Saturday, January 16, 2010

Volunteer Travel

Many of us have read Greg Mortenson's  Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time, his story about traveling in Pakistan and the profound effect it had on himself and the people he met along the way. Today more travelers are seeking to reach out to the communities they visit, whether as a family or as an individual, and to incorporate sightseeing or relaxing at a nearby beach resort with volunteer projects that match their interests.  There are opportunities in teaching English or arts and crafts, building schools or restoring a Tuscan village, working at an archaelogical dig or at an orphanage and studying the ecosystem, among others. Frommer's 500 Places Where You Can  Make A Difference lists various way to serve communities around the world along with detailed contact information and costs of meals and accommodations.

Volunteer vacations may be short or long term depending on the traveler's requirements. But it may become intoxicating. Giving is one of the most satisfying things one can do.

"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Winston Churchill

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