🌎The first time that I volunteered abroad was also my first time out of the country. In 2013 I went to Belize on a mission trip with my University and that experience completely changed me! Then in 2017 I volunteered in Guatemala. Again, life changing. So now my goal is to volunteer abroad once every 4 years. Next trip in 2021! Yes you have to pay for your flights and a fee for the actual trip. This fee should go towards keeping those in the community employed. You are paying the person cleaning, cooking, drivers and so on.🌎
Here are 4 things about traveling abroad that I Love & I think you would love too!❤️
1. You get to live and work in the community
Travel is exciting, educational and rewarding no matter what but being able to visit a new country and actually experience real life is priceless. Yes, I enjoy traveling and just going to the clean, fancy, touristy areas but living and working in the community away from those areas really shows you the average persons daily struggles. It’s eye opening. 📸 Church service in Belize, a typical home in Belize.
2. You get to eat authentic homemade food
This is the best! Home cooking by a local is amazing. You get authentic food and drinks and the person cooking has a job because you are there. It’s a win win situation! It’s also fun to try local fruits! 📸 Food of Belize
3. You learn to enjoy the simple things
In Guatemala I volunteered at a childcare center. The kids screamed, ran around and played like any other child. When in reality they weren’t regular kids at all. Most of them may have, at 2-3 years old, gone through more tragic things in life than me! They may have lived in the city dump, not had food for days, not had water to drink and the list goes on. But they were still happy, smiling and so excited when the volunteers came to see them! 📸 Childcare center in Guatemala
4. You come home with so much appreciation for all that you have.
This is a big one. I can’t completely explain it and you won’t completely understand until you feel it first hand. These experiences make you want to complain less, help others more, appreciate every single thing you have, not be as wasteful and just try to be a better person. I literally cried when I returned from Belize because I had so much stuff and always wanted more, never satisfied. They have so little and were so happy and content. It changed my mindset forever. 📸 Woman in Guatemala who agreed to and was happy to have her photo taken
Have you ever volunteered abroad? How was your experience?