This is my first real foray into Voluntourism (Volunteer tourisum). I’m trying to pull together a trip to Orlando in May to volunteer for the Invictus games. I’ve never volunteered on vacation or made a special trip to volunteer but this event in one of my favorite destinations drew me in. It also seems like I could have a similarly amazing volunteer experience as I did for the 2015 Special Olympic World Games. http://invictusgames2016.org
I’m still trying to get the pieces to fall into place. Because I’m from a greater distance and don’t know anyone it’s been hard getting an answer on how to sign up to volunteer and if I even can. There are tickets I can buy to the events so I could just go and enjoy. And it’s all coming up quickly and I need to buy the plane ticket… hotel reservations are already made because I can cancel those. It’s a lot of moving parts.
I suppose that’s why people typically join pre-planned tours to volunteer in other places. I’m not the kind of person who likes to be a part of a tour group when I travel whether it’s volunteer or pleasure. And with anything you give your time or money to you want to make sure the money/time is really making a difference. That’s often difficult to decipher.
Since this quarter I’m focusing on Self Care I also have to ask myself how it fits in. I love travel and vacations. I think they are an absolute necessity to recharge and bring a joy refresh into my life. So it will be interesting to see what happens when I trade in my time to relax and refresh into something else. Although I do enjoy volunteering it takes energy and effort that is different from a normal vacation. It’s more planned – I’ll have to be somewhere at a certain time. It’s putting myself second to the people I’m helping. And I’m spending a good chunk of money on the trip. I’ll report back as the planning moves forward.
What do you think about Voluntourism? Have you ever taken a trip in order to give back? Is it just a new way to profit off of the kindhearted? Is it the perfect way to see the world?