The 10 Life Lessons I Learned from Volunteer Vacationing

For CheapOAir.com. June 2016.

I love to travel, but I grew tired of the same “stay in a hotel, eat at a tourist trap restaurant” routine. After traveling to dozens of countries as a regular tourist, I found that my experience was getting rather repetitive. I wanted to return with amazing stories instead of bringing back cookie cutter photos of me posing in front of archaic monuments.

In 2011, I decided to turn my blog Go Eat Give into a nonprofit organization that would offer volunteer, culinary, and cultural travels, all rolled into one. I took small groups of travelers to visit places only the locals knew about, and to eat authentic food at restaurants and host family homes that were not listed in guidebooks. We took lessons in the local arts and culture (such as batik painting and salsa dancing), and stayed at 4-star sustainable hotels (because it’s a vacation after all!).

On each trip, we partnered with a local grassroots nonprofit organization to volunteer at, raise money for, and support throughout the year. It was fun, educational, and felt good. Most of all, such meaningful travels shaped my personality and changed my outlook on life.

Here are a few things I learned along the way…

Read the full story on CheapOAir Miles Away blog 

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