For one, it’s infectious.
As a solo female traveler picking the perfect travel company to join is important. There are several factors to consider, such as, (obviously location) pricing, age groups, and more importantly the types of activities that will be taking place during the trip.
Because that would determine the types of travelers you’ll be meeting on these trips. For example, if you’re joining a trip on that takes place on a boat and you’ll be island hopping in the Caribbean. Chances are you’ll be partying your way through those islands. Which is fine, if you’re into that sort of thing. But chances are they you’re likely to meet a young crowd who’s looking to really ‘let loose’ on their vacation.- Again, that’s fine you’re into that sort of thing.
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy partying here and there. I certainly wouldn’t mind island hopping on a boat in the Caribbean. But I do love the way I travel and when I meet a company who does it the same way. It speaks to my heart.
What does this mean?
Easy. It’s about creating a social impact wherever you go. Social impact is when you travel for a purpose or cause and fulfill that cause. For example, I travel with a purpose. I am a clean water courier. I carry clean water filters to 3rd world countries and share them in communities that are in desperate need of filters. Some people travel to help build homes. So they join house builds and teach locals how to build homes.
I’ve recently gone on trips with a company called, Journey. They are a for-profit company. Journey trips aren’t just traveling adventure trips. They are 50% service impact and 50% exploring. Which means that part of the trip is about social making a difference and the other half is about enjoying your vacation because you deserve it.
A perfect is an example is my Guatemala trip. We did a house build for 2 days and the other three days were exploring and taking part in all the beauty of Guatemala. Another was the most recent trip I went on to Greece!
You get it now?
I want to share with you 5 reason you need to join a social impact trip ONCE in your life. Whether it’s with Journey or not, but these are my strong beliefs.
Most of us work a 9-5 and do this day and day out. See and speak to the same people every day. We obviously connect with other humans, but it’s the same human that works a 9-5 and has a routine. Traveling to another country where you’ll be immersing yourself in another culture in the purest form is HUGE. By purest form, I mean you won’t be where the other tourist is traveling. You’ll be hanging out with locals. Have conversations with locals and learning about their lives and vice versa. You’ll need to SLOW DOWN.
We should all be striving to grow and change. It’s part of life. So if you’re looking for a different taste or pace of life, joining an impact trip is the way to go. Someone recently asked me what it takes to join one of these trips and I said two things:
- An open mind.
- An open heart.
These trips aren’t for everyone. You have to want to truly help and understand that you aren’t there to ‘save’ anyone or ‘save the world’ but to help. To connect with another being on a different level. Most of us work a 9-5 and are in a routine. Stepping outside of that will awaken us.
You won’t be hanging out with tourist, you’ll be with locals. Learning their language, their customs, eating their foods. Talk about a real culture exchange! When I was in Guatemala, I worked on a house built for a family, with the family. I sat and ate breakfast and lunch with them. The mother would cook for us we’d sit at the family table and eat with them.
Chances are you won’t realize it when you’re there. I mean you might, but not as much as when you leave and return home to your routine. How much your life has changed. Not only because you changed someone else’s life, but your own too. You’ll actually start to consciously care more about what matters in life. Being grateful what you have has a whole other meaning. You’ve started the ripple effect of changing your life.
This is certainly the BIGGEST take away.
I’ve been traveling for over 2 years now, non-stop. And about 80% of my travel is purpose focused. Especially in 2017. I have met countless people on trips from around the world and the #1 thing most people say is, “ Wow. I am grateful.”. For both the good and bad. Not because you see horrible things and people living horrible lives. On the contrary, in fact, but because you see people living with nothing but their bare necessities. They don’t need a big house or a fancy car. Those things are just ‘nice’ to have, but it isn’t needed. They only have what they ‘need’ and they’re happy. They are grateful.
The famous saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side.”; doesn’t really relate to them. Not because they don’t know (or maybe it is, I am not sure), but I do know they are grateful and happy with all they have. They wake up each day and only strive for what they need: food, water, and shelter. Nothing more and nothing less.
Like I said, you have to come with an open heart and mind. Everyone has a different take away from their experience, but one thing is certain. You will inevitably walk away with a different perspective on life. You will change.
Originally published at www.thesocialgirltraveler.com