares four key tips for volunteering overseas:

There are lots of great reasons … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | August 25, 2011
Category: Volunteering Abroad