Travel and Volunteer Tips for Southeast Asia
Travel and Volunteer Tips
BEFORE YOU GO
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
When you travel, you are the ambassador for your country whether you know it or not. The way you behave many will think your compatriots behave too. This is a big responsibility! Culturally appropriate behavior is key to success and of the utmost importance. It requires an effort on your part but most of all modestly and no arrogance (‘I can do as at home’) before you leave home you can learn a lot, search, read, watch and ask:
- Read about local cultural norms online. Research articles online.
- Talk to travelers who have been there.
- Watch some local movies
- Read our handbook and ask us, come for our volunteer and culture training!
THINK AND PACK
Look into what type of clothing is appropriate culturally and climate/weather wise for the destination you are traveling to.
What do you need, what can you by local?
Consider leaving some once your time on the project is up. They may make great gifts to the local kids that you have been working with.
LEARN ABOUT YOUR PROJECT
Preparation is important but flexibility is key!
Our projects are determined by the local needs and these can change but still important to prepare. Ask us for help!
DOWNLOAD WHATSAPP AND SKYPE FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY, PARTNER
Make sure a communication tool is set up to your folks.
HAVE REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS AND REASONABLE GOALS
Volunteering may sweep you off your feet. Daily activities and surprises, meeting new folks. What do you personally want to get out of, learn from your volunteer experience?
Consider your expectations
- What skills do you want to learn?
- What do you want to do/
- Where do you want to go?
- Who do you want to meet and get to know?
- Do not lose sight of why you volunteer.
DURING YOUR VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE
TALK TO EVERYONE Connect with local people! Talk to the local people, friends and others. The more that you open up the more you will learn.
BE FLEXIBLE You have goals and expectations but each day will be a new experience. Some days will exceed anything you could have expected. Some days plans might fly out of the window.
Your experience is comprised of difficulties and each one teaches you more about the local culture. You learn which is one of your goals!
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF Eat well, hydrate, sleep and shower J
DOCUMENT YOUR EXPERIENCE, FOR YOU, FRIENDS, FAMILY AND NEW VOLUNTEERS Some write, some paint, some take photos, and make videos. Take time to record and reelect on what you are experiencing. Explaining your adventures to friends and family when you are back home.