Volunteering Overseas – How Does It Change You?
There is one common result for everyone who chooses to volunteer overseas. Their view of the world, what is important in it and what needs to be done is profoundly changed. Here are a few other ways in which you will change by becoming a volunteer in a foreign country.
- You discover sides to yourself you never knew were there. Your strengths in particular shine through and you realize you are capable of caring deeply for strangers and empathizing with their conditions.
- You understand deeply what is meant by the phrases “working lunch” and “a full day’s work”. You wake up earlier than you have ever done, help to complete tasks while you grab a bite and often work into the late hours of night assisting where it is needed.
- You know full well the restorative value of sleep. It is not just the tasks but also the new experiences that draw on your physical and mental energy. A strange room and a strange bed are of little consequence when sleep calls at the end of a day of sharing yourself.
- You place a new meaning on the word “stranger’. You easily strike up conversations on all manner of topics with people you have never met before. A ride on public transportation becomes a chance to share cultures and exchange views on world events.
- You realize long-distance relationships really can work. The friendships you make can survive the distance and the different cultures that separate you. Home becomes more of a feeling and less of place as you return year after year to continue you good work.
- You acknowledge your place in the global village. The ways in which we impact our “neighbours” from the great distances of own home countries becomes abundantly clear. From the brands you now choose (and refuse) to support to more conscious treatment of the environment, you take others into consideration.
Take a moment to share in our forum how being a volunteer has changed you.