Volunteer Vacation

Oct 6th, 2008, 04:37 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2008
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Volunteer Vacation

If you have taken a "Volunteer Vacation" (where some or all of your trip was spent on some humanitarian pursuit, what did you do and how did you feel after your return? Did you find it more or less satisfying than a typical vacation, and why?

TheTravelMaven is offline  
Oct 7th, 2008, 04:32 PM
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I've never done one, partly because they seem to be so expensive. Way more than I spend on a typical vacation to a similar destination.
suze is offline  
Oct 7th, 2008, 06:56 PM
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Yes I spent a week in Jerusalem last year, volunteering for Livnot. We painted homes of the elderly & poor, worked in soup kitchens and packed "goody" bags for the Israeli soldiers. I had a nice experience, and stayed in the dorm for very cheap. I think this program was not well organized and there was only one other volunteer. I would research the organization well beforehand.
lollylo25 is offline  
Oct 8th, 2008, 02:48 AM
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I have done a few National Trust "working" holidays though not for a number of years ( I am getting on a bit).
They were all great fun and I got to stay in some interesting places.
It is a great idea for backpackers or younger folk having an extended holiday in Britian,as after doing a weeks volunteering you get given an annual pass for all National Trust properties which you can use during the rest of your stay.
unclegus is offline  
Oct 10th, 2008, 03:17 AM
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Thank you for your input!
TheTravelMaven is offline  
Oct 11th, 2008, 06:57 AM
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A friend of mine took a year out and went with 'Gap Year for Adults' around the world doing volunteer work with children with aids in Africa, the street children in India, environmental work in New Zealand, Galapagos and South America. It also incorporates fun and adventure themes, she spent a week living with a tribe in Borneo in a long house. She also swam with dolphins, went down in a shark cage, bungee jumped had helicopter ride over the Amazon, went absailing down into a bat cave, and numerous other adventures. She had a fantastic time and met some wonderful people. It changed her entire outlook on life and is saving to go in the near future to some of the places she visited.
coldplay is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2008, 10:58 AM
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Take a look at www.sabranenque.com. They have programs in France and Italy.
jeff001 is offline  
Nov 1st, 2008, 10:52 PM
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3 years ago I did some volunteer work while on vacation in Cambodia. It was the best vacation I had ever been on, connecting me to the place and to the people in a way that I had never before experienced.

So, I went back and did it again. Then again. Then I came back to the US and started a charity to help fund the work being done there. Eventually I took early retirement, sold everything but my books and moved there.

Certainly not everyone is affected so profoundly, but I dare say for many people it is a life-altering event.

offwego is offline  
Dec 11th, 2008, 04:57 PM
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Is that link for your organization, or is that the link for the organization you volunteered for originally?
debrad149 is offline  
Dec 20th, 2008, 09:02 PM
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I like your thread, inspiring indeed.
I hope that some day I find my calling in humanitarian work too.
How did you fall into the volunteering gig in Cambodia.
I was amazed at the proficient English spoken by so many children, and the knowledge that they seemed to have on foreign affairs.
[email protected]
jege41 is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 11:52 AM
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"falling into a volunteering gig in Cambodia" is pretty easily done. There are plenty of opportunities.

In my case, it started when I emailed the woman I had hired as a tour guide for Angkor Wat and asked her if she had any recommendations about legit places where I could make a donation while I was on my trip.

She let me know about a grassroots program she and her family were doing in their community to get children into primary school.

While I was there, in between temple touring, we loaded up a van with uniforms and school supplies and went to a rural village. There we were met by a rather large group of children anxious to go to school.

When I got back to the states, everything else I did paled in comparison.

It took me a while, but these days, worrying about how to get more kids in school is my full time (pre)occupation.

The link (www.theplf.org) is the organization, named after the woman who took me to the school the first time.
offwego is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 05:14 PM
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I think it is wonderful that you are doing so much to help those kids. I noticed that the link for "voluntourism" is blank. Is that something that you're working on, or trying to set up?
debrad149 is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 07:36 AM
Join Date: May 2004
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Yes we're building a new page re: voluntourism, and combining a trip to see the temples of Angkor Wat with volunteering at the schools.

Be patient. The holidays are getting in the way of website production!

offwego is offline  
Dec 28th, 2008, 07:32 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
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I just wanted to say that I am truly touched by the story of Ponheary Ly and everything you both are doing to help the people of Cambodia. I will check your website frequently for ways to help.

debrad149 is offline  

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