See the World and Serve It: 4 Things to Know About Travelteerism

Travel Volunteer

In the past year, travelteerism has begun to gain popularity among the traveling, “altruistic” crowd. The main idea behind travelteerism is that individuals are able to go to a foreign country, stay in a boutique-type hotel, have luxury vacation experiences and squeeze in a little volunteering at a local NGO. The biggest aspect of travelteerism is that you go to have personal experiences but also to help the local economy and culture. Here are a few things you should know about 2015’s buzz business: travelteerism.

Understand Local Economies

Travelteerism allows people to gain intensive new knowledge about foreign economies. Before leaving for a new place, you will need to learn about the value of your monies and what it means for the local economy. Yes, the street vendors may be trying to take advantage of you by charging an extra dollar; but what is just a hundred pennies to you, can be half a month in school for a child in Guatemala.

Knowing how you can help the local economy is beneficial when travelteering. You may take more care to seek out local guides and companies and pay their understandable prices when you realize what difference your money can make to them.

TravelGain Cultural Insight

Learning about the country you are visiting, before you go, is always a wise choice. Avoiding social faux pas is much easier if you have an understanding of the people group you are surrounded by. You need to understand what political and cultural movements worked to shape the people into who they are today.

For example, during the Paraguayan war, or Triple Alliance,  in the 1800’s, Paraguay suffered enormous casualties, with some reports showing as much as 90% of the male population killed. This is an extremely sore subject for many Paraguayans who suffered incredible family loss and government betrayal. Bringing up a subject like this can make conversations very tense and unpleasant if you have just met someone.

Volunteer Your Time

The main reason people are jumping onto the travelteering bandwagon is because you are able to combine relaxation with volunteering. Many people feel afraid to venture into foreign countries for living and serving, so experiencing your volunteer days while staying in luxe hotels can be a nice way to meld into a society.

For others who have wanted to join altruistic organizations like the Peace Corps, but lack the time to fully commit; Travelteerism offers a great way to spend parts of your time on vacation volunteering. This can help the local economy, while you experience the culture and people there.

Volunteer abroadBuild Relationships

For many people, learning to get close to people with different cultural backgrounds can be a struggle. It is difficult to overcome different social barriers when traveling in foreign countries. Fortunately, with travelteerism, you could be working alongside many locals and find opportunities to connect. This leads to increased love for the country and people and can break down the stereotypes and fears present on both sides.



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