Volunteering Experiences While Travelling – Episode 145 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

If you’ve ever looked into the idea of volunteering while you travel – or indeed have already been part of the growing “voluntourism” sector – you may well have noticed that it’s fraught with trickiness. When are you really helping? – when are you hindering? And when are you actually doing more harm than good? And how on earth can you figure this out before you go?

Well, we don’t give you a 100% answer on this during this episode but hearing three good experiences from travellers who have volunteered while travelling at least gives you a whole lot of good pointers and places to start your research.


Show notes: Episode 145 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

Volunteering Experiences While Travelling

It’s becoming increasingly popular to make volunteering a part of a trip abroad, but it’s also becoming increasingly known that not all volunteer programs are created equal. It’s sometimes hard to be sure if you’re helping or hindering, and difficult to be sure you’re helping to create lasting change. 

In Episode 145 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast I chat with three travellers who’ve taken part in various volunteer programs in recent years. We talk about how to find a good volunteer program and their own examples are really worth hearing about.

First up, I talk to Ella who is currently volunteering in Malaysia at an organisation protecting endangered sea turtles. She has an ecology degree and describes the great work that is happening there, along with some thoughts on how to find a good way to volunteer abroad.

Next I chat with Meagan who lives in southern California. In the last few years she’s become involved with regular volunteer work just a couple of hours’ drive away in Mexico.

Finally, Eva explains the trip she took to the Philippines last year and how the money collected from travellers in the group was used to help a local community. 

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