Social media makes travelling the world seem like an easy feat in today’s society, and yet the reality can be the complete opposite. FOMO is real, especially for students who feel that this is their last opportunity before they start full-time work. And it’s easy to see why. The perfect Instagram beach shots, the cultural enlightenment people talk about, the friends you make along the way. Whilst this is all true, you can make more of an impact than just gaining likes and followers whilst travelling.
Volunteering overseas provides you with a unique opportunity of exploring a new place, all whilst making a significant difference in a developing community. Making sure the organisation you are working with are ethical and sustainable will ensure that the short-term work you do will have a lasting impact on a long-term programme. There are many unique opportunities available, including working with Elephants in Thailand, teaching conversational English in India or trekking to Machu Picchu in Peru. These programmes will enable you to experience authentic cultural immersion, which you may not find elsewhere. Spend your free time travelling the local area or extend your trip to visit more of your chosen country- the opportunities are endless, and will give you a well-rounded experience, all whilst making a difference.
As well as the affect you can have in-country, the personal rewards are also significant and life changing. You will gain skills in leadership, teaching, organisation as well as confidence from leading workshops with children whose first language isn’t your own. Be creative and teach your personal interests, which will not only make your experience tailored to you, but also develop your own skills in these areas. As well as all this, you will make friendships that can last a lifetime, through working together and exploring new places and cultures.
Travelling doesn’t just have to be for social media influencers or be just for the ‘gram. It isn’t all about the likes, pictures and bragging rights, and can enable you to make a real impact on the world around you. Find an opportunity that sparks your interest, and then take that leap of faith. You won’t regret it.
Where will you be next summer? Check out our destinations here.