Did you miss out on your chance to study abroad while in school? No worries; you can still have a meaningful and wonderful adventure abroad by volunteering. For those of you interested in adventure and volunteering abroad, we have the perfect post for you from AdventureSportsHolidays.com. Take a look at these 10 exciting ways to travel and volunteer from a company that knows adventure.
With the world getting ever smaller and more accessible, it’s easy to forget the impact that our travels can have on local communities and the environment.
Here are some holiday ideas that help you to give something back while experiencing some of the best sport and adventure activities on offer.
1. Into the Lion’s Den
Number one on the list of ultimate adventure holidays has to be working with lions in Africa. Based in either Zimbabwe or Zambia, volunteers spend two to four weeks helping to rear cubs and reintroduce lions to the wild. Not only do you get to spend a few weeks living on the wild side, you get to help the king of the jungle out, too.
2. Three Weeks with Jaws
If working with lions doesn’t sound adventurous enough for you, how about cage diving with great white sharks? Located near Cape Town, volunteers can spend from three weeks to a year working with a dedicated shark research team. This might not be your typical diving holiday, but you will come away from it with a unique experience, specialist knowledge and hopefully no serious bite marks…
3. Hi-Ho Silver
If you like your co-workers to be a little less snappy, how about a few weeks galloping through the South African countryside on horse back? Volunteers help to look after horses on a working farm as well as taking part in overnight safaris in a local nature reserve and riding out into the bush to spot big game.
4. Putting Your Best Foot Forward
Stepping away from the animal kingdom now, and for those who enjoy taking trekking holidays but want to give something back, to local communities. Combining your trek with a volunteer placement could satisfy your philanthropic desires. In Nepal it is possible to combine a month of volunteering with a two-week trek to the Everest Base Camp. During your placement you stay with a local family and learn the basics of the Nepali language, so that when it’s time for your trek, you have a real understanding of the county and its people.
5. Slow and Steady Wins the RaceGreen Sea Turtle by USFWS/Southeast, on Flickr
There can’t be many things better than spending a few weeks on the beaches of Costa Rica. Opportunities for surfing and diving holidays abound in this beautiful part of the world. And there are also plenty of chances to take part in eco projects, such as working with sea turtles to help ensure the species' survival. Volunteers will typically spend around two weeks monitoring the turtles as well as helping to manage their environment. No previous experience is required.
6. Aim High
If you don’t have time to add a volunteer placement before you go on your adventure holidays but still want to give something back, consider taking part in a sponsored trek. Climb Kilimanjaro or even Mount Everest to raise money for worthy causes. There are plenty of organisations that run sponsored treks, so strap on your walking boots, print out those sponsorship forms and get climbing.
7. The Wave
Everyone knows that Thailand is a paradise when is comes to adventure sports, from rafting and diving to biking and hiking. But in 2004 the paradise was shattered by a devastating tsunami, and there are many still living with the consequences. By volunteering in a tsunami orphanage, you can help to rebuild damaged communities and use your down time to explore the adventures that Thailand has to offer.
8. A Little World within Itself
Not many places say ‘exotic’ more than the Galapagos Islands. Lying about 600 miles west of continental Ecuador, the islands’ geographical isolation has made them one of the most unique places on Earth. By taking part in conservation projects on the islands, you will have the chance to swim with sea lions, meet giant tortoises and dive with dolphins in this pristine, world-class diving location.
9. The Land Down Under
From the tiny islands of the Galapagos, now to the vast island-continent of Australia. Many people travel 'down under' for its great variety of diving holidays. But if you want to get to know the island and its culture better, it is possible to combine a homestay, an adventure in the Outback and an eco-adventure in the Great Barrier Reef all in one trip. You’ll get a complete view of life in Australia as well as the adventure of a lifetime as you go hiking, camping and snorkeling in the Land Down Under.
10. Make Every Trip Count
No matter where you decide to travel to for your sport or adventure holiday, try and keep an eye out for companies that operate eco options. By using local guides and sustainable resources, you can do your bit to make a difference wherever you go.
Since 2003 AdventureSportsHolidays.com has been helping people find there ideal adventure holiday or sport course. With nearly 100 activities in over 30,000 destinations it is the largest collection of active vacations, and day trips on the internet. If you are looking for adventure you are sure to find inspiration.