Posted in Community
As traveling with a purpose changes the need to vacation into the need to share some love with the cultures that need it most, our sombreros go off to those currently extending a hand to the world during their free time. This new phenomenon termed “voluntourism” is one of the fastest growing trends in travel today. According to NPR, more than 1.6 million volunteer tourists are spending about $2 billion each year to lend a helping hand.
As many of us already know, travel is not always sunshine and rainbows. Getting out into the world offers a different perspective on humanity. After all, isn’t that why we travel? Seeing those less fortunate living their lives in poverty can tug on the heart and soul, and entice us to do more with our travels. Whether traveling with purpose brings help to orphanages, building schools, teaching English, saving animals or planting trees, there really is a way for everyone to make a positive impact on the world. It may not sound like your dream vacation, but taking time away from our crazy hectic lives to give back could just be the relaxing fix you are craving. You just may not realize yet. Even when you’re short on vacation days, spending time off helping others can really do wonders for the soul.
Most volunteer tourists are women. They’re also young adults, between the ages of 20 and 25. But more and more high school students are also traveling and volunteering. So why aren’t grown-ups taking the time? Let’s change this statistic to span all generations of travelers! Paraiso Adventures has always been a huge advocate of giving back. I believe it is time to commit to at least one official voluntourism trip a year. We currently donate a portion of our proceeds to local charities such as The Palapa Society in Todos Santos, and the Lifeguards of Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. But we could do more. I am looking for the best way to shape this experience, the best way to get our community involved in helping others. Please share your advice as I embark on this new meaningful project for Paraiso! The saying goes, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Let’s make this journey a positive and enlightening experience not just for us but for the communities that need the love the most.