Follow me as I blog my way through 12 months of travel, 20 countries, 2 volunteer programs, 44,000 miles, over 20 flights, countless chicken bus rides and 365 wonderful work-free days.

VOLUNTEERING

I’ve always been the type of person to watch documentaries about the starving children in Africa and feel like I should do something – donate money, sponsor a child, volunteer – but that was where it ended, something else would come on tv and eventually the images of those gorgeous children would fade.

That all changed when I met Angela.  I was lucky enough to be partnered with her as roommates on my latest trip through Thailand and Laos.  She doesn’t know it, but it was her that inspired me to stop thinking about volunteering and do it. For nearly a year I lived vicariously through her as I read her emails about teaching English in Guatemala and various other volunteering projects.

I don’t have to live vicariously anymore.

When I started planning this trip I knew I wanted to volunteer somewhere, and not having a clue where to start I took to good old Google. That’s where I found International Volunteer HQ – (IVHQ), a New Zealand based company offering fantastic volunteering opportunities all over the globe for really low fees. Check them out at http://www.volunteerhq.org/.

The Projects

July 2012 – Nairobi, Kenya

For one month I’ll be teaching English at a school in rural Nairobi. No running water, no electricity, just the happy smiling faces of the kids I’ll be teaching. I’ll be living with a local family for the month.

October 2012 – Cuernavaca, Mexico

For three months I’ll be volunteering in orphanages and schools throughout Cuernavaca, a city located about 85 km south of Mexico City.  During this time I’ll be living in the volunteer house, owned and operated by the couple that run the program.

May 2013 – Cusco, Peru

After a well earned break, I’ll be volunteering again for a month in Cusco, Peru. Here I’ll be doing childcare and living with a local Peruvian family.

June 2013, Quito, Ecuador

Last but not least, I’ll spend a month teaching English to locals and living with a local Ecuadorian family. It’s here that I will also celebrate my..gulp..30th birthday.

Comments on: "VOLUNTEERING" (3)

  1. You don’t have to pay any fees at all for volunteering!! What I did was just showing up at the place and knocking at the door. They will never say no to volunteers!!

  2. You’re more brave than I am… I’m not sure I would take that risk. There are so many volunteering companies out there and I didn’t really know where to start at first. I ended up going with IVHQ as I they cover all of your accommodation and 3 meals a day. I knew what I was paying and that I would be doing something I wanted to do, so I guess for me it was that piece of mind knowing what I was getting myself in for.

  3. I looked into volunteering programmes when I was younger but couldn’t afford to pay to work for others.

    If it was just with my time, fine, but pay to work didn’t fit into my idea of ‘budget travel’.

    Shame I didn’t think like acrossthesouth back then.

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