Last year was quite slow on the voluntourism front which kind of had me bummed. Our plans to volunteer in Paris were a major flop, we wanted to volunteer on Anacapa Island but were told that our trip didn’t coincide with the right season, and while looking for a volunteer opportunity in the Redwood National and State Parks, we were disappointed to find that most volunteer opportunities in the area are for university students studying environmental science. It seemed like every time we looked for an opportunity to lend a helping hand, our plans fizzled. More
One of the things I most love about blogging is getting to know other travelers – bloggers or not – who are just as passionate about seeing and experiencing other countries and cultures as I am (indeed, I’m not alone in my travel addiction). And when I meet other purposeful travelers, I feel even more connected and motivated as a global citizen to keep seeking ways to use my own travels to bring about positive social change. More
The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Montmartre, fine dining, and romantic strolls along the Seine around Île Saint-Louis – these are the obvious draws to Paris, the must-have experiences in the City of Light that make it into most travelers’ itineraries. So I really shouldn’t have been surprised when I received an email from the city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau in response to my inquiry about volunteering opportunities there. More
If you’re anything like me, you sometimes get overwhelmed and turned off by the commercialization and superficiality that seems to go hand-in-hand with the holiday season. While I love a nice Christmas gift just like anyone else, for me, Christmas is a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in the company of loved ones. Christmas trees, decorations and ornaments, huge feasts, and gifts are really just the icing on top, but they’re not the cake itself! Christmas is about the gift of giving, just as God freely gave the gift of His Son. More
Wanting to escape to someplace foreign this past summer but short on time due to Jave’s demanding work schedule, we decided to cash in on some frequent flyer miles for a quick jaunt to Granada, Nicaragua. When we shared our plans with friends and family, they were perplexed as to why we’d want to go there. So I thought it’d be helpful to share some of the factors that we considered when choosing Nicaragua as our getaway destination, and hopefully, you’ll be inspired to travel there too. More
During one of our volunteer vacations a few years ago, I traveled to Turkey with my husband Jave, my brother Aaron, my nephew, and a few family friends. To help us meet our volunteer goal for the trip, a former school teacher in Istanbul named Emrah arranged for us to teach an English lesson to some local school children there.
Last December, we planned a trip to Vancouver BC, and as usual, we wanted to incorporate volunteering into our itinerary. We were only going to be in town for 3.5 days, so we knew that we had to find a volunteer opportunity that would leave us with enough free time to explore the city. I reached out to so many different organizations to see if we could donate a half day of our time, but because the holidays were approaching, most organizations were already booked up with volunteers or else they didn’t have any opportunities available on the dates that we were going to be in town. More