Seeking the Next Great (Travel) Adventure
Our sweet baby daughter Maggie-May just turned 3 months old.
To celebrate, we’ve decided we are going to take our first vacation as a family. I’m already losing sleep over the excitement (and dread) of flying with her. There are few things I love more in life that the anticipation of a trip; the planning, the list making, the laundry- I honestly love it all. We’ve made travel a huge part of our lives and plan to continue to do so in our new role as parents. It seems that all I can think about these days is travel. There’s only one little detail of our trip that makes it a little less desirable… we’re going to Edmonton, Alberta… in the winter.
Alas, this is one of the downsides of living away from family. Instead of planning our trip to Morocco to visit friends who are teaching there, we are headed home to the prairies. Don’t get me wrong, Edmonton will be lovely, as Maggie gets to meet her grandpas for the first time, but it’s not exactly what I dream about when I think about spending this year’s precious vacation time. So while I pack for our first trip as a family, I fantasize about our next exciting, international destination. And I think for our next trip, I’d like to do something really different.
And then I found a great idea. Last month I stumbled upon a website that promises it can make travel a much more enriching experience. It is called GoVoluntouring and according to their website,
“GoVoluntouring is an online community for volunteers, overseas teachers, and learners’ abroad that allow users to perform detailed searches from a huge database of projects and programs. With thousands of programs to choose from, GoVoluntouring offers pre-checked charities and non-profits the chance to connect with the volunteers they desperately need, with no added cost to the user or the volunteer organization.”
The site lists tons of volunteer opportunities. Some are longer and span over months but there also lots of shorter assignments that could easily be worked into a trip. There is a huge range of organizations looking for volunteers, from groups looking for help building homes to charities needing help studying endangered wildlife. From what I could see there was something that would appeal to just about anyone, travelling anywhere. Brilliant!
One of the most memorable moments in my travelling history was when my husband and I arranged to spend a day helping out in an orphanage in Soweto, South Africa. It was only one day, and we only played with the kids and fed a few babies bottles, while the very short-staffed workers tended to other things, but it was such an eye-opening experience into poverty and HIV/AIDS, that it stayed with me through the years. And now that I have a daughter of my own, I can’t think of a better way to teach her about the world than through travel and volunteering at the same time.
So if you’re interested, take a look at the website www.govoluntouring.com before you plan your next trip and see if there’s an opportunity for you to give back and change the way you travel.