Maria Alfonso from Spain writes..
My personal volunteering experience, I come up with the conclusion that volunteering travel makes you a responsible person rather than JUST travel.
How Volunteering Abroad Made Me A Responsible Person – A Better Person….
1. You become much more independent than you ever were
Gone are the days when you used to remain dependent on any of your friends to tag along with you for that long awaited expedition, and had to cancel if they backed out. The first thing I found improvised with myself is that I can make independent decisions, whether big or small, and realize what is good or bad for me.
2. You start respecting time and punctuality
Putting the alarm on snooze to take that extra 10 minutes nap, using that will be there in 5 minutes’ for an already 20 minutes late meeting, or procrastinating every second thing will no more be a part of my life. I soon realized how important and valuable is time, especially someone else’s, and how beneficial it can be to be punctual.
3. You understand the importance of smallest of resources available
Since several volunteer abroad programs are located in remote areas of developing and/or underdeveloped countries, it is only obvious to find limited resources during your project. However, with time, you cope up with the shorthand of all such resources; such as water, electricity, food, transportation, and more, and make the most of whatever is available. The same habit, then, not only follows you back home, but remains with you for eternity. You avoid wasting water while taking a shower, or washing your car, or in any other form. You stop wasting electricity by switching off the lights/fans/etc. in the room which no one is using, and so on.
4. You take measured risk and contemplate situations before reacting
There is a difference between being confident and, idiotically confident and over-confident. While volunteering abroad you face different kinds of challenges that makes you learn a lot about how to handle a tricky situation and to come out from a circle of conundrums; If need be. Being patient about situations and reacting only after measuring all aspects helped me a lot to handle situations during my volunteering trip.
5. You know the ways and situations where you can save money
It is not being miser to save money where you actually can without compromising on your comfort, time, and efforts. You may own your personal drive back home, but while volunteering abroad, volunteers break into the habit of taking public transport to arrive at their project location and back to their accommodation. Not that cabs aren’t available at the volunteering destination, but this makes for a more convenient and cheaper way to commute. Value of money, and what’s worth spending, and how much, is something that you will learn after returning from your program.
6. You educate others and spread the word
Lastly, but equally important and beneficial as all the above facts is ‘making others aware’. You have just come back from one of the most important and meaningful sojourns of your life, and you cannot be more excited to share the experience with your relatives, neighbors, friends, and family. You have learnt a lot from your travel time abroad and now you want the people to also learn and follow certain basic steps to make the society a better place to live in.
Volunteering Solutions gave me one such opportunity to Volunteer abroad and help to bring changes not just in myself, but other several lives.
More on Volunteering…
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