A How-To Guide to Volunteer Vacations

elephant washing

Thanksgiving is a holiday that inspires generosity, charity and kindness. For the traveler, this festive feast may also stir altruistic desires to give back and help those who are less fortunate. Volunteering abroad is a great way to help local communities, learn about the country and gain some major karma credits.

But where do you start? If you’re looking to plan your own volunteer vacation, there are thousands of opportunities offered around the world, from environmental protection groups, to animal rights, archeological digs to organic farming, building wells to teaching children soccer. There’s truly something for everyone but, with all the options available, choosing the right one may be a little confusing.

Having dabbled in global volunteer work myself, I offer the following step-by-step guide to finding your perfect placement: (Keep reading.)

Travel Junkie – An Intro to Julia Dimon

Jordan-Julia on camel in Wadi Rum - courtesy of WT

My name is Julia Dimon and I’m a self-diagnosed travel junkie.

My obsession with travel first started with an innocent high-school trip to Italy. I was sixteen, impressionable, and thrilled to be living outside the watchful eye of my over-protective parents. It only took a few days of Renaissance art, chocolate gelato, and handsome Italian boys before I was hooked.

Take it from me, travel is highly addictive. It doesn’t come with the Surgeon General’s warning, but it should. Travel once and you’ll have an insatiable desire to do it over and over and over again.

My addiction has taken me all over the world – more than 80 countries across six continents and I’m only in my twenties. I’ve lived as a Buddhist monk in Korea, battled through a survival course in the snake-infested jungles of Belize, jumped off one of the world’s highest towers, toured genocide memorials in Rwanda, made lip-plates with the Mursi women of Southern Ethiopia, braved radiation in Chernobyl and spent a night of “torture” in a Latvian prison.

From the depths of the Great Barrier Reef to the top of Machu Picchu, I’ve hiked with silverback gorillas in Uganda, snorkeled with whale sharks in Mozambique, climbed The Great Wall of China, dog-sledded in Greenland, camel trekked in Jordan, slept with lions in the Serengeti, snacked on local delicacies such as silk worm, goat brain, six-inch scorpions, snake blood…even severed human toe – nasty.

So what prompted this desire to gallivant across the globe? (Keep reading.)

Page 24 of 24« First...10«2021222324