Inspiration for Voluntourism

 

Travel has a way of opening up our minds to new tastes, sights, smells and textures that can broaden our lives.  It also has a way of making us question what we thought was our way of living.  People often look back fondly on their travel adventures for the novel sense of the unfamiliar that it created.  New ideas and inspirations combine with our already developed cultural norms.  Together travel can shape one's future due to the impact that it creates. 

As traveler's look to embrace travel experiences that are more authentic and purpose driven, their search is leading them to volunteering and voluntourism in their travels. Volunteer travel, volunteer vacations or voluntourism is travel which includes volunteering for a charitable cause.  To some, travel becomes more inspiring when it is purpose driven.  Having a mission to set one's intenerary to makes the experience much more rewarding for the traveler as well as the people and community whose lives they are bettering.

One possible way to grasp cultural interaction is to truly experience life the same way that others do.  In Costa Rica there is an Indigenous Project in Bambu that brings this opportunity to life.  Using the Center as a base of operations, the project works with other area residents on community projects such as reforestation, encouraging and supporting traditional farming, as well as permanent or sustainable agriculture.

You will not find bars, restaurants, stores, cell phones, internet cafes or lots of the creature comforts you might be used to back home.  While this might seem challenging and even sacrilegious to some, this opportunity fits well for individuals, families and groups who are ready to leave behind their creature comforts for a while in exchange for the opportunity to build relationships with the people in this community, to learn or improve their Spanish or to really take advantage of immersing themselves in this loving culture. 

Life exists in the periphery of our own visions.  There are other cultures and lifestyles in the world that are entirely unique and different.  By adjusting one's gaze, new insights can be disovered not only of the unknown worlds we travel to, but also for our old lives that are returned to.

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