When taking time-out, the main decision you have to make is whether to volunteer or backpack. We hope the information below will help you decide what to do.
When you backpack, you will be travelling alone most of the time, meeting people here and there when you stay in hostels. When backpacking you have the freedom to go where you want and do what you want. You will be living out of your bag and in someone else's pocket but you will meet some amazing people. When you return home you will have some great memories and hopefully some new friends.
Volunteering is essentially working for free or for food and accommodation. Therefore you have to have some money stored up to ensure you can survive the length of time you volunteer for - similar to backpacking but you will spend less!
The main difference between backpacking and volunteering is the length of time you stay in one place.
By volunteering you stay in one place for longer. This means you will be making friends with the local people rather than other backpackers. By becoming friends with the local people you will learn about their culture, language and religions, broadening your mind.
We believe you gain so much more from volunteering than backpacking.
OK, you probably won't get to visit 20 countries in 10 months but that means on average you only stay in each country for 2 weeks! What can you see in 2 weeks? Also, when backpacking you meet many new people but quite often they are people from a similar background and they probably aren't that different to you.
If you volunteer, especially with Ecoteer where your colleagues are often from the local community, you get to experience so much more. You may be invited to festivals or special occasions like weddings or you will learn a new language, instrument or dance. You will learn about the lives of the locals and the problems they face. They will probably show you different ways to improve your life.
You get to feel the heart of the people and the soul of the country when volunteering.
Most cultures like to drink and dance. Instead of drinking in a club similar to the ones in any city, you could be enjoying a local drink, often made from local plants, with the village head. Then try dancing to a different type of music whilst the rest of the village falls around laughing at you!
We hope this has helped you decide what you would prefer to do but on the whole volunteering is generally more beneficial than traditional backpacking. If you are still having problems on what to do on your career break, year out or next holiday, what about combining both?
Registered members have full access to the forums to discuss volunteering, whilst unregistered visitors can read the public forums.
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We began operations in the municipality of San Juan Comalapa, ...
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A short guide to using the Ecoteer web site.FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions about volunteering and Ecoteer.Ecoteer forums
Discuss volunteering and travelling with volunteers and projects.
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