Those of you who know me know I’ve had a dream for the past few years that I haven’t had the guts to do till now – live abroad and volunteer. There’s never a great time to take a break from work and stop earning an income or move thousands of miles away from my family and my boyfriend, but I have to do it. I’m 31-years-old and would like to “settle down” at some point…so now’s the time.
I’ve decided to spend 2 months to live in Thailand this summer – and maybe Vietnam, too – to teach English to children. I’ve researched dozens of volunteer organizations that can place you on different projects around the world. Thanks to Lonely Planet’s book, Volunteer – A Traveller’s Guide to Making a Difference Around the World, I had a quick reference right at my fingertips. I found 2 organizations that fit me (and my budget) best – Volunthai and International Volunteer Headquarters (you can find their links on the Volunteer Opportunities page).
I’m not sure why I chose countries in Asia, since I’ve been to the continent plenty of times before, but I’ve never been to Thailand or Vietnam and have heard how beautiful they are, and it’s where I feel the need is greatest – aside from Africa. I chose to work with children because I love kids and feel I can learn so much about compassion and selflessness from them. In the end, that’s what this adventure is all about – giving each other new perspectives. While I’m traveling halfway around the world to help improve the lives of these underprivileged and “needy” children, I know I’ll be gaining so much more from them – fulfilling my need to see the world from their eyes – reminding me how much more there is to life than money, possessions and image.
I hope you enjoy following me along my journey and find a volunteer venture that fits you, too!