10 Reasons Why Volunteering & Travelling Work

Whilst travelling in Asia, searching for more hosts and visiting friends, I bumped into Alicia, a Workawayer who had used the site last year to travel through Europe. She was so enthusiastic and full of energy about her time workawaying and asked if she could contribute. So here you go, 10 reasons why volunteering is the best way to travel:

Almost every one of us dream of traveling the world for a number of different reasons, but what really separates a volunteer traveler from a conventional traveler is a mindset; a daring, adventurous type, and more essentially the ever-wondering desire to explore the utmost of each unknown.

When you are bored of the norm and have been thinking of traveling for a more positive cause, it´s guaranteed you will never run out of excuses reasonable enough to not go and volunteer abroad; there is no road too tough, no mountain too high, no destination too distant as we workawayers justify:

1. Integrate into the local community


Integrating into the local community.

Volunteering lets you get close to the local community, which fills you up with insights that your average travel guidebooks can never share. Be it the off-track unexploited beautiful spots, great restaurants to try 100% delicious real local cuisine, the ad-hoc local music jam, or plenty of invitations to beach volleyball matches and home feasts, parties and boat daytrips … You will be a local-traveler not a surface tourist.

2. Low cost travel

If you’re willing to volunteer for a few hours a day, you basically can live for free, and after work you still have the whole afternoon-evening-night as well as the whole weekend to explore the region. Money saved also means an extra cheap flight/train ticket to travel across regions or countries. Travelling as a world volunteer is one of the best ways to skim your budget and your fat credit card bills.

3. Meet new people

dinner party

Meeting new people.

Beautiful people. Truly wonderful people. Sane people. Insane people. Colorful people. Grey people… Expectedly or unexpectedly you get to meet different people from many different countries and all walks of life. Working towards mutual goals, finding and sharing similarities and commonalities out of diversity also allows you to make friends more easily.

4. Pick up some new skills

When I was resigning from my previous job, my ex-boss was amazed and worried about my workaway plan saying she could not imagine me working on farms because of the way I dressed so smartly for work every single day. Coming back from my first workaway experience telling her about my new expertise in tiling and concrete mixing and chicken diets and pizza yeasting, she was even more amazed. It was a great feeling  to be able to prove to her and myself that I could do more than just my daily routine of office life.

5. Increase your social awareness


Increasing social awareness

Workaway is a unique way to learn about the complexity of a different culture. You may have read and heard a lot about current issues from newspaper or TV, but actually being there first hand helping needy people who are facing those problems allows your empathy to take you for a walk in their shoes. When volunteers are exposed to a different world with endless uncertainties, it stretches and expands your comfort zone, as a result develops a higher tolerance for diversity.

6. Learn a different language

Staying with a native host gives you ample chances to practice your new language skills. When you have to use it every single day, you rapidly improve. Even if you are yet to learn how to count from one to ten, hosts are generally very happy to teach or exchange their language with yours.

7. Improve your resume

Having volunteered internationally of course implies you are highly adaptable. Other skills such as communication, problem solving, and teamwork are what many bosses look for in job applicants. And if you have no previous working experience, overseas volunteer experiences could help to build an incredible CV. You do not have to hide your travel time gap. Embrace it and promote it on your resume allowing you to stand out from the other candidates.

8. Keep yourself fit


Learning new skills while keeping fit

Volunteer work is a motivating way to throw yourself a physical challenge. If you do not mind getting sweaty, working on farms or building sites could get you in shape, involving you in physical work you otherwise would never have had the inclination to do at home.

9. Make a difference

Love and peace and honesty? Or better mutual non-aggression? We do not have to go absolutely philanthropic for sure, as we all start to travel for certain purposes, but volunteering when you travel is a guaranteed redemption for lost souls. By putting forth something constructive and leaving a positive change in the world rather than just watching, you give a meaning to your being while allowing others find a meaning in you.

10. Be a better person

Making a difference

Volunteer-travelers always go back home with a new soul. You find yourself easily amazed at the world around you and you get to see beauty everywhere.  Not only that, you learn to appreciate life and people in a deeper sense, it is rewarding too when the giving of your time, passion, skills and energy helping others can truly make a difference. The stories that you’ll tell will all become a lasting enrichment to your life.

9 replies
  1. Cathy
    Cathy says:

    Although at this time, we can not travel (illness with elderly family) we love meeting all the travelers, and it as if the world is coming to us!

    We have had guests from this program and a few others from all over the world: We improved our Spanish from Gemma, ate (real) swiss Chocolate from guest from Switzerland, celebrated a birthday with a young man from Madagascar – we baked him a mango cheesecake, and lastly celebrated a wedding with return guests! I am looking forward to meeting you all – Check us out at http://www.workaway.info/3414336364ad-en.html

  2. Raymond Mutama
    Raymond Mutama says:

    I really like the information on this workaway.info site. I wish I knew what was happening on this site way back 2000 when I started community development programs in Kenya. This blog of “10 Reasons Why Volunteering & Travelling Work” is inspiring to both hosts and volunteers.
    I am sure given time, I will enjoy the company of workawayers from all over the world and learn from them many skills and knowledge as I stay with them in Kenya as a HOST. Thanks and God bless.

  3. Alexoaia Codrut
    Alexoaia Codrut says:

    Great article! I have started volunteering in 2011 and I feel the same way about this. I feel so good about volunteering, that after 6 months and 3 projects in 2011, I want to do it again this year, for a full year. I have bought a VW van and convert it myself, because I have learned to do things by myself in Portugal. I will travel and volunteer for at least 10 projects starting from spring. I just cannot wait to do it again!

    Can I share this article on my blog?

  4. Jasmine
    Jasmine says:

    Lovely article! Thanks.
    I’ve recently joined workaway but haven’t been able to pick a destination and was wondering if anyone could give me any wisdom on this?

    As I’m travelling alone I’d want to go somewhere with a group of people, learn some hands on skills (outside of an office environment!) and go for about 10 days.
    Any help would be wonderful.


  5. Shelby
    Shelby says:

    I have traveled abroad & find it therapeutic to my mind body & soul. I like helping others & have no interest n being or becoming rich i am not materialistic,I enjoy learning about other cultures & ppl, I would like to help those in areas that have been less fortunate then myself & others

  6. Harland
    Harland says:

    In my viewpoint, not lots of blogers have so countless concepts to develop latest, absorbing articles. Thanks for undertaking it and I desire you did not lose the inspiration to write the new ones!

  7. Home Service
    Home Service says:

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  1. […] positive cause, it´s guaranteed you will never run out of excuses reasonable enough to not go and volunteer abroad; there is no road too tough, no mountain too high, no destination too distant as we workawayers […]

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